Radio, podcasts, and interviews on Art, Culture, History, Science, Politics, and more

Recently my Pa asked suggestions for good radio shows about Art. Here are some of my favorite go-to sites. These links always inspire my writing and teaching. Let me know what you think and help us add to the list.

In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg– he brings in top scholars and academics to discuss art, literature, science, and history. There’s an undeniable Western slant, but the discussions are always riveting and the participants often argue, which is entertaining.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/in-our-time/

Simon Schama on BBC 4– art historian who’s endlessly fascinating
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/programmes/people/VGVmL25hbWUvc2NoYW1hLCBzaW1vbiAoaGlzdG9yaWFuKQ

Terrence McNally– he doesn’t really cover art but his guest speakers are the leading thinkers and writers on politics, culture, environmental studies, global issues, etc, and the topics are always urgent.
http://temcnally.podomatic.com/

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Image from Web TV Hub

FORATV– I make my students watch videos of authors we’re reading on this site, looks like they have some good art interviews
http://fora.tv/subtopic/arts

TED talks– Hands down the most comprehensive site for interviews with all the leading international and national thinkers, movers, and shakers. This is an incredibly comprehensive and popular site. I subscribe to their weekly newsletter, which is worth it cause you can see what the latest talks are and click on any that you want to hear. This is an essential resource that I check regularly. Very, very inspiring.
http://www.ted.com/talks

And, just for kicks, here’s a clip on RSA animate, which I’m currently addicted to, with Slavoj Zizek’s First as Tragedy, Then as Farce:

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“Collecting Clouds”: more on Munich & London Pilgrimage

“A cloud collection is more honest than any other collection,” so says Gavin Pretor-Pinney founder of The Cloud Appreciation Society in his breathtaking interactive article from The Guardian’s, “Heavenly Clouds” featuring his new book The Cloud Collector’s Handbook. From the society’s manifesto, “[Clouds] are Nature’s poetry, and the most egalitarian of her displays, since everyone can have a fantastic view of them.” During the Munich & London pilgrimage, clouds made the sky their canvas.

In the Bavarian Alps, the clouds literally hovered in place and couldn’t be budged for anything. They seemed set in stone, as timeless and immovable as the mountains:

Garmisch

above Garmisch Olympik Stadium

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Above London, the clouds set the pace for the chaotic traffic below. They were constantly on the move, shifting, restless bodies of action and flight:

Underground Station at Piccadilly Square

London Clouds on Thames River Cruise

More on the Munich & London pilgrimage…click here

The Music Instinct | PBS

“If string theory is correct, at the heart of matter is music.”

The Music Instinct | PBS

PBS produces yet another brilliant series on the science of song.

Shared via AddThis

The Contest: The Winners of the MI Contest, “Noise Reinvented”

About:

The Music Instinct: Science and Song is a production of THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG – one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers.

Researchers and scientists from a variety of fields are using groundbreaking techniques that reveal startling new connections between music and the human mind, the body and the universe. Together with an array of musicians from rock and rap to jazz and classical, they are putting music under the microscope.

“The brain is teaching us about music and music is teaching us about the brain,” says Levitin.” Music allows us to understand better how the brain organizes information in the world. There are a lot of different factors that go into our emotional appreciation of music [like] the memories we have of a particular song that we heard at a particular time in our lives.”

Harper’s Magazine is on a roll

More greatness from Harper’s Magazine, “Plato’s World” published Sunday, June 6, 2009.

In Plato’s day, the world itself seemed boundless beyond comprehension, its resources inexhaustible, and the dangers and wonders of nature were a test for human knowledge. With the passage of time, humanity has grown much more conscious of the finite nature of the earth and its resources. And with time, Plato’s conceptualization of the earth as a living creature has also become a more appealing model–it pointed the way to discovery of the ecological systems by which the world breathed, moved, transformed and regenerated itself. Today humanity approaches final mastery of the world–but what does this mean for the world-soul and for humanity’s ultimate survival in its terrestrial setting?

“George Harrison went to India and brought back a sitar”

Just the shot in the arm needed for inspiration, Terence McNally on his KPFK show, Free Forum, has introduced the source of holistic, systems thinking and the mastermind behind the philosophy of Ecological Awareness, Fritjof Capra. His work seems to have inspired much admired writers, activists, and social workers such as Leny Mendoza Strobel and her new Center for Babaylan Studies.

Will have to crack open this new universe and explore fully, but for now, here’s a small audio tasting. Capra interviewed by Terrence McNally, April 7, 2009

http://64.27.15.184/parchive/mp3/kpfk_090407_120100freeforum.mp3

and…

Abstract from “A Crisis of Perception” |  Integral Studies | Thomas Maxwell | University of Vermont:

Ecological Awareness

This widening of our “circle of understanding and compassion” requires a new mode of perception which transcends the illusion of separateness to discern the unity, the “unbroken wholeness” from which emerges the diverse forms of existence. This awakened perception gives rise to a more integrative, holistic, and ecological perception of the cosmos. Capra (1996) asserts that this emerging holistic worldview, which he calls “deep ecological awareness”, “recognizes the fundamental interdependence of all phenomena and the fact that, as individuals and societies, we are all embedded in (and ultimately dependent on) the cyclical processes of nature” (p 6). Although this vision can be elaborated through science, its principal grounding is in spiritual experience. It will require an integrated epistemology that embraces both the rational knowledge of scientific empiricism and the inner knowledge of spiritual experience. “Ultimately, deep ecological awareness is spiritual or religious awareness. When the concept of the human spirit is understood as the mode of consciousness in which the individual feels a sense of belonging, of connectedness, to the cosmos as a whole, it becomes clear that ecological awareness is spiritual in its deepest essence. It is not surprising that the emerging new vision of reality based on deep ecological awareness is consistent with the so-called Perennial Philosophy of spiritual traditions, whether we talk about the spirituality of Christian mystics, that of Buddhists, or the philosophy and cosmology underlying the Native American traditions” (p. 7). This “deep ecological awareness” fosters a vision of the cosmos as fundamentally sacred.

Capra’s universe is fortuitously right next door, to boot!

The Center for Ecoliteracy is dedicated to education for sustainable living.

We provide information, inspiration, and support to the vital movement of K-12 educators, parents, and other members of the school community who are helping young people gain the knowledge, skills, and values essential to sustainable living.

We base our work on these four guiding principles:

  • Nature is our teacher
  • Sustainability is a community practice
  • The real world is the optimal learning environment
  • Sustainable living is rooted in a deep knowledge of place