In Homer's epic, Odysseus
lands on the island of the Cyclopes (Sicily) during his journey home from the
Trojan War and enters a cave filled with provisions with some of his men. When
the giant Polyphemus returns home with his flocks, he blocks the entrance with
a great stone and, scoffing at the usual custom of hospitality, eats two of
the men. Next morning, the giant kills and eats two more and leaves the cave
to graze his sheep.
After the giant returns
in the evening and eats two more of the men, Odysseus offers Polyphemus some
strong and undiluted wine given to him earlier on his journey. Drunk and unwary,
the giant asks Odysseus his name, promising him a guest-gift if he answers.
Odysseus tells him "¥§£µ", which in Greek
means "no one" and Polyphemus promises to eat this "Nobody"
last of all. With that, he falls into a drunken sleep. Odysseus had meanwhile
hardened a wooden stake in the fire and now drives it into Polyphemus' eye.
When Polyphemus shouts for help from his fellow giants, saying that "Nobody"
has hurt him, they think Polyphemus is being afflicted by divine power and recommend
prayer as the answer.
This project has a lot
of affinity with this tale of Homer.
Polyphemus is the Ivory
Tower that took over literature and when screened under McLuhan will loose its
one eyed perspective that was installed bye the Gutenberg technology replacing
the ear man and the tactile man.
Since they are not aware
of this bias that generates the typographic culture, our responsible for testing
what is culturally correct, blindly assume that what they "see" everyone
sees and there isn't another possible view, and that this is a signal of intelligence,
thus eliminating the perception of the wider reality that exists for humans
who use their ears and senses with their eyes. But they do it in a very hostile
manner, as Polyphemus, and their rejection of McLuhan is also a mockery of hospitality
What we are trying to do
is to "open" the eye of the one eyed Ivory Tower, recovering the earpoint
of view with electricity under McLuhan terms.
The quest is about ear/oral
vs eye/printed cultures perception of reality.