Genuine Inquiry 005

Electric McLuhan









Owen Kelly



May 14, 2021


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This episode continues a trilogy of audio essays concerned with the work of Marshall McLuhan and its continuing relevance in the digital age. In this episode Owen Kelly looks at what McLuhan means by “the electric age”.

He starts at the beginning, with the introduction of street lighting in Wabash Indiana, and then looks at some illustrative examples from the invention of celebrity to the introduction of the Walkman and the arrival of the computer gaming industry. He concludes by asking which came first: the desire to publicise your sex life or the invention of the home video camera.

This builds upon McLuhan’s key concepts, outlined in the first episode, and sets the stage for the final episode which will examine the internet and world wide web from a McLuhanesque perspective, and discuss the role of “art” in a digital world.