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Marshall Mc. Luhan Tetrad + Figure and Ground Diagrams “ The Media is the message. ”
What is Figure and Ground? Ø Figure: The medium of the media Ø Ground: Context of the media Ø We must look at both the figure and ground of any given type of media because neither element is complete without the other
The Study of Media of the Past Present and Future Ø Mc. Luhan argued that we must study media in their historical context, particularly in relation to the technologies that preceded them. Ø The present environment, itself made up of the effects of previous technologies, which gives rise to new technologies, which, in their turn, further affect society and individuals. [
What is a Tetrad + Figure and Ground Diagrams? Ø The tetrad is a means of examining the effects on society of any technology/medium by dividing its effects into four categories and displaying them simultaneously
How does it work? Ø The tetrad + figure and ground diagram helps you ask four questions: Ø 1)What does the medium enhance? Ø 2)What does the medium make obsolete? Ø 3)What does the medium retrieve that had been obsolesced earlier? Ø 4)What does the medium flip into when pushed to extremes?
What does it look like? Ø This is an example of a blank tetrad & figure and ground diagram
For example… Ø If you are talking about radio, one may ask: Ø Enhancement: Radio enhances news and music via sound Ø Obsolescence: Radio reduces the importance of print and the visual. Ø Retrieval: Radio returns the spoken word to the forefront Ø Reversal: Acoustic radio flips into audio-visual T. V.
Works Cited Hempell, Anthony. "Tetrad: Concept. " Anthony Hempell User Experience Consulting. 1996. Web. 20 Apr. 2010. <http: //www. anthonyhempell. com/papers/tetrad/conc ept. html>. Unknown. "Marshall Mc. Luhan. " Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. 16 Apr. 2010. Web. 20 Apr. 2010. <http: //en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Marshall_Mc. Luhan#Te trad>.