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The Sound of Visuals

While reading the second half of “The Medium is the Message”, by McLuhan, I noticed a lot of unique visuals throughout the book. Many of which caught my eye and were very peculiar and interesting each in their own specific way. However, one in particular caught my eye more than the rest of them. On page 110-111, the author is talking about sound. He mentions how “the ear favors no particular ‘point of view'”. He states that when we hear music, it is not just in a particular area in the air, but we are hearing it from all around us. He describes visual spaces as an organized continuum, whereas the ear world as one of simultaneous relationships.

This by itself is a very thought-inspiring idea, but it is the image next to this that I found truly intriguing. The image was similar to what you would find in a comic book. The classic image of a graphic speech bubble that says “BANG!” on it. I think this is a great way to show the point that the author was trying to make. It symbolizes sound, and while we cannot actually hear this sound, we can guess based off of what we know what this would sound like. I also thought of what the author said about how the world of visuals differs from the world of the ear. With this, we cannot actually hear the word, so we are only able to visualize it in a specific area. However, if we were actually hearing this image, rather than seeing it, it would fill an entire area, not just one certain part.

I also like the way that the visual does its best to symbolize what the word would sound like if we were hearing it. When you think of a bang, it is generally very loud, and that is what the visual tries to capture. The image pops out and is very hard to ignore, similar to a loud banging sound. This might not be exactly what the author had in mind for these pages, considering most of his book seemed to have hidden meanings within the words and images, but I found that this was still a very good way at viewing what he was talking about.

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