The Medium is the Massage
When Berlin-based production company MARKENFILM BERLIN approached us to give their office entrance a little facelift, we decided to pay tribute to philosopher Marshall McLuhan. And more precisely to his famous phrase “The Medium is the Massage”, urging people to focus on the medium itself rather than the content it carries. In fact this quote provided a perfect starting point for us to develop an artwork that brings together all sorts of materials: Spray paint, wood, neon tubes and paper were applied in order to communicate the message in a fresh and cheerful way.
The first edition of McLuhan’s publication from 1967 came back from the typesetter with a typing error int the title. The original title “The Medium is the Message” had been turned into “The Medium its the Massage”.
When McLuhan became aware of it, he exclaimed, “Leave it alone! It’s great, and right on target! Now there are possible four readings for the last word of the title, all of them accurate: Message and Mess Age, Massage and Mass Age.” Since then, the “accidental” title has been adopted for the follow-up editions. And we decided to stick with it as well, to keep alive the spirit of Mr. McLuhan.
Special thanks to Mo Cohen and Gingko Press for kindly approving the use of the protected book title.