Touch Teaching McLuhan

This is a view of the touch-sensitive home screen from the "Who is Marshall McLuhan" kiosk. Touched, the icons play movies, audio, photos, books, biography and interviews with Marshall McLuhan. Untouched, the kiosk randomly plays the content for walkers-by.

About the Who is Marshall McLuhan Kiosk

In the 1960's, Marshall McLuhan researched, wrote, and lectured brilliantly about the essential character of all media and their effects on people. Today, his insights and philosophies continue to provide an understanding of the power of multiple media in an emerging digital culture.

This interactive piece had its roots as a simple HyperCard stack developed by Mark Beaulieu for his students at San Francisco State University's Multimedia Studies Program to explore McLuhan's contribution as a way to define the aesthetics of interactive digital media. For this kiosk installation, Beaulieu deepened the content and design to allow people to read, hear, and see McLuhan in thought and action through text, audio, and video clips from various sources. Some contributions came from the Marshall McLuhan Center on Global Communications in Toronto, Canada.

This Miko Plynth kiosk, designed by King Products Inc., was donated by Apple Computer Inc. for the entire run of The Medium at Theater Artaud in San Francisco, April 26-May 7, 1995, and at the Siggraph 1995 convention in the lobby of the premiere of the Blue Man Group. The hardware is similar to an Apple PowerBook 540c with the addition of a touch-sensitive screen. The interactive software program was written in Allegiant SuperCard.

Special Thanks to:

Mark Wu, Apple Computer, Inc.

Dana Morgan, Digital Dreams

Don King, King Products, Inc.

Nelson Thall, Marshall McLuhan Center on Global Communications

Chris Okon, Okon New Media

Mark Beaulieu, Digital Lantern

Timothy O'Brien, Modus Ensemble