Fredrich Kittler and Kerouac's Typewriter: Questioning McLuhan and Other Musings on Freidrich Kittler’s Three-Part Model of Media and Perception

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In this essay, the foundation is laid out for the basis of a media theory declaration that is an alternative view of Marshall McLuhan's mantra that the media is the message. In the first part of this essay the alternative theory is stated, and holds that the media is not necessarily the message, but that the media is a message-concept transportation entity. The second part of the essay contains the application of the theory, focusing on the process and the invention of the typewriter viewed through the critical lens of Freidrich Kittler, and the literary work of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William Burroughs to project the applications of the theory stated in part one. The essay utilizes Freidrich Kittler's three-part model of media in perception, including Gramophone, Film, and Typewriter, resulting in a series of more complete and comprehensive musings on the axis of association that can be drawn between medium, message, and author in this respect.

Keywords: Media Studies, Literature, Gramophone, Film, Typewriter
Stream: Meaning and Representation
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: The Machined Word

Dr. Gregory O’Toole

Adjunct Professor, Digital Media Studies, The School of Art and Art History, University of Denver
Denver, CO, USA


GREGORY O'TOOLE (b.1973) is the author of eleven books including Big City Freight Train Blues, Denver Poems (Ghost Road Press, 2005); Outlaw, American Poems on the Run (Number Nine Books, 2003); and Say No More, Poetry from the Back Roads and Blue Highways of America and the Adventures of the Interstellar Roadside Prophet (RMS Books, 2001). O'Toole's poetry has recently been included in a literary map of the city of Denver alongside Walt Whitman, Allen Ginsberg, Hunter S. Thompson, and Jack Kerouac, among others.

O'Toole has received the Opportunity Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Montana Arts Council for founding and publishing GREENDOORHOUSE, a nationally distributed literary arts grassroots periodical that spotlighted emerging artists and creators of cross-media foundation. O'Toole's literary work is part of the permanent collections of the University of California at Berkeley, Northwestern University, John Carroll University, The Art Institute of Chicago's Poetry Center, and the University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Chicago Library, and Columbia College. O’Toole’s third poetry collection, "Big City Freight Train Blues, Denver Poems" was recently recognized on the Valparaiso University Poetry Review 2005 - 2006 Recommended Books list.

Other Awards include: The Bare Walls Scholarship Endowment from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago; 2006 Colorado Book Award writer in finalist anthology; Dean's Academic Scholarship from the University of Denver; Graduate Teaching Assistantship from the University of Denver; Honorary Member of the National Campaign for Tolerance; Best Spot News Photograph from the Montana Newspaper Association; Consortium Essay Contest winner from Spalding Sporting Goods, and acceptance into the MFA program at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics.

ACADEMIC RESEARCH. A Doctoral student in Media + Cultural Theory, O'Toole's critical research is concerned with media and the psychological (personal) and sociological (mass) effects they carry in today's communication media-based culture.

ADJUNCT PROFESSOR. O'Toole is currently a member of the Adjunct Faculty at the University of Denver in the Digital Media Studies (DMS) department in the School of Communication, as well as the Electronic Media Art + Design (eMAD) program in the School of Art + Art History. O'Toole has authored two listed courses in the DU catalog: Personal Media Development and Environmental Media. O'Toole has been invited to publish a chapter in an upcoming book by Nova Scientific Publishers on the use of the internet in higher education. A paper "Hypertext Logotherapy," has been accepted for presentation at the 2007 Media Ecology Association Convention, to be held in Mexico City, México, at Technólogico de Monterrey, Campus Estado de México. Other papers have been submitted around the world.

VISUAL ARTWORK. O'Toole's paintings, photography and digital collage works have exhibited in both one-man and group gallery exhibitions and auctions across the United States; Kotka, Finland; Göteborg, Sweden, Australia; including Rhonda Schaller Studio (New York City); Gallery 1633 (Chicago); Excalibur (Chicago); Buffalo Trails Gallery (Bigfork, MT); the Jest Galleries (Bigfork and Whitefish, Montana); and Cochenour Gallery at Georgetown College. O'Toole's landscape oils are currently represented by Jest Gallery in Western Montana. O'Toole's award-winning new media documentary (Quantumedia) photographs are featured in Cellbytes international exhibit, several western U.S. newspapers and noted web sites; and as cover art for American published essay collections and novels.

INTERNET DEVELOPMENT. O'Toole has developed web content for The Oprah Winfrey Show, the International Digital Media and Arts Association, musician Ben Suchy, the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and several other departments and colleges at the University of Denver. O'Toole is currently developing a new multimedia application that posits both live and archived solo Quantumedia Technodyssey journalistic documentation from anywhere in the world, focusing on the media's influence on culture.

FUTURE. From here, and, thenceforth, he plans to wander the globe with his family, teaching media studies and publishing his critical and creative writings, photographs, and paintings, each of a Quantumedia nature.

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