(only part of the article quoted)
“Globalization is a two-edged sword that extends Western knowledge everywhere but threatens the wisdoms of the Eastern world. According to McLuhan, the world needs a combination of both Western and Eastern knowledge. The West operates by way of visual space as a linear, quantitative mode of perception, while the East operates by way of acoustic space as a holistic, qualitative mode of perception. Because both worlds are constantly colliding, we need a mutual understanding in order to foster peace (see McLuhan and Powers)”
“McLuhan encapsulates Western visual space as a “mind’s eye” that connects abstract figures with definitive boundaries and is “homogenous (uniform everywhere), and static (qualitatively unchangeable)” (McLuhan and Powers, p. 45). Eastern acoustic space as a “mind’s ear” encompasses both preliterate and postliterate cultures.
It is nonhomogenous and discontinuous. As McLuhan relates: “Its resonant and interpenetrating processes are simultaneously related with centers everywhere and boundaries nowhere. Like music … acoustic space requires neither proof nor explanation but is made manifest through its cultural content” (p. 45). Hence visual and acoustic spaces are “bicultural.” They are at the same time incompatible (like history and eternity) and compatible (like science and art). According to McLuhan, the East utilizes both visual and acoustic space. As he writes, “A Westerner, for example, arranges flowers in space; the Chinese and Japanese harmonize the space between the flowers” (pp. 62–63). Manipulating the discontinuous space, the Asians fill the void with imagination. In this sense, the overly logical Western world could learn from the East.”
Read more: Globalization in Asia – The Global Village – Space, Mcluhan, East, West, Acoustic, and Visual
Thanks to evon for the link =)
As I read about visual perception today, studies pointed out the difference between westerner’s perception and easterner’s perception. The west tend to focus on the foreground first in a picture but the east will tend to look at the background first, and also look at picture in a holistic manner. E.g asians will be able to spot the river in the background first and relate that the foreground fish lives in the water.
To simplify things, westerners tend to arrange/see the positive space first while easterners takes in negative space and the bigger picture in visual perception.
So from this different perception emphasis on the same picture, it is the culture that made us different? But what exactly shape us to perceive in this manner? Is it individualism vs communitarianism?