Marshall McLuhan was a literary and media icon of extraordinary renown. Every passing year, relentless changes in the world deepen our appreciation of the power and scope of his vision. No figure is more universally associated with our understanding of media and information, and our transformation into a digital society.
To commemorate this iconic national visionary and celebrate the centenary of his birth, Canadian artist Robert Bean has been commissioned to create a site-specific exhibition in McLuhan's former seminar room at the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology–the site commonly known as the Coach House.
Illuminated Manuscripts is a project about writing, archives and photography. It emphasizes the figure/ground relationship that is physically inscribed on the surface of Marshall McLuhan’s documents and manuscripts. Bean contextualizes McLuhan's writing process within a framework of obsolete electronic technologies. He presents a selection of recent photographs of outdated writing machines in the collection of the Canadian Science and Technology Museum—such as the telegraph, dictaphone, and typewriter—alongside new video works that animate 100 of McLuhan’s original documents from the collection of the Library and Archives Canada.
Organized with the McLuhan100, the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology of the Faculty of Information Coach House Institute, University of Toronto