Friday, May 19, 2006

Podcasts for tender, artsy souls

I'm going up to NY again today to look around Chelsea and the Met and possibly the Whitney- the only thing that's positively on the agenda is that we need to see Hatshepshut at the Met. Thom (the beloved) has a way of knowing about things like Hatshepshut that never fails to amaze me. While there's a good chance that I might know that there's an Egyptian show at the Met with some pharaoh or other, Thom will have known it was coming months before it's on my radar and if it happens to come up in conversation he will be able to give me a rundown on the history of the specific pharaoh. And he's not even particularly interested in Egypt. I mean, he is- he's the force behind Hatshepshut being on the top of the art to do list today- but it's more about bikes, guitars, urban planning, cooking, gardening, the environment and everything else. It's like living with Wikipedia- the person.

Me, I need help to know about Hatshepshut, so I listened to the Metropolitan Museum of Art's podcast, which is narrated, weirdly enough, by Sam Watterson. He was in a Raiders of the Lost Ark movie, so I guess, um, it makes sense?

(Apparently she's sitting on the Ark of the Covenant.)

The met podcast was pretty fascinating, and since Wikipedia is still asleep and I'm loathe to get out of bed, I thought I'd copy the NY Times and make an entry about some fabulous podcasts I've found.

There's a New York Times article about museum podcasts today that lists a bunch of great podcasts I already know about. They talk about the great Metropolitan Museum of Art podcasts, but there also looks to be an interesting one at MOCA (conversations with Dave Hickey, Rauchenberg, Kentridge) and MOMA has one called "Think Modern" that records conversations with artists and critics as well. I'm stocking up for the drive to NY.

Hammer Conversations features artists, filmmakers and writers talking about their work. It's downloadable from the same site as KCET's Aloud at the Central Library program, which I've listened to a few times and like very much. You can download these from the websites I've linked to, but if you do have an ipod, it's easier to just search for them in itunes.

There's also the WGBH Forum Network, which has random talks on the kinds of geeky subjects I like to listen to during long hours of cutting out stencils. There's a really fabulous lecture called "Impassioned Experience: Art in a 4th Grade Classroom" that just kills me. It features a super-sincere British man analyzing photographs taken by fourth grades with the weight and gravity normally given to...Well, normally not given to pictures featuring Stephanie's fuzzy bunny. In Our Time is a consistently interesting show from the BBC that deals with art in a tangential way- they get panels of academics together with a cranky commentator to discuss Big Ideas in an accessible way- it's a good time.

I keep trying to like the Exit Art podcast, but the last one I listened to had verrry insider artsy pants tone that put me off. I can't handle Artdispatch for the same reason- it looks like it should be right up my alley, but the very tone of voice of the podcast narrator makes my hair stand on end. Which is pretty scary, because Artdispatch calls itself the voice of the art world. But I do love the portentious voice of John Ciardi, who NPR has republished from beyond the grave. His On Words with John Ciardi is my favorite podcast ever.

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