Humanistic Intelligence is the medium; our everyday living is the message.

Keynote Address at the McLuhan Symposium on Culture and Technology, Friday, October 23 from 4:00 - 5:30

Many Dimensions: The Extensions of Marshall McLuhan October 23 - 25, 1998 , 30th Anniversary. Program will host a scholarly conference entitled Many Dimensions: The Extensions of Marshall McLuhan. Contemporary scholars from multiple disciplines will present their research on media, technology and culture in the "global village".

In addition to Derrick de Kerckhove, Liss Jeffrey, Eric McLuhan, Frank Zingrone, Robert Logan, Bruce Powe, and Bob Hanke, our speakers include Jody Berland, David Crowley, Stephen Dale, Paul Grosswiler, Paul Heyer, Ethan Katsh, Paul Levinson, Robert Logan, Robert Luke, Philip Marchand, Janine Marchessault, Jean Mercier, Heather Menzies, Joshua Meyrowitz, Patrick Roy, Norman Steinhart, and Glenn Willmott. On Friday, October 23 from 4:00 - 5:30, Steve Mann, inventor of WearComp/WearCam (wearable computer invention with wearable camera), will make a free public keynote presentation titled I am a Camera: Humanistic Intelligence is the Medium; our Everyday Living is the Message. On Saturday, October 24, during the day, our speakers present their extensions of McLuhan. During the evening, a spirited banquet will feature Derrick de Kerckhove debating Arthur Kroker on Understanding New Media: Connected Intelligence or Digital Delirium? On Sunday, new scholars present their work and the McLuhan Program International will be launched.

Steve Mann's Keynote Address at the McLuhan Symposium on Culture and Technology

Just as the wheel is an extension of the leg, and radio is an extension of the voice, so too, is the camera an extension of the eye, the computer an extension of the brain, and wiring, circuits, and the internet an extension of the nervous system.
WearComp/WearCam (the presenter's wearable computer invention with wearable camera) was an experiment of the 1970s and early 1980s that made this metaphor a reality, transforming the body into not just a camera, but also a networked cyborg entity.

The presenter thus became a `photoborg' entity --- a cybernetic organism always seeking best picture, in all facets of ordinary day--to--day living. This human+computer entity evolved into Wearable Wireless Webcam, an early 1990s experiment in connectivity and shared visual space.

Currently this new philosophy of human+computer symbiosis has formed the basis of a new course at the University of Toronto, ECE1766, designed and taught by the presenter. The object of this course is to go beyond the ``learn by doing'' paradigm, and evolve toward a new framework: `learn by being'. By becoming a cyborg entity the extended body becomes part of a Humanistic Intelligence collective, and as more cyborgs join the collective, it becomes a neighbourhood of connected collective Humanistic Intelligence. The clothing that's an extension of our skin, when endowed with networked computational capability, becomes the social fabric of the community. Such neighbourhoods of people who are cameras could also reduce crime, and serve as an alternative to the Orwellian world of ubiquitous centralized video surveillance we seem to be heading towards.

Venue (setting)

Friday, October 23, 4pm

Public Keynote Presentation (16:00 - 17:30)

Prof. Steve Mann, University of Toronto, Department of Computer and Electrical Engineering

I am a Camera: Humanistic Intelligence is the Medium; our Everyday Living is the Message

Claude T. Bissell Building, 140 St. George Street, Room 205 (free admission).




Steve Mann, inventor of WearComp (wearable computer and personal imaging system), is currently a faculty member at the University of Toronto, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Dr. Mann's WearComp invention dates back to his high school days in the 1970s and early 1980s, where he was experimenting with wearable computing and personal imaging as a personal hobby.

He brought his inventions and vision to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and founded the MIT wearable computing effort in 1991, which was officially recognized by faculty members later in the mid 1990s, and subsequently grew from himself initially, to several others.

He received his PhD degree from MIT in 1997.

His previous degree is Master of Electrical Engineering (MEng) from McMaster University. Dr. Mann also holds undergraduate degrees in physics (BSc) and electrical engineering (BEng).

He was also guest-editor of a special issue on wearable computing and personal imaging in Personal Technologies journal, and one of four organizers of the ACM's first international workshop on wearable computing. He also proposed, to the IEEE, the first International Symposium on Wearable Computing (IEEE-ISWC-97), and was publications chair for that symposium. Dr. Mann has also given numerous keynotes and invited plenary lectures, including, for example, the keynote address at the first International Conference on Wearable Computing in Fairfax VA, May 1998. His present research interests include photoquantigraphic imaging, formulation of the response of objects and scenes to arbitrary lighting, creating a self-linearizing camera calibration procedure, and wearable, tetherless computer-mediated reality --- inventing the camera of the future. He has also exhibited his photoquantigraphic image composites and lightspace renderings in numerous art galleries from 1985 to present. Dr. Mann's contributions also include work in cultural criticism, such as founding the `cyborgian primitives' movement, and `Reflectionism', as described in Leonardo 31(2) http://wearcam.org/leonardo/index.html for which exhibits have included retrospective works related to his WearComp and WearCam inventions: http://wearcam.org/art.html

For more information on Dr. Mann's work, see http://www.wearcam.org and some of his articles such as http://wearcam.org/ieeecomputer.html and http://wearcam.org/procieee.html

Slides from Prof. Mann's Keynote Address may be seen at http://wearcam.org/mcluhan-keynote/index.htm