The Media Box was a place where stories were to be told, saved
and sent on so they could be retold. The name “media box” was
a moniker, a tag, a brand describing a place intended to face
off with the very idea of “brand”.
The Media Box was going to be located in the St.
Louis Grand Center arts district, across from two museums - the Pulitzer
Foundation for the Arts and the Contemporary
Art Museum. Next
door was Saint
Louis University. This is where seventy years
earlier Marshall McLuhan and Father Walter Ong began to rethink
how we tell, save and send on stories. And where these two men
wrote how monikers, tags and brands stand in the way of the stories
we need to tell if we want to continue to tell stories.
The Media Box grew out of everything that makes up this web
site; the Josephine Baker archive cycle - the MediaARTS’s
lab - the night club Cabool - a Sam Clemens remix. But it was
It was not built. Ironically a building about storytelling was
a victim of a “bad brand; a casualty of misunderstandings
and skewed press regarding public space and private property
rights. And it happened very quickly, right before the United
States Supreme Court decision on eminent domain - Kelso
vs. City of New London Connecticut., 545 U.S. 469.
But before it failed much work was done. Below are links; links
to maps, maps that mark where the Media Box was going to be built,
and to a series of video interviews describing where the Media
Box came from, and where it hoped to go. The maps were drawn
in the studio Axiome. They show the Media Box site at the intersection
of the bawdy and the bookish. It’s where a theatrical Great
White Way once intersected with a learned place, Saint Louis
University. The interviews were held with the Australian
Creative Resources Online ARCO) at the University of Queensland.”
The Australian Creative Resources Online is not the only web
site about the Media Box. There are others, sites which are biting
and unfairly mean, and where the misunderstandings and skewed
press continue. Like everything in today’s digital playing
field nothing ever goes away. It never dissolves. Never quite
fades. Just sits there, odd since the actual site for the Media
Box was contaminated. It was an ecological brown-field.