From tactile to magic: McLuhan, changing sensorium and contemporary culture

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Today, McLuhan’s heritage (namely his methodological attitude, his refusal towards ‘substi- tution’ in favour of re-mediation and his ‘environmental’ approach) remains valuable for the interpretation of the relationship between media and the sensorium as well as for the under- standing of emerging cultural issues and dilemmas. This paper will draw upon theoretical and empirical evidence to address three distinct but interrelated aspects of McLuhan topicality, namely: I. Media as extensions; that is, the overall ‘visual to tactile’ shift in the sensorium and the new meaning of the eye in the tactile era (scopic, haptic, phagic, acoustic eye); tactile media as ‘immersive environment’. II. Tactile sensorium and new forms of local and ‘virtual’ relationships (from global village to digital social networking services, or SNS). III. The relationship between touch, the rise of a ‘new magic’ and the potentially risky ‘remediation’ of the global village.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnderstanding Media, today. McLuhan in the Age of Convergence Culture
EditorsMatteo Ciastellardi, Emanuela Patti
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • McLuhan
  • Sensorium


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