Zero Squared #19: Listening to Writing and Letters

Daniela Cascella is the guest this week and we discuss her book F.M.R.L. The book is described as “a collection of fragments and essays recording accidents of hearing and detours of thought in response to the peripheral nature of listening and reading.”

Kristen Kreider, author of Poetics and Place, blurbed the book as follows:

“This is writing in its most present sense. Writing that, true to its tense, enacts a continual process of thinking and perceiving. Writing that, spinning its words from sound, gathers up referents in a loose weave. Expansive in scope, and intimate in scale, this is writing where reading dwells in the reverie of detail — and deserves our full attention. ”

It’s Wednesday, May 13th 2015 and I’m Douglas Lain the publisher of Zero Books and the host of this podcast.

In this episode you’ll hear Victoria Hanna discussing the Hebrew alphabet, Bobby McFerrin singing his ABCs, John David Ebert discussing Derrida and Plato’s Phaedrus, Nigel Tufnel playing Lick My Love Pump, Michael Tilson Thomas discussing music and emotion, Grover and Guy Smiley playing Name that Sound, Eric Satie’s Vexations, Gertrude Stein, the Youtube star Sonicstate unboxing a Moog Minitaur, Lester Bangs discussing the state of rock and roll in the 70s, Professor Wright of Yale introducing music appreciation, a mash up called Metal Machine Music for Airports and Sabine Schafer’s “Sound Warp” Installation.

Diet Soap #182: What Art is For

The Artist Michael Reinsch is the guest this week as we discuss contemporary art, concepts, meaning, nihilism, and what it’s like to kiss a strange man for money. Michael Reinsch’s installation at the Place Gallery successfully blurred the boundary between art and life, and I was glad to get to talk to him about that distinction and the aim of his work.

I’d like to thank my subscribers who donate monthly. That would be John L, Andrew M, Jacob L, and Ted F. And let people listening know you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, and at douglaslain.com. Also, I’ve started up writing for Thought Catalog again and I’ll provide links to two essays about the philosophy of Arrested Development in this week’s show notes. (Link 1. Link 2)

If you’re a fan of Diet Soap why not leave a review on iTunes?

There are many sound clips in this episode. There are clips of Marcel Duchamp and Robert Hughes, a comedy routine from Coyle and Sharpe, Laurie Anderson’s Bright Red, and Michael Reinsch himself set in C.

Another conversation with Jason Horsley regarding his book Prisoner of Infinity is online this week. Check out the links to the right on his blog.

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Diet Soap Podcast #175: How to Listen to the New

The guest this week Michael Karman. Karman is the editor of Asymmetry Music Magazine, a magazine dedicated to exposing the general public to new and interesting art music, and we discuss how to listen, the problem of tradition, concrete music, John Cage, Coca-Cola bottles and more.

The music and sound in this episode includes A String Quartet playing Bad Romance by Lady Gaga, Lady Gaga herself only mashed up, reversed, and filtered, an excerpt of Michael Rodd from the BBC 1979 documentary “The New Sound of Music,” Emmanuelle-Gibello’s “Crashtest 10,” Ernst Krenek’s “Sinfonia no. 4”, John Cage talking about Coca-Cola bottles, and Luc Ferrari’s “Exploitation of Concepts.”

I want to thank Jacob L, Andrew M, Tracy V, Ted F, and John L who are regular subscribers to the podcast. I also want to thank Terry T, Andrew M (a second time), Adrien S, and Babafemi M for their very generous one time donations. If you’d like to donate you can find the paypal buttons on douglaslain.com and at the podomatic page for Diet Soap. And in the next two months I’ll be starting a Kickstarter campaign in order to fund a Diet Soap tour that I plan to call “Think the Impossible!”

The music you’re listening to right now is Paul’s Dance by the Penguin Cafe Orchestra, but in just a moment you’ll be listening to Michael Karman and I discuss How to Listen to the New.
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Diet Soap Podcast #155: The Charlie Rose Abstraction

The guest this week is the filmmaker Andrew Fillipone. Andrew Filippone Jr. is the filmmaker in New York City made the short film ‘Charlie Rose’ by Samuel Beckett. Some of Andrew’s other works include: The Status Films, an all-text, 4-part, 80-minute documentary film cycle made from real-time searches of public Facebook status updates; Happy Monday, a film-sculpture hybrid that he describes as a “documentary film object;” and The Auroras of Autumn, a silent, abstract short that screened at the 8th Berlin International Director’s Lounge, but in this episode we discuss two other films the first being his mock conspiracy film No! Gabba, Gabba and the other an experimental film entitled 999.

In this episode there is a point where I explain the idea of a concrete abstraction, and I thought it would be worthwhile to explain that idea here at the outset.

The other day I was asked to define the idea of a concrete abstraction and I said that this was the idea that reality is inexorably both conceptual and sensual. One can’t separate out the idea of what it is to be something from the sensual qualities one encounters upon meeting that something. An apple is both an idea and an experience. Once you’ve grasped this the question isn’t “What is a concrete abstraction?” but rather “What isn’t a concrete abstraction?”

Couple of announcements. First, the Philosophy Workshop has been on hiatus over the summer I will be restarting that project in September and I want to encourage people to join up. Subscribing to the workshop is really a way to support the podcast and if you enjoy Diet Soap you should consider subscribing or making a one time donation. So, in September we’ll pick up with Hegel’s phenomenology, and I think I’ll try to use Google Plus to host the online conversations.

Another announcement is that soon I’ll be launching a second, monthly, podcast called Pop the Left. C Derick Varn and I have been recording conversations for this and this coming podcast will be an examination and critique of the left from the left. Along those lines I recently received an email from TJ Clark accepting an invitation to come onto Diet Soap. Clark is an art historian and former member of the Situationist International and his latest essay “For a Left with No Future,” for all it’s flaws, is a valiant effort and really required reading.