This poem showcases Jhave’s talent for delicately combining theory, science, and intensely personal material in a native digital multimedia poem. The subtitle for this poem is ” a confession of carnal confusion concerning an absence of cognition” which he explains is the result of encountering “The Medium is the Message” as a teenager and being sexually aroused by one of its images. He also critiques that “most humanities scholars (McLuhan included) are ignorant of the raw technical complexity of neurology and data plumbing.” Considering that Jhave has named his website Glia after an essential component of the nervous system called Neuroglia, it is clear that he knows a thing or two about the brain and its mechanisms.
This poem is presented in several short stanzas along with quotes by McLuhan, neuroscientists, and computer scientists, replacing the poem and quotes piece by piece on a 4 second schedule, and looping back to the beginning when they reach the end. The videos are longer in duration and are also looped, changing the image-text juxtapositions as you reread the work. At the heart of this poem is an explanation of its title, extending the primary idea behind his earlier work “Typeoms.”
The poem does a beautiful job of showing how thought and words are grounded in the body and how other media (books, television, computers, Kleenex) shape the human body and its practices, softening dichotomies (body & intellect, content & form, medium & message) into feedback loops.