Media Releases

McLuhan100 May events: Robert Bean’s Illuminated Manuscripts opens at the Coach House Institute

May 4, 2011

TORONTO, ON — Mar­shall McLuhan cen­te­nary cel­e­bra­tions con­tin­ue this month with Sco­tia­bank CONTACT Pho­tog­ra­phy Fes­ti­val. The writ­ings of Mar­shall McLuhan pro­vide a crit­i­cal focus for CONTACT 2011 as a cat­a­lyst for dis­course on pho­tog­ra­phy. To exam­ine a rapid­ly chang­ing soci­ety, McLuhan looked beyond what we imme­di­ate­ly see – the fig­ure – towards what typ­i­cal­ly goes unno­ticed – the ground. From pho­to-doc­u­men­tary projects to con­cep­tu­al nar­ra­tive approach­es to image mak­ing, the exam­i­na­tion of fig­ure and ground as metaphor, alle­go­ry, com­po­si­tion or probe will fuel the focus for CONTACT 2011.

To com­mem­o­rate this icon­ic nation­al vision­ary and cel­e­brate the cen­te­nary of McLuhan’s birth, Cana­di­an artist Robert Bean has been com­mis­sioned to cre­ate a site-spe­cif­ic exhi­bi­tion in McLuhan’s for­mer sem­i­nar room at the Coach House, at 39A Queen’s Park Cres­cent East.

The exhi­bi­tion, Illu­mi­nat­ed Man­u­scripts, opened on May 3 and will run until June 25th at the Coach House (Cen­tre for Cul­ture and Tech­nol­o­gy), 39A Queen’s Park Cres­cent East (Tues./Fri. 12–5 pm, Sat. 12–4 pm). The art show is about writ­ing, archives and pho­tog­ra­phy. Illu­mi­nat­ed Man­u­scripts “empha­sizes the figure/ground rela­tion­ship that is phys­i­cal­ly inscribed on the sur­face of Mar­shall McLuhan’s doc­u­ments and man­u­scripts. It con­tex­tu­al­izes his writ­ing process with­in a frame­work of obso­lete tech­nol­o­gy,” accord­ing to Bean.

The exhi­bi­tion is orga­nized with the Fac­ul­ty of Infor­ma­tion ‘s McLuhan Pro­gram in Cul­ture and Tech­nol­o­gy (Coach House Insti­tute, UofT), and McLuhan100.

Oth­er McLuhan100 Events in May  2011 include:

•    Sat­ur­day May 7, 2 pm — Jane’s Walk:  Mar­shall McLuhan’s Toron­to (meet in the park­ing lot at 39A Queen’s Park Cres­cent.  This tour shines a spot­light on Toronto’s extra­or­di­nary pub­lic intel­lec­tu­al, Mar­shall McLuhan, born 100 years ago. It show­cas­es diverse mem­o­ries of the social, artis­tic and intel­lec­tu­al net­works that con­sti­tut­ed the McLuhan phe­nom­e­non. It helps Toron­to­ni­ans appre­ci­ate the evo­lu­tion of tech­nolo­gies in the 20th cen­tu­ry and the trans­for­ma­tion of their city into a net­worked soci­ety. The tour includes an exclu­sive vis­it of the Coach House where Mar­shall McLuhan taught for 30 years.  Cur­rent­ly on exhib­it at the Coach House is one of Sco­tia­bank CONTACT Pho­tog­ra­phy Festival’s Pri­ma­ry Exhi­bi­tions “Illu­mi­nat­ed Man­u­scripts” by Hal­i­fax Artist Robert Bean, spe­cial­ly com­mis­sioned by the McLuhan Pro­gram in Cut­lure and Tech­nol­o­gy for this cen­te­nary year.  The walk is led by Dominique Schef­fel-Dunand and Paul Far­rel­ly of the McLuhan Pro­gram in Cul­ture and Tech­nol­o­gy at Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to.

•    May 7 – McLuhan’s Toron­to Down­load­able Pod­cast. The above Jane’s Walk is also avail­able as a pod­cast host­ed by Nora Young and down­load­able from CBC’s Radio Show “Spark” and from McLuhan100 at

•    May 14, 1 pm, Talk With Philip Marc­hand at Mad­den Hall, Carr Hall, St. Michael’s Col­lege, 100 St. Joseph Street – Part of Sco­tia­bank CONTACT Pho­tog­ra­phy Fes­ti­val. This engag­ing talk with Philip Marc­hand, author of The Medi­um and the Mes­sen­ger, looks at McLuhan’s con­cepts of figure/ground to give con­text to the fes­ti­val theme. Sev­er­al oth­er schol­ars offer per­spec­tives on fig­ure and ground explored in dis­ci­plines includ­ing, psy­chol­o­gy, phi­los­o­phy, and com­put­ing.  To reg­is­ter call 416 946 7089 or email  Pre­sent­ed in part­ner­ship with McLuhan 100, the McLuhan Pro­gram in Cul­ture and Tech­nol­o­gy, Fac­ul­ty of Infor­ma­tion Coach House Insti­tute, and Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to Art Cen­tre, UofT.

•    May 28–29, Doors Open Toron­to, 11 am – 6 pm; McLuhan100 fea­tures two sites at this year’s DOTO:  the Coach House at 39A Queen’s Park Cres­cent East on the St. Michael’s cam­pus and the iSchool, Fac­ul­ty of Infor­ma­tion, Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to in the Claude Bis­sell Build­ing, 140 St. George Street, adja­cent to Robarts Library.

As part of its com­mit­ment to the lega­cy of McLuhan, Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to iSchool Dean, Sea­mus Ross, says the McLuhan100 fea­tures an excit­ing year packed with events. “We are proud that this U of T schol­ar, long believed to have influ­enced the direc­tion of our dig­i­tal soci­ety, is being acknowl­edged and cel­e­brat­ed as an  incu­ba­tor of ideas.”

Oth­er McLuhan events for 2011 can be found at, the Twit­ter feed can be fol­lowed @McLuhan100, and Face­book at

McLuhan100 is a col­lab­o­ra­tion between the City of Toron­to, the Fac­ul­ty of Information’s McLuhan Pro­gram in Cul­ture and Tech­nol­o­gy, and Mozil­la Foun­da­tion.  McLuhan100 has been finan­cial­ly assist­ed by the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to, Ryer­son Uni­ver­si­ty, the Ontario Cul­tur­al Attrac­tions Fund, a pro­gram of the Gov­ern­ment of Ontario through the Min­istry of Tourism and Cul­ture, admin­is­tered by the Ontario Cul­tur­al Attrac­tions Fund Cor­po­ra­tion, the City of Toron­to Eco­nom­ic Devel­op­ment and Cul­ture Divi­sion, and Mozil­la Foun­da­tion.



For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact:

Lilie Zen­del
City of Toron­to
(416) 392‑9863

Dominique Schef­fel-Dunand
Direc­tor, McLuhan Pro­gram in Cul­ture and Tech­nol­o­gy
Coach House Insti­tute, Fac­ul­ty of Infor­ma­tion, Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to