words by Wade Wallerstein
photos by Jon Bauer
In its 8th annual edition, Gray Area Festival 2022: Distant Early Warnings brought together artists and thought leaders from across disciplines around Marshall McLuhan’s concept of the artist as a kind of distant early warning system for culture and society. Over public forum lectures and conversations, workshops, and performances, Distant Early Warnings raised the stakes for the role of cultural first responders now, carrying forward these ideas into new trajectories for the future. From philosophical musings by Timothy Morton, to an explosive, wall-banging performance by Clipping, this was a whole new way of thinking through the media that McLuhan wrote about more than half a century ago.