Café Mouffe: Jamie O’Neil Remixes McLuhan

McLuhan Remix: Prologue 1/3 from the Kurtweibers channel.

McLuhan Remix: The Medium is the Mix 2/3 from the Kurtweibers channel.

McLuhan Remix: Epilogue 3/3 from the Kurtweibers channel.

Jamie O’Neil is an assistant professor of digital media arts at Canisius College in Buffalo and a video and performance artist. He is the creator of the mock motivational speaker Kurt Weibers. I missed Jamie’s MiT6 talk, Mashing-Up as Video Essay Writing: A Distinct Form of Literacy. Here’s the abstract:

McLuhan described “the medium is the massage” as a “collide-oscope of interfaced situations” i.e. a series of preexisting concepts that were juxtaposed and combined in interesting ways. His famous puns, aphorisms and neologisms served to open up new possibilities for his concepts because he realized that “precision is sacrificed for a greater degree of suggestion.” This paper reflects on a recent project ( that “the death of the author” has only further enabled. Remixing (and by extension, mashing-up) are an important form of literacy for digital natives, whose YouTube mash-ups point to a day when Godard’s idea of the video essay (exemplified in Histoire(s) du cinema) will supplant the .doc. The Medium Is the Mix is a video essay that was created with this in mind, ironically, it was made for a class of students who were turned-off by reading McLuhan’s words only on paper… this is ironic because it was for this reason that McLuhan (with the help of Fiore and Agel) remixed his own message in a pictorial, graphic, non-linear, “cool” paperback in the first place.

Encore: See Jamie O’Neil’s The Medium Is the Mix website and his discussion of fair use and YouTube takedowns.

Café Mouffe opens on Fridays. Please drop by for a listen and a chat. Sometimes the embedded videos don’t work here due to bandwidth constraints, but you’ll always find links to video sources in the notes. Try them. If you’re curious about the Mouffe, here’s the original idea behind it’s creation.

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