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artUWindsor’s School of Creative Arts will mount an exhibition and symposium on the work of communication theorist Marshall McLuhan.

Exhibition and symposium to celebrate communication theorist

Marshall McLuhan is coming home again.

An exhibition inspired by the pop culture icon’s theories about media and communication is opening at UWindsor’s School of Creative Arts (SoCA). Feedback #4: Marshall McLuhan and the Arts, curated by professor Michael Darroch, is a joint exhibition with the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. It runs at the SoCA Armouries until March 8, and in Detroit until March 23.

In conjunction with the exhibition is a symposium March 1 at SoCA and March 2 in Detroit. Called the EDGY MEDIA Symposium, it brings together scholars, curators and artists to present studies on the ways borders and migration shape communication and media arts.

“The symposium starts with the premise that experiences of borders and the necessity to migrate have long shaped theories, methods and practices within media and communication studies and related media arts,” Dr. Darroch said.

McLuhan was a communication theorist whose studies on the mass media gained him international fame in the 1960s while living in the United States. Canadian by birth, he came back to Canada to teach at Assumption College, the precursor to the University of Windsor, from 1944 to 1946.

“The exhibition and symposium mark 75 years since Marshall McLuhan crossed back over the U.S.-Canada border,” Darroch said. That milestone is what helped Darroch land the exhibition and put on the symposium with a grant from the Social Sciences and humanities Research Council of Canada.

The exhibition is the fourth iteration of one initiated in the Netherlands. It’s the first time it has been outside of Europe.

It features two installations of McLuhan’s own works, as well as works by UWindsor faculty members Jennifer Willet and Iain Baxter&.

Darroch said each iteration is different. “It responds to itself. It’s a feedback loop.”

The symposium features a keynote lecture at 5:30 p.m. on March 1 by New York University’s Radha Hedge in SoCA’s Performance Hall, followed by a reception for the exhibition from 7 to 9 p.m.  The exhibit and symposium lecture are open to the public. Note: SoCA is open Monday to Fridays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and is closed on Feb. 18 and 22.

Sarah Sacheli