Furthur!: Timothy Leary’s media ecology | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 14, Issue 1-2
  • ISSN: 1539-7785
  • E-ISSN: 2048-0717



This article outlines Timothy Leary’s relationship with the field of media ecology. Leary’s well-known promotion of psychedelics is shown to relate to his broader interest in using technologies to enhance human abilities. Explicitly influenced by Marshall McLuhan, Leary’s ideas were framed in reference to an informationbased evolutionary cosmology in which new media facilitate freedom by augmenting cognition and breaking down oppressive institutions. Leary’s efforts to give these ideas practical expression also led to innovative experiments with media, including contributions to 1960s-era sound and light shows, spoken word performances and software programs still in use today. As a media theorist and practitioner as well as unequivocal champion of cognitive and social freedom, Leary deserves to be recognized as an iconic member of the media ecological tradition.


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