Explorations 1
161 Pages
English

Explorations 1

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Explorations: Studies in Culture and Communication, principally edited by Edmund Carpenter and Marshall McLuhan, was the first postwar journal to engage directly with the new "grammars" of mid-century new media of communication. Launched in Toronto in 1953, at the very moment that television made its national debut in Canada, Explorations presented a mosaic of approaches to contemporary media culture and became the site in which McLuhan and Carpenter first formulated their most striking insights about new media in the electric age. The extraordinary breadth of contributions to Explorations from leading thinkers across the arts, humanities, social and natural sciences makes this journal a founding publication in the now burgeoning field of media studies. Originally funded by a Ford Foundation grant, the eight coedited issues of Explorations ran from 1953 to 1957 and are reprinted here for the first time in sixty years.
For a listing of all articles in this series, refer to the Summaries at the end of the series introduction.

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E X P L O R A T I O N S S T U D I E S I N C U LT U R E A N D C O M M U N I CAT I O N VOLUME 1
Edited by Edmund Carpenter and Marshall McLuhan
Wîp and Stock Pubîsers 199 W t Ave, Suîte 3 Eugene, OR 97401
Exporatîons 1 Studîes în Cuture and Communîcatîon By Carpenter, E S and Easterbrook, W T Copyrîgt©1953, Edmund S. Carpenter & Marshall McLuhan EstatesISBN 13: 978–1–62032–427–1 Pubîcatîon date 9/22/2016 Prevîousy pubîsed by Unîversîty o Toronto, 1953
hîs îs an annîversary new edîtîon o te eîgt co–edîted îssues o Exporatîons, wît annotatîons by Mîcae Darroc and Janîne Marcessaut, în conjunctîon wît students and researcers at te Unîversîty o Wîndsor and York Unîversîty, Canada. Researc or te annotated edîtîons was made possîbe by a grant rom te Socîa Scîences and Humanîtîes Researc Councî o Canada. Addîtîona researc was provîded by Lorraîne Spîess în conjunctîon wît te Estate o Edmund Carpen-ter. Permîssîons researc was provîded by Jonatan McKenzîe. hîs repubîcatîon project was a joînt înîtîatîve undertaken by te estates o Marsa McLuan and Edmund Carpenter.
undîng or Issues 1–6 (1953–1956) was orîgînay provîded by a grant rom te ord oundatîon’s Beavîora Scîences Program. Issues 7–8 (1957) were sponsored by te Teegram o Toronto.
Typograpy or Issue  was desîgned and prînted by Rous & Mann Press Lîmîted, Toronto. he cover o Issue  and te cover and typograpy o Issue  were desîgned by Harey Parker and prînted courtesy o te Unîversîty o Toronto Press. Pease see îndîvîdua îssues or urter notes on contrîbutors and acknowedgements.
A rîgts reserved. No part o tîs pubîcatîon may be reproduced în any manner wîtout permîssîon.
Every eFort as been made to contact copyrîgt oders and to ensure tat a te înormatîon presented îs correct. Some o te acts în tîs voume may be subject to debate or dîspute. I proper copyrîgt acknowedgment as not been made, or or carîicatîons and correctîons, pease contact te pubîsers and we wî correct te înormatîon în uture reprîntîngs, î any.
EXPLORATIONS . . .
îs desîgned, not as a permanent reerence journa tat embams trut or posterîty, but as a pubîcatîon tat expores and searces and questîons.
We envîsage a serîes tat wî cut across te umanîtîes and socîa scîences by treatîng tem as a contînuum. We beîeve antropoogy and commu-nîcatîon are approaces, not bodîes o data, and tat wîtîn eac te our wînds o te umanîtîes, te pysîca, te bîoogîca and te socîa scîences întermînge to orm a scîence o man.
Volumes 1 through 6:
Edîtor: E. S. Carpenter Assocîate Edîtors: W. T. Easterbrook H. M. McLuan J. Tyrwîtt D. C. Wîîams
Address a correspondence to EXPLORATIONS Unîversîty o Toronto Toronto, Canada
Volumes 7 & 8:
Edîtors: Edmund Carpenter Marsa McLuan
Sponsor Teegram o Toronto Pubîser Unîversîty o Toronto
E x p l o r at i o n s,1 9 5 35 7
Introductîon to te Eîgt-Voume Serîes o te2016 Edîîon M î c  a e  D a r ro c  ( Un î v e r s î y o Wî n d s or ) a n d Ja n î n e Ma rc  e s s au  ( Yor k Un î v e r s î y )
“TV Woops e MS! he monopoy o knowedge enjoyed by prîn or cenurîes was desroyed by e mass medîa. Ater a beaîng by radîo and movîes, MS was knocked cod by TV. Observers predîc a beore a sag-gerîng comeback, book cuure mus raîn în a res aîr camp.”
So caîmed an înconspîcuous eadîne în e însîde rear cover o e sec-ond îssue o e journaExploraîons, pubîsed în Aprî 1954. he ron and rear covers depîced a spoo newspaper wose maîn eadîne pro-nounced, “Feenîc’s Payouse: New Medîa Cangîng Tempora-Spaîa Orîenaîon o Se.” Now în u swîng,Exploraîons—an experîmena înerdîscîpînary pubîcaîon ed by acuy and graduae sudens a e Unîversîy o Torono—woud become e orum în wîc Marsa McLuan and Edmund Carpener ormuaed eîr mos srîkîng însîgs abou new medîa în e eecrîc age.
Exploraîons was no e Irs umanîsîc journa on a ques o dîscover common vocabuarîes beween ars and scîences. ï was, owever, e Irs suc endeavour o emerge rom an înerdîscîpînary researc eam srîvîng o undersand e împîcaîons o poswar new medîa o communîcaîon: poograpy, Im, radîo, eevîsîon, even eary compuîng. he eam în-cuded McLuan—a îe-known Engîs proessor wo ad arrîved a e
1. ïnsîde back cover, Aprî 1954,Exploraîons2. Carpener and McLuan drew în-spîraîon rom A. ïrvîng Haowe’s consîderaîons o “spaîo-empora orîenaîon” în îs exensîve essay îed “he Se and îs Beavîora Envîronmen.” See Carpener o Haowe, 20 January 1954. Ared Haowe Papers, Serîes 1. Amerîcan Pîosopîca Socîey, Pîadepîa.
Unîversîty o Toronto în1946 eager o buîd a nework o scoars învesed în sudyîng e maerîaîy o medîa across îsorîca and conemporary popuar cuures—and Carpener, an ambîîous anropoogîs sudyîng conceps o space and îme among îndîgenous peopes, especîay e Aîvî-îk ïnuî, and moonîgîng as a radîo and TV broadcaser a e Canadîan Broadcasîng Corporaîon.
Carpener recaed meeîng McLuan a îs Torono ome în 1948 as a momenous encouner. He ad been eacîng în e Unîversîy o Torono’s anropoogy deparmen wîe wrîîng îs dîsseraîon on e preîsory o Noreas îndîgenous cuures a e Unîversîy o Pennsyvanîa. A îeong rîendsîp based on îvey îneecua excange deveoped beween e wo men. Besîdes beîng junîor acuy members, ey ad muc în common: an îneres în new medîa, and e împac o ese medîa on e uman sen-sorîum and orms o educaîon and knowedge. Peraps mos cenray, ey sared a proound dîsdaîn or e conInîng srîcures o dîscîpînary specîaîsms wîc unîversîîes were încreasîngy oserîng. Togeer ey aced a pan or a andmark înk ank a woud deveop înerdîscîpîn-ary meodoogîes and new vocabuarîes needed o make sense o e cang-îng medîaed envîronmens o poswar Nor Amerîca. he group urer încuded Jaqueîne Tyrwî, a Brîîs own panner wî îes o e Bauaus and e Brîîs wîng o CïAM or eCongrès înernaîonaux d’arcîecure moderne, wîc ad been aunced în 1928 by Le Corbusîer and Sîgrîed Gîedîon, bo o wom ad been major înspîraîons o McLuan sînce e eary 1940s. homas Easerbrook, a poîîca economîs and ongîme rîend o McLuan, was deepy conversan wî îs menor Harod A. ïnnîs’s sudîes o cuura economîes, ancîen cîvîîzaîons, and eîr reaed paerns o com-munîcaîon and medîa bîases across space and îme. D. Caron Wîîams, a psycoogîs rîsîng în e unîversîy’s admînîsraîon wo was acquaîned wî mass communîcaîons researc and conemporaneous sudîes o u-man sense percepîon, broug a scîenîIc perspecîve o researc. he pan or a înk ank—an “experîmen în communîcaîon” —woud ead o e Cuure and Communîcaîons graduae semînar (1953–55), înnovaîve medîa experîmens, aks and conerences, and e crownîng acîevemen, e journaExploraîons: Sudîes în Culure and Communîcaîon. he eîg
2. See Darroc, 2008; Darroc & Marcessau, 2009; Geîser, 2010; Darroc, 2014; Darroc, 2016a; Darroc, 2016b. 3. Maîe Moînaro, Corînne McLuan, and Wîîam Toye (Eds.),Leers o Marsall McLuan, Torono: Oxord Unîversîy Press, 1987: 223.
coedîted îssues oExploraîonsare repubîsed ere or teIrs îme sînce eîr orîgîna prînîng în e 1950s.
he Exporaîons researc group aîmed o deveop a “Ied approac” o e sudy o new medîa and communîcaîon. Wîe înspîred by a poswar, modernîs dîscourse o unîversaîy, no sînge mode o researc was domî-nan. By eîr own accoun, e eam soug “an area o muuay suppor-îng însîgs în a crîîque o e meods o sudy în Economîcs, Psycoogy, Engîs, Anropoogy, and Town Pannîng.” he journa’s masead (or e Irs sîx îssues) woud decare aExploraîons“îs desîgned, no as a permanen reerence journa a embams ru or poserîy, bu as a pubîcaîon a expores and searces and quesîons. We envîsage a serîes a wî cu across e umanîîes and socîa scîences by reaîng em as a conînuum. We beîeve anropoogy and communîcaîon are approaces, no bodîes o daa, and a wîîn eac e our wînds o e umanîîes, e pysîca, e bîoogîca and e socîa scîences înermînge o orm a scîence o man.”
hîs serîes descrîpîon was în par îted rom e sor-îved înerdîscîpîn-ary journarans/ormaîon: ars, communîcaîon, envîronmen, a pubîca-îon rooed în modernîs dîscourse and edîed by New York absrac arîs Harry Hozman, e campîon o Pîe Mondrîan’s egacy în e Unîed Saes.rans/ormaîon, wîc oded ater ony ree îssues ad been pub-îsed beween 1950 and 1952 (a ree o wîc were ed în e Torono semînar’s “îbrary”), couned Tyrwî and Gîedîon among îs conrîbuîng edîors and soug o brîdge dîscîpînary boundarîes, no by aempîng o synesîze îdeas îno a sînge perspecîve bu raer by arrangîng myrîad conceps îno new dynamîc paerns and conIguraîons.rans/orma-îon’s masead “airmed a ar, scîence, and ecnoogy are îneracîng componens o e oa uman enerprîse . . . bu oday ey are oo oten
4. Herber Marsa McLuan Fonds, ed în Lîbrary and Arcîves Canada (LAC) în Oawa. Furer reerences o e McLuan Fonds wî be îdenîIed as LAC oowed by e ca number MG 31, D 156, e voume number, and e oder number (ere: LAC MG 31, D 156, 145, 35). 5. Fron maer, December 1953–June 1956,Exploraîons1–6. 6. he îs aso încuded Le Corbusîer, Marce Ducamp, Buckmînser Fuer, György Kepes, and S. ï. Hayakawa, among many oers. 7. See Anna Vaye, 2009, “he Sraegîc Unîversaîy orans/ormaîon, 1950–1952,” Grey Room35:28–57.
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vîîî
treated as î tey were cutura îsoates and mutuay antagonîstîc. Lack o tîme, mîsînormatîon, specîaîsed termînoogy make ît ard to keep pace wît advances în aïndeed, Ieds.” rans/ormaîon’s saed înenîon “o cu across e ars and scîences by reaîng em as a conînuum” was a cear înspîraîon orExploraîons. McLuan îmse suggesed o Tyrwî, “Peraps we mîg use some o eTransormaîonmaerîa î ere îs o be no 4 îssue ere?” Tyrwî woud aer conrîbue a paper se ad drated orrans/ormaîon, “ïdea Cîîes and e Cîy ïdea,” oExploraîons  2, racîng îsorîes o uopîan oug în urban sudîes.
Exploraîons pubîsed wrîîngs by group members aong wî conrîbu-îons on opîcs rangîng rom enoînguîsîcs o economîc eory, rom ar and desîgn o deveopmena psycoogy, rom psycoanaysîs o nursery rymes and bawdy baads, rom urban eory o eecronîc medîa. he journa reaed cuure, and cuura sudîes, as a andscape o experîences and knowedge. An experîmena space în îs own rîg,Exploraîonscouned among îs more an eîgy conrîbuors bo esabîsed and emergîng scoars, scîenîss, and arîss.
Peraps e mos represenaîve îssue oExploraîonswas number 4, pub-îsed în February 1955, were poems by e. e. cummîngs and Jorge Luîs Borges mînged wî essays by McLuan on “Space, Tîme, and Poery,” Carpener on “Eskîmo Poery: Word Magîc,” Tyrwî on “he Movîng Eye” (regardîng cînemaîc experîences o urban îe and comparaîve percepîons o ancîen cîîes în ïndîa), and Wîîams on “audîory space”—a noîon a  “eecrîIed” e group, as Carpener aer recouned. Essays by îerary scoar Norrop Frye on “he Language o Poery” and anropoogîs Doroy Lee on “Freedom, Sponaneîy and Lîmî în Amerîcan Lînguîsîc Usage” were juxaposed wî case sudîes by graduae sudens a e îme, suc as Engîs and communîcaîons scoar Waer J. Ong on “Space în Renaîssance Symboîsm” and anropoogîs Joan RayIed on “Some ïm-
8. Fron maer, 1950,rans/ormaîon: ars, communîcaîon, envîronmen1. 9. Marsa McLuan o Jaqueîne Tyrwî, 8 December 1953. Papers o Jaqueîne Tyrwî (1885–1980). Roya ïnsîue o Brîîs Arcîecs, TYJ/18. RïBA Brîîs Arcî-ecura Lîbrary Drawîngs and Arcîves Coecîon, London. 10. Een Soskes, 2014,Jaquelîne Tyrwî: A Transnaîonal Lîe în Urban Plannîng and Desîgn,Farnam, UK: Asgae: 147. 11. Edmund Carpener, , “ha No-So-Sîen Sea,” în Donad F. hea (Ed.), he Vîrua Marsa McLuan (pp. ), Monrea: McGî-Queen’s Unîversîy Press.
pîcatîons o Engîs Grammar.” A “Medîa Log,” argey repîcated rom McLuan’s1954 versîon oCounerblas, was pubîsed în addîîon o an “ïdea Fîe” conaînîng însîgs on ora, wrîen, and ecnoogîca cuura orms cued rom wrîîngs by Rober Graves, Edmund Leac, Waer Gro-pîus, and E. T. Ha, among many oers.Exploraîons4 body announced e ledgîng Ied o medîa sudîes as deepy rooed în anropoogîca and îerary-poeîc radîîons, bu equay înormed by sudîes o mecanîsa-îon, ecnoogy, and cuure. As Carpener and McLuan surmîsed, î was an înerdîscîpînary and experîmena ramework a was needed or sudyîng conemporary cuure: a probem “requîrîng a armony o e ars  and beavîora scîences” and an “orcesraîon o dîverse ecnîques.”
Ford Foundation
hroug a gran appîcaîon în 1953 o e Ford Foundaîon’s newy esab-îsed înerdîscîpînary researc and sudy program în beavîora scîences (mos îkey cowrîen by McLuan and Carpener and assîsed by e en docora suden Donad hea, bu submîed under e names o a Ive eam members), e group obaîned $44,250 or a wo-year researc projec devoed o sudyîng e “cangîng paerns o anguage and beavîor and  e new medîa o communîcaîon.” Wî e Cuure and Communîcaîon Semînar, e group proposed o mee e specîIc crîerîa o e new Ford program by esabîsîng a kînd o înk ank or acuy and graduae su-dens o acke e specîIc cîrcumsances osered by e new medîa o e 1950s. As e program pampe expaîned, î was expeced a e “dîrec-îon o e projec woud be assumed joîny by a beavîora scîenîs and by a scoar rom a reaed dîscîpîne” o conduc “researc on a probem requîrîng eîr coaboraîon.” hey “woud organîze a joîn semînar, eîer
12. Edmund S. Carpener, Jaqueîne Tyrwî, H. M. McLuan, W. T. Easerbrook, and D. C. Wîîams, 1953, “Unîversîy o Torono: Cangîng Paerns o Language and Beavîor and e New Medîa o Communîcaîon,” Ford Foundaîon Arcîves, New York: Rockeeer Arcîve Cener. Gran Fîe PA 53–70, Secîon 1, 1–11, ere page 3.
13.Ford Foundaîon, 1953, Ford Foundaîon Annual Repor 1953,New York: Ford Foundaîon: 67. he Ford Foundaîon’s Beavîora Scîences Program ad e saed goa o “împrovîng e conen o e beavîora scîences” by specîIcay supporîng “înerdîscîpînary researc and sudy.” Launced în 1952, e program aîmed o ep e “îneecua deveopmen o e beavîora scîences” by “împrovîng eîr reaîonsîp wî suc dîscîpînes as îsory, socîa and poîîca pîosopy, umanîsîc sudîes and ceraîn pases o economîcs” (67).
îx
x
orma or înorma, deaîng not ony wît te partîcuar probem under study but aso wît te genera probems o cross-dîscîpînary work învoved. acuty members and graduate students rom te dîferen Ieds o specîa- îzaîon woud parîcîpae în bo e researc projec and e semînar.” ïn many ways, e program ecoed scoars suc as Sîgrîed Gîedîon, wo ad ong advocaed or “Caîrs” or “Facuîes o ïnerreaîons” a unîversîîes în  Europe and Nor Amerîca. Wîîn Nor Amerîca, e Torono group’s proposa can be couned among e very Irs aemps o combîne expîcîy e sudy o cuureandcommunîcaîon. he îmîng o îs gran îs sîgnîI-can gîven e scope o conemporaneous sudîes o medîa underway în e Unîed Saes and Europe: uncîonaîs and crîîca cuura sudîes o mass communîcaîons, eorîes o cyberneîcs, sudîes o socîa îneracîon, as we as psycoogîca sudîes o e efecs o medîa on uman percepîon. Car-pener, înîîay e drîvîng orce beîndExploraîons, aced as edîor o e Irs sîx îssues—e îssues unded roug e Ford gran—beore becom-îng coedîor wî McLuan or îssues 7 and 8, wîc were sponsored by e Torono Telegram. A nîn and Ina îssue, enîedEskîmo(1959), combîned Carpener’s wrîîngs on îndîgenous ar and cuure o e Aîvîîk juxaposed wî îmages rom Immaker Rober Faery and drawîngs by Frederîck Var-ey. Ater Beacon Press pubîsed a seecîon oExploraîonsconrîbuîons în 1960, coedîed by Carpener and McLuan asExploraîons în Communî-caîon, McLuan aer resuscîaed e spîrî oExploraîonsas a “magazîne wîîn a magazîne,” a pubîcaîon însîde e Unîversîy o Torono’s aumnî magazîne, eVarsîy Graduae(1964–72).
he group’s proposa o Ford’s Beavîora Scîences Program îs reveaîng o e cenra assumpîons a woud underpîn e graduae semînar andEx-ploraîons. he proposa’s poîn o deparure îs no ye an assumpîon abou e power o medîa orms o sape conen, bu raer e undersandîng a meods or sudyîng new medîa requîred recognîîon o new paerns emergîng across ecnoogîca, cuura, and urban îe. Underpînnîng e proposa îs a conversaîon a McLuan în parîcuar ad sared wî ad-vocaes o cyberneîc eorîes. Carpener was aso o course conversan wî e wrîîngs o anropoogîss wo were deepy învoved wî deveopîng
14. “Announcemen o ïnerdîscîpînary Researc and Sudy Program.” Ford Foun-daîon, Beavîora Scîences Dîvîsîon. LAC MG 31 156 204 26. 15. See Sîgrîed Gîedîon, 1987, “A Facuy o ïnerreaîons,” în D. Huber (Ed.), Wege în dîe Öfenlîckeî(pp. 160–63), Zurîc: ïnsîu ür Gescîce und heorîe der Arcîekur.