AN EXTENSION This publication is the extension of 'The Medium Is The Massage'
MM is an extension of Marshall McLuhan
Mediums are contexts in which we live; technologies are extensions of the human senses. The process of digitisation sees fragmentation used as a means of control. We as humans work in a parallel way, we process patterns of mechanical thought. The principle of this doesn’t allow for outliers, it doesn’t accommodate for change. The current education system is avoiding the demand for dialogue, for people to raise questions not answers. As soon to be graphic design graduates we have put it upon ourselves to create anti-environments and counter-situations. We were born in the analogue age, witnessed the digital transition and now the post-alphabet era has begun. This book is an extension and homage to Marshall McLuhan’s ‘The Medium Is The Massage’, aiming to bring collective authorship to contemporary judgements made on the future of communication in terms of:
You are the medium. What do you fear about yourself? Do you fear loss of self-control or loss of purpose in the world? How will social coping mechanisms develop as your purpose changes? I fear becoming a big bore from being stuck in a rut, or not developing enough self-confidence. Am I a good person? You are open to false interpretation and manipulation. I fear the way other media perceive the medium of me. What am I responsible for, if I am out of control? The world is constantly moving, so how is it possible to have control over your position in it? Control over our purpose in the world is a bonus not a given. A singular voice is drowned out in the pool of a global village.
e h t m u i d e of m me
In 50 years, the medium of you enhances certainty, reverses its original self, obsolesces understanding and retrieves a new youth and energy.
In 25 years, full responsibility for actions and making decisions will be more of a burden than ever.
The way the medium of you is represented online is an extension of your physical self. People choose the way they are viewed online and how much they are seen. Now you exist in the world in many different ways, not just the body. Perhaps an online presence is more permanent than a physical presence. In the future, will it be a legal requirement to have an online presence? Will you have any control over what form this takes?
My first phone was given to me by my parents as an instantaneous means of safety. This instantaneousness leads to an expected availability. This creates the illusion of spending more time with your friends. This kind of contact has different expectations, a different etiquette and different pressures. Are these relationships still valid? Do online and offline personalities influence each other? A profile in some cases will be the first exposure to someone. You and I can have an on and off button.
With instantaneous consequences I no longer have a chance to think things through. Will social coping mechanisms of the future help or hinder our interaction with one another? Perhaps people will reject social media entirely, and bring about a revival of old social activity. Is this point in time the end of the conversation or will more and more social media continue to appear? Can the next social media be analogue?
curation of the
or Will the temptation
will the ever present realisation of the natural
become a celebration?
At what stage will you decide that the self is under invasion?
A device in your hand, a screen on your wrist, a penetration of your skin? you you you you you you you you you you you
How much are you willing to sacrifice?
The most ancient of all societies
and the only natural one is that of the family?
Your lords are readier to feed idle people than to take care of the sick, and often the heir is not able to keep together so great a family as his predecessor did. In the family, the father’s love for his children repays him for the cares he bestows on them, and the pleasure of commanding takes the place of the chief’s lack of love for his peoples. (Thomas More’s ‘Utopia’ and Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s ‘The Social Contract’)
Your family is a precious medium. So much so that you fear them being taken away and indeed that you fear anything being taken away from them. You fear the future without them in it or a future without sharing experiences with them. Your family itself is a unit that has to remain stable and in control in order to support itself. In this sense, in 5 years the media of the family fears more a loss of self-control than a loss of agency in the world. It fears a loss of togetherness and unity. But family is changing, greater kinds of relationships, less ‘biological’ but more ‘personal’ relations. This scares them, it appears unknown but has always been there. The hidden can finally be shown. Is the rejection of traditional family going to happen in favour of the workplace family?
The family cannot be a tax break or a green card. Its existence in any form is sacred. The acceptance of the family structure is not to be determined by those established but by those with open arms. As we advance into the era of the global village we will all be family and we will all be supported. Our generation remembers the introduction of the dial-up internet. We waited with excitement until 6pm to use the computer and chat with friends from round the corner on MSN. This was the transition from talking in person to online. Our parents taught us how to use devices but then we quickly overtook them in knowledge.
face Families separated by distance can now keep in
The screen is all that separates them but this helps the distance feel smaller nonetheless. In the past when a family was young the lives of the parents became more insular.
Now, friends see and hear updates of their friendsâ€™ new offspring on the screen for the first time. It has become a compromise: they have no time or energy to socialise in person, instead they â€˜postâ€™ personal updates on social media. They no longer need to share treasured moments physically. We fear this compromise; are our connections valid? How can we show our sincerity through the dull glow? What was intended to draw us closer has allowed for us to move further apart. The family home is no longer what it once was. Where our attachments are formed sit on memory lane: is this our family home? The family home is not a permanent place, but rather a notion to which we may assign any location.
The family circle
surveillance is causing a very serious dilemma.MM
ble, “ Fo o d at t h e t a .” not on t he laps 30
We have already reached a point where remedial control // far surpasses any possible influence mom and dad can now bring to bear. MM MM
Now all the world’s buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzing? MM MM
The way we are raised will begin to have less impact as once again we become a global village. The values we were brought up on will be less protected as we are exposed to more from an earlier age. This will test us more and our intrinsic core will be strengthened through this exposure.
What fears surround the media of your neighbourhood? Does it need to be in control of itself or in control of its global positioning? In 5 years’ time there will be more community projects, but there will also be more technology to ‘enhance’ community which takes away face-to-face communication. This lack of interaction feeds into a fear of the online potential for
Our existence is being branded and we are not profiting.
We now prefer to buy a whole pint of milk or pot of salt rather than asking a neighbour for a splash or a pinch. This in turn feeds into capitalism in the same way as â€˜keeping up with the Jonesesâ€™. Your neighbours are there; a support network, any opportunity for competition is regressive. There is fear of impending doom in terms of neighbourhood, that it will only get smaller from this time. How, though, can our neighbourhood be getting smaller when the entire definition of the word is changing to mean any space and any group of people? It is the place and people in which and with whom we spend our free time with. This can be an online neighbourhood, a metaphorical one or a physical one. Our most successful neighbourhoods happen by proxy but that is not to say that physical neighbourhoods are the only kind. Go out and sit on the steps, skip rope and hang out.
Student neighbourhoods that we live in occupy space of a city, but they do not contribute to the city. It is a transient group of people, causing the change of entire neighbourhoods in favour of student housing. The city must tap this resource and the student must acknowledge to what they have arrived. Harmony can be struck as both have much to offer.
Bristol fears a loss of self-control: big monopolising corporations could dominate in 5 yearsâ€™ time. Losing self-control would mean losing control of how Bristol presents itself, so here we fear losing authenticity. What was once a natural, bottom-up declaration is now a polished image. A unique selling point, an up-and-coming area, a quirky difference, are all homes. All communities. All lives. Our existence is being branded and we are not profiting.
Your process neighbourhood: nothing can be further from the spirit of the new technology. MM MM
New technology has removed the process, replacing it with instantaneousness. Your electronic neighbourhood: electric circuitry has overthrown the regime of time and space. MM MM
We’re constantly reminded from our pockets, every room is a waiting room. You have 7 events coming up this week. Your social neighbourhood: it has reconstituted dialogue on a global scale. MM MM
What have you got to say? Nobody’s listening. Your personal neighbourhood: you can’t go home again. MM MM
What is private space? Your electronic neighbourhood: pours upon us instantly and continuously the concerns of other men. MM MM
With external stresses and persistent distractions you have become an unwilling agony aunt.
In 50 years your education could be vastly different, without creative thought. In 50 years there will be even more control over your education. We will have the same conversations, the same arguments. Academies will inevitably crush the creative arts.
We will all know the same things.
There has been a rise of the
â€Śschools in our country, where we manufacture identical academic people over and over again, leaving us with no control over the type of students it can nurture. One by one each copy will roll off the conveyor belt into the next assembly. Competing on the global field has caused us to blindly extend schooling hours. The distinction between home and the workplace has blurred due to the accessibility of the devices we use. For children the school day extends into the home time. Your home is an extension of your education and yourâ€Ś
education is an extension of
We are the device of the education system, we are taught only to get over the next hurdle, but with no long term goal for the race. We saw smart boards replace white boards and even teachers couldnâ€™t keep up.
As we lose control of the power of the institution, we lose the power of the people.
Learning will stop being a necessity and soon become a luxury. A toy for the rich and a desire of the poor. What we are obligated to share, they will protect. What we could use to further all will be saved to serve the few. Hope is offered through the device. The expensive is made accessible, what once needed the infrastructure of many can now be personal. The peer is lost and the self thinks that it grows, but is hampered by the loss of sharing and back-and-forth. At the cost of the available the experience is diluted.
i f fe
ill e i n 5 d u c at i 0y ear on b e s ti me ?
Will we be able to ingest a three year degree in the form of a single pill? Will we shop for these ‘courses’ in pharmacies and choose them based on the power of their branding, their propagenda? When we learn an entire course in an instant, what next? Will the education system become obsolete altogether? Will learning become obsolete? Now children are offered their first device at a younger age. As a generation our parents saw the correlation between the necessity of the device and furthering our education.
What do you fear most about education? The unknown shouldn’t be feared but embraced.
To you I am bound to life and education; my life and education both do learn me. 1 The utility of education or of knowing the subject is mainly to know what one needn’t bother to do. 2 But education has been so rotten at the core, so falsified that every learning has fallen into contempt. 3 After all, from the little I know of you, after all the money expended on your education, you are entitled to recoup yourself and command your price. 4 (1. Complete Works of Shakespeare p.823; 2,3. Ezra Pound’s Selected Letters p.221 and 263; 4. James Joyce’s Ulysses p.599)
You fear having a job. You fear losing a job.
You fear having a job. You fear losing a job. You fear losing time because of your job.
How will this change in 25 years when people will work in ever more impersonal, remote ways. Jobs absorb all time and life whilst becoming boring; you fear that you will no longer act as yourself because in 25 years you will adopt a voice that isnâ€™t yours. You fear technology will advance without you, and your job fears it will lose the confines it holds over you. In 25 years perhaps you will worry about your work not having social impact, but really you should be concerned with how your job is even more capital-driven. Social coping mechanisms will be introduced to improve home working yield, in turn losing the social space that a workplace offers, but providing a virtual reality. Experiential devices will be developed as social coping mechanisms. Already businesses are entering into a relationship by implementing beds in the workplace. To save money on beds, soon you will plug yourself in to recharge yourself and act as a true device of the industry. If it works, itâ€™s obsolete.
The automisation of our industries will soon be complete. We must not fear this. As the printing press replaced the writers, it freed means from the elite. We must be cautious: automisation can lead to freer and more efficient industry, but only if we guide it. They will use it to replace us, to devalue us; our worth will be questioned. Basic income and a reassessment of the job can lead to a freer worker, a richer culture and healthier society. We must demand it.
Availability of information has led to transparency in business on the global stage; it's prompted a polishing of public image and increased efforts in public relations. At the expense of a tightening within interpersonal relationships, more pressure, more monitoring of the workflow, more monitoring of the wage, hour by hour, minute by minute, no longer can your word be taken. Monetorisation is born. Is the shift of all our operations into a digital medium making us reliant on them? Advancements of tools has continually shifted the skillset. However, through replicating the productive environment on a virtual platform, does this mean our physical environment no longer requires the same connectivity?
Today’s television child is attuned to // “mechanization” and “specialism” MM
Unhappily, many well-intentioned political reform programs // did not exist in, say, Shakespeare’s day. Today’s child is growing up absurd, because // reform programs that aim at the alleviation of suffering caused by unemployment betray an ignorance of the true nature of media- influence. MM
In the future design is going to become more democratised. Does that mean designers will become like programmers? As designers our job will no longer be to dictate outcome but provide tools to further accessibility. Democratisation can only work if the newly available is seized. The programmer is an extension of the designer. We must not be precious, the current are not threatened, the fear of replacement must be switched for the desire of the wider field. A larger pool is a greater opportunity.
Do people still aspire to have careers?
What do you fear about your government? The control they have over the public? The decisions you don’t get to make? Their taking advantage of troubled people, hopeless souls? It is bound to take its toll on the weathered faces, sick of broken promises for broken homes. These homes will be the ones to give up their vote, not as sacrifice but as a knowing mistake in the face of confusion and bafflement. We’ll demand…
but the clarity we get will only give us sight of a false truth.
As the austerity is enhanced our resentment grows and our empowerment is taken from under us. Our debt is promised to us as necessity and positive. How can we accept something so debilitating? The deficit is prioritised whilst the need is ignored. Digital platforms have allowed politicians more time, more opportunity for osmosis and persistent force-feeding. Less time for the tabloidsâ€™ considered attacks, less time for spin. The competition between news outlets to be the primary source, to break stories, has only heated due to speed of the reactive broadcast.
There are issues that shouldnâ€™t need the discussion they are given. With collective interest for survival on earth, why on earth do we have to protest? Apathy is criticised as democracy is weakened. The elected sit on fragile mandates built on twisted constituency lines. The unrepresented relentlessly tire as their vote is lost and their voice is ignored. The lobbied share the bed and their hands line each othersâ€™ pockets. The only way out can be through engagement. We must not tire. The bottom up is our route as the top do not look down.
Our awareness is deceiving our perceived involvement. The potential of gaining a political consciousness can’t exclude a possibility for action. So, do you have any device that will make our citizens believe this story?1 The public, in the sense of a great consensus of separate and distinct viewpoints, is finished. A new form of ‘politics’ is emerging, and in ways we haven’t yet noticed.2 (1. Plato’s ‘The Republic’ 2. McLuhan)
All media are extensions of some human faculty: psychic or physical. Precision is sacrificed for a greater degree of suggestion. Passion is sacrificed for a greater degree of sugestiveness.
We see the others through the media. A digital separation. I fear that in 50 years, with frustrated people and more controlling governments, the media will be exploited by the few angry people left. I fear the unknown. Blissful ignorance is safe, but conscious ignorance is to be feared. In the future everyone will expect to know everything about everything.
The others are the people who influence our lives but who we have no control over. Social media means that problems are shared, we feel the suffering of an external crisis but act only in intangible ways. Every good deed is a selfish one. In the future these media will allow for empathy without gratification. A social network is a support network. Your concerns were for your inner circle, but now the global village, the inner circle is forever expanding and you unwillingly adopt responsibility for the others.
Perhaps in 25 years, the others who control what we receive in the media, will take a break from control and realise that honesty and authenticity are needed for a balanced society to thrive. This will give rise to more creative writing, theatre and culture.
More pe ople w ill choo se to liv e of f the grid be caus e of the ac cepted w ay of life being on it. The job of the ne w generation is to reje ct the old generationâ€™s way of thinking. One day, connectivity will be old hat. In the future we will share to o m uch with one anothe r and ceas e cont rol over our privac y. What if the ne xt generation wer e to ac cept that nothing is privat e? As we learn mor e ab out one anot her, we must remain tolerant . Our sp he re is expanding, and the opportunity aris es for us to learn an d grow in unis on . This expansion will only benefit our cultural unders tanding as our in w ard viewpoint is reve rs ed outwards : to face the new and th e different .
This is a time when the position of migrants is a vulnerable one and their value is perceived as exclusively financial. MMâ€‰ Minority groups can no longer be ignored. Our new environment compels commitment and participation. â€‰MM The worth of the other cannot be dictated through perceived monetary contribution: save your neighbour, value your friends, welcome the other.
The post-alphabet era has begun and weâ€™re not a part of it. In 25 years the device will render the human obsolete.
It is feared that things that are a valuable part of life and culture: cooking, sharing, walking, exploring, drinking, theatre, music, art, stories, arguing, architecture, imperfection, anger, anxiety, opinions, spontaneity, drowning, indecision and dance, will be lost, because artificial intelligence has found a correct way of life which we must all abide by. You fear that perfection will be found. Like a golden ratio of life, this formula would be applied to all aspects of living and would be unnatural and demeaning to the creative human race.
Presently, the devices are the tools we use, the objects we interact with, the purpose we impose upon the instruments we employ. We have fast-food, posting, mapping, recommendations, binging, interactivity, dial tones, algorithms, fiction, polls, prefab, shaming, passiveness, anxiety, menus, calculating, search engines & swiping. On smart phones, smart watches, smart TVs, smart computers, before long these will become smarter than the human. Wearable technology will become implanted technology, and then eventually fused into our own operating systems. The old human will become the new device.
Will capitalism be able to keep up with technology? Media are creating themselves. 3D printers can already print their own parts so that any broken ones can be replaced and fixed. Where does obsolescence get built in? The Capitalist system will have to find a new way to monitor products and expenditure if it is to survive. Since the birth of the East India Company in 1600, Capitalism has been evolving in counterpoint with technological advances, so no doubt it will continue to do so. Our vision of the device is outdated. What we know is being changed, and it is being changed by them. They are no longer at our disposal, as we are too intrinsically intertwined. We are at their disposal. They create their own media, their own contexts and their own postalphabet era through our own interaction.
The device is amending life in terms of accuracy, a safety blanket for our uncertainties. The device is a tailor, with the ability to alter oneâ€™s image. The device is ever-present, a constant glow, hum and buzz. I have been the device of the education system. Used by the institution as a means of judging their teaching of sequential thought. Are you a device? What is your function? In the new age of communication we are all devices. Our networks make the net work but yet our systems can not be updated, we can only be up-to-date.
The device will behave like an organic form. Evolving opinions collectively. We will becomeâ€Ś
less humane, and more ehuman.
We are calling for a change. Nothing is that doesnâ€™t act. Graphic designers must act.
In times of instant gratification and rapid responses, we must be careful to say only what is authentic of ourselves, to justify our decisions, and let our decisions define us. As technology speeds up, we must slow down.
The world is constantly moving so how is it possible to have control over your position in it? As we further into the era of the global village we will all be family and we will all be supported. Our most successful neighbourhoods happen by proxy but that is not to say that physical neighbourhoods are the only kind. There has been a rise of the factory schools in our country, where we manufacture identical academia over and over again, leaving us with no control over the type of students it can nurture. You fear technology will advance without you and your job fears it will lose the confines it holds over you. The elected sit on fragile mandates built on twisted constituency lines. Your concerns were for your inner circle, but now with the global village, the inner circle is forever expanding, and you unwillingly adopt responsibility for the others. Our networks make the net work but yet our systems can not be updated, we can only be up-to-date.
is an extension of abiwillmington.co.uk
Ana Martinez Guerra
Charlotte Scrase Dickins "
Foo Chuan Xin
Kah Xin Gan
Kia Kie Lim
Wan Man Yan (Lotux)
Ming Yuan Kang
Tom Craner Buckley
Tsz Wai Wan
An Extension Produced by final year students. BA(Hons) Graphic Design University of the West of England, 2016. Typeface: Neue Haas Unica Pro by Toshi Omagari. Thanks to all those who contributed towards the content of the publication: Dr John Hammersley Monotype Thank you very much to everyone who contributed on the Crowdfunder. Published by Typenowhere Typenowhere is the publishing wing of the BA(Hons) Graphic Design at the University of the West of England, Bristol, United Kingdom. Printed by Clays Ltd. ISBN: 978-0-9576217-3-2 Copyright ÂŠ Typenowhere anextension.co.uk Xerox this book
www.anextension.co.uk Mediums are contexts in which we live; technologies are extensions of the human senses. As soon to be graphic desig...