Medium Is The Message/Explanation Of Class Exercise 1

For our first class exercise in MSIT3810, we were asked to create an image that supports Marshall McLuhan’s “The Medium Is The Message” theory. For those unaware of this theory, it basically claims that the medium helps form and shape the message being told (take for example the Nixon vs. Kennedy debates; people who watched it on TV said Kennedy won while people listening on the radio thought Nixon won). In that regard, then, the audience must be a part of the content, which the medium ensures.

With that in mind, I decided to create the picture above. I took a shot of an Obama action figure looking at the computer screen, and then added a headshot picture of the Obama doll in Photoshop. Instead of just typing the text in different colors, I actually placed three boxes over the Obama screen image (red, white and blue) and then put text over it. Using the masking tool we learned in our second class (ctrl/alt/g), I had the text masking the boxes, and thus obtaining that color.

The tongue-and-cheek idea behind this image was to highlight how key of a tool the medium is for world figures (especially politicians) to use in order to relay their message to both a new and already loyal audience. The internet alone has made it easier for people to zone in on specific target audiences. Thus, by having Obama watching himself online, I was trying to show how not only is the medium as important to delivering the message as the messenger, but also how the medium incorporates the target audience into the message. In a sense, the medium turns the audience into a component of the message.

Does this make sense? Is my description a little wordy/confusing? Either way, what do you think?


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