The ever-evolving ways that we interact with each other, our world, and our selves through technology is a topic as worn as the devices we clutch and carry everyday. How did we get here? Drawing from the disciplines of media ecology and media archaeology, as well as bringing fresh perspectives from subcultures of music and skateboarding, the book illuminates aspects of technological mediation that have been overlooked along the way. With a Foreword by Andrew McLuhan, The Medium Picture shows how immersion in unmoored technologies of connectivity finds us in a world of pure media and redefines who we are, how we are, and what we will be.

Object and image by Roy Christopher. Inspired by Douglas Hoftadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach (1979). Here's the back story of its creation.


"What we need is a parkour for the Interzone triangulated by 'street' culture, the poets laureate of digital disruption, and the hairier fringes of academic discourse. If anybody's going to take a crack at it, Roy Christopher—certified skaterboy, Ph.D. in Communication Studies, fractal geometer tracing the coastlines of subcultural thought—is that thinker." — Mark Dery, author, Born to be Posthumous

“Roy Christopher's writing shows delightful erudition and an expansive command of both creative conjecture and the historical landscape." — Brian H. Spitzberg, Senate Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Communication, San Diego State University

"Roy gets how music relates to changing ideas about language, technology, social interaction, and how seemingly disparate genres inform each other. His ideas aren't clouded by impenetrable academia." — Nils Bernstein, Artist Liaison and Director of Publicity, Matador Records

"Roy Christopher is as well-versed in the arcana of skateboarding and BMX as he is in the writings of Marshall McLuhan. Going from place to place, his nomadic lifestyle mirrors the multiplicity of his interests... a postmodern, intellectual Bedouin." — Wei-En Chang, Footwear Design Director, DC Shoes

“Roy Christopher has a gift for making a McLuhanesque argument. His work is well-written, well-argued, and timely." — John Oakes, co-founder, O/R Books

"Brilliant, pathbreaking, palpable insights... Worthy of McLuhan.” — Paul Levinson, author, New New Media

"This book looks wonderful!" — Laurie Anderson

Table of Contents:

  • Foreword by Andrew McLuhan
  • Preface
  • I. DISCONNECTION: Forking Paths
    1. Err Apparent
    2. Audible Arrangements
    3. Message in a Bottleneck
  • II. THRESHOLD: Walls, Windows, Doors
    1. Time of the Signs
    2. The Surface Industry
    3. Metaphors Be With You
  • III. BRIDGE: The Human Patina
    1. Disguise the Limit
    2. Location is Everywhere
    3. Suture Self



Whether lifted images or quotations from a text, the allusions themselves outmode the vehicles that carry them.


From the Walkman and cassette tape to smart phones and streaming, a bit on the parallel paths of personal media and piracy.


The medium is only the message at a certain scale, and that scale is diminished.


As contexts collapse, we lose control of the processes, and we sometimes lose ourselves altogether.