I initially scanned selected pages of Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore’s The Medium is the Massage, which were then cut up and divided into six sections according to their relative position on the page – the top-left section becoming section one, the top-right of the page becoming section two, the middle-left becoming section three, etc..
I used these fragments to create a Shockwave movie which allows for the cutting-up of the “book.” As you press – or massage – the book the fragments blend and cycle according to where and how hard you massage. If you press near the top-left of the book the first section will cycle and transform; if you press near the bottom-right of the book, the last section will mutate, etc.. Which fragments appear depend on how hard you massage the book: the more pressure you apply to the cover the deeper the images cycle from out of the book. Since each fragment retains its chronological position according to the other fragments within its section, increasing the pressure will retrieve images nearer to the end of the book.
The signifying contents of the book emerge and resonate with the remediation and rematerialization of the digitized text. Teeming with generative ideas concerning copyright and appropriation, mechanization of labor, fragmentation, purposelessness, bodily interface, visual repetition, technological transformation, etc., McLuhan and Fiore’s “message” is ripe for recontextualization, for digital “ex-tension,” a massaging out of tensions, a release of the intensive properties within the book.
Our time is a time for crossing barriers, for erasing old categories – for probing around. When two seemingly disparate elements are imaginatively poised, put in apposition in new and unique ways, startling discoveries often result. … “The Medium is the Massage” is a look-around to see what is happening. It is a collide-oscope of interfaced solutions.
– M.M & Q.F.