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Exhibition: Looking for Marshall McLuhan in Afghanistan

Opening reception: Wednesday November 26 at 6:30pm.

Rita Leistner, photojournalist and artist, accompanied a Marine battalion in Afghanistan as part of Project Basetrack about social media.

Rita Leistner is a Canadian lens-based artist whose concerned photography uses conceptual approaches to create photographs with a special relationship to current events and the human condition. Greeted by Toronto’s Alliance Française, she will exhibit her work Looking for Marshall McLuhan in Afghanistan and talk about her photojournalist job, her investigations about the impact of technologies on images and her work on first nations.

In January 2011, Rita Leistner, photojournalist and artists, was embedded with a U.S. marine battalion deployed to Afghanistan as a member of Project Basetrack, an experiment in using new technologies in social media to extend traditional war reporting. The Basetrack project –an international collaboration of designers, writers, researchers and photographers– used the new social media to bring the Marines closer to their people back home. It comprised a live website with daily posts of stories and images taken by iPhone cameras with the application Hipstamatic and also a Facebook Page where families back home could post comments.

Marshall McLuhan’s linguistic and semiological investigations have inspired Rita Leistner’s. He said that a medium affects the society in which it plays a role not only by the content delivered over the medium, but also by the characteristics of the medium itself (The Medium is the Massage). In a series of images she calls “I-Probes” 1, Rita Leistner questions the extensions of man –all media and technologies– inflecting the face of war and men.

Exhibition: Looking for Marshall McLuhan in Afghanistan

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