The article develops Marshall McLuhan’s approach to the interplay between media, the sensorium, and reality. McLuhan’s concepts of “acoustic space” and “visual space” are unfolded with regard to the consequences that digital media will have on the human ability to perceive reality. Reality–sensorium interaction is systematized in the article. This systematization includes the environments of the given, the represented, and the induced. These environments are shaped by sequential stages of media evolution, which relate to preliterate media, alphabet-based media, and digital media. Existing and upcoming media technologies are presumed to alter human biology and transcend it. Within the set of media technologies that alter human biology, artificial flavours, electrically induced senses, immersive media, augmented reality, and virtual reality are treated. Within the set of media impacts that will change the human sensorium, the dismissal of gravity (related to the McLuhanian “angelism” of electronic discarnate man), the switch in navigation from biological networking to social networking, the sense of others, and the thirst for response are treated. Plato, Lenin, Wittgenstein, Benveniste, Logan, Carr, Shirky, and other thinkers are employed in the article to support these McLuhanian speculations, and sketch out prospective trends in the evolution of media and the sensorium.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited