Gray Area Festival Exhibition

Exhibition Dates: September 29 – October 30
Gray Area, San Francisco

RSVP to the Member Preview  RSVP to the Opening Party

Exhibition Preview: September 29, 4PM – 5PM
Opening Party: September 29, 8PM – 11PM
Paige Emery – To Recalibrate With Tree Divination, 2022


Tega Brain, Paige Emery, Huntrezz, Claudia Larcher, Sam Lavigne,
Marshall McLuhan, Caroline Sinders, Serife Wong, Alice Yuan Zhang


Presented for the first time, DISTANT EARLY WARNINGS is an exhibition of historic materials from the McLuhan Institute collection posed in dialogue with artworks produced by seven contemporary thinkers and creators critically engaged with today’s media landscape. DISTANT EARLY WARNINGS traces the development of McLuhan’s concept of artists as cultural first responders from its early philosophical presentation to development into multimedia, cross-industry projects before leading into the continued impact of and need for social distant early warning structures today.

As McLuhan’s ideas gained traction on the world’s stage, he became a pervasive influence on emerging media artists and the wider art world. The contemporary artists presented in today’s selection demonstrate material and philosophical explorations of ancient, present, and possible future techniques and technologies for wading through the exponential complexity of reality—consciously or unconsciously reflecting McLuhan’s messages.

In the exhibition, Tega Brain & Sam Lavigne examine the impact of advertising and algorithmic marketing in modern web culture. Meanwhile, analog sculptures from Paige Emery represent ancient methodologies for future forecasting and look towards repurposing these ideas for modern use. Together, these artists reflect McLuhan’s early warnings in their work, and carry forth the legacy of his ideas for new generations of creators.

Special thanks to Andrew McLuhan and The McLuhan Institute for their collaboration in the development of this project. 


Tega Brain & Sam Lavigne – Synthetic Messenger, 2021


Exhibition Preview and Opening Party



Gray Area Member Preview

Thursday, September 29, 4PM – 5PM, Gray Area, San Francisco

Join our Associate Curator Wade Wallerstein in this special preview of the Distant Early Warnings exhibition, and meet some of the Festival artists & speakers in this intimate gathering.
Drinks and light bites will be served.

Log in as a member to RSVP:

RSVP to the Member Preview




Exhibition Opening Party

Thursday, September 29, 8PM – 11PM, Gray Area, San Francisco

Open to the public and free:

RSVP to the Opening Party



Alice Yuan Zhang – Autophagy, 2021