Studio 360

In Between

Sofia Coppola, speaking with Kurt Anderson about Somewhere on Studio 360 (Jan. 7, 2011):

“[The main character] is based on a bunch of different movie star actors that I’ve known or met or heard stories about and mixed them all together. He’s become famous recently and he’s doing a press conference for a movie he’s done called Berlin Agenda so you get the idea he’s done some kind of big action movie that he’s not very proud of. I never want to show him making a movie. It’s not really about the film business, but that’s the backdrop. I try to think of things that the actors would do in between films like get a head plaster cast, or sometimes they learn strange skills. You hear stories about actors having romances with their leading ladies and I thought, what happens when they have to get back together a year later for a reshoot or a press junket. Everything’s heightened when you’re doing a movie and then it’s over.”

“I like in life how so much is conveyed by the way someone gives a look or a glance. I think a lot of times in movies, people explain all their feelings, but in life you’re not always able to articulate a lot of things. And part of the fun of making films is telling the story in a visual way.”

Capturing the Patient’s Attention

Dr. Richard Fratianne, from “Art and Medicine,” produced by Kerrie Hillman, Studio 360, December  10, 2010:

The problem is music therapy is not compensated by either governmental programs or private insurance policies, because there just isn't very much science in music therapy — yet. And so, I thought that it might be interesting to see if we could prove the value of music therapy in the burn center where pain and anxiety are really very, very high.

A burn injury is so profound that it effects every part of the person. It's not only physical and emotional, but it's an intellectual challenge and there's a spiritual threat because patients don't recognize who they are anymore. They don't feel the same. They don't look the same. Oftentimes they feel ashamed of how they look and they're so afraid. We chose burn patients because the pain is so severe and the anxiety is so high that we thought if we can prove that music therapy can actually have a positive effect in these patients, then we can rest assured that it's going to work in every patient.

Obviously, we can give pain medication, we can give sedatives and tranquilizers, but if it's a really painful dressing change there's no way you can relieve all of the pain except under anesthesia and you can't anesthetize a patient two or three times a day. The body won't tolerate it.

Music requires and integration of many parts of the brain. There's the motor part that's the physical response to playing or tapping to the rhythm of music. Then there's the limbic system, the emotional response to hearing music that brings forth feelings and thoughts and ideas. But also there's rhythm, there's tempo, there's melody — all of these things have to be integrated at the same time to appreciate music. It's amazing how the brain can do this.

The reason we need a professional music therapist to intervene in these painful procedures is that by their training they're able to capture the patient's attention. We call that entrainment. It is actively involving the patient in the musical experience. Because when their mind is diverted to participating in the therapy, they cannot think about the pain.

The earlier research just asked the patient before and after a musical experience, “Do you feel better yet?” That doesn’t really prove anything. It’s only when you’re dealing with patients like we’re dealing with in the burn unit that you can clearly identify changes in their response with music therapy. And we have done that.

One of our latest studies is utilizing the measurements of a stress hormone which is one of the products of the adrenal gland in response to stress. We know when patients are highly stressed these levels go up. And we’re measuring to see whether music therapy can actually depress those levels of the hormone. And our initial studies have shown that.

What we’re doing is new. We know that. And that’s why it’s exciting, because it is new. But the music can have a calming effect on people. How it works is still being discovered.

Greater than Just Romantic Love

“Part of what this poem meant for me was the idea that somehow I would be in love and that someone would love me back was a profound revelation…I think the very first library book I ever checked out was a collection of poems by E.E. Cummings which included this poem…But being in your body, giving love through your body, getting love back through your body, is something that I think is greater than just romantic love relationships.”

~ Quang Bao

i like my body when it is with your
by E.E. Cummings

i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite new a thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body. i like what it does,
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones, and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
i like, slowly stroking the, shocking fuzz
of your electric fur, and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh....And eyes big love-crumbs,

and possibly i like the thrill
of under me you so quite new from

The Big Game: Art, Sports, and Masculinity

ART AT STAKE
I'll See Your Lorrain and Raise You a Turner (Studio 360)

“The directors of the New Orleans and the Indianapolis art museums have a lot more riding on this weekend's Super Bowl than a couple of bucks in the office pool. After arts blogger [Tyler Green] posed a challenge, they've each put up a treasured painting from their collections. The director of the losing city's museum will have to lend his masterpiece to the winner.”

5th-plague-Egypt

J.M.W. Turner, The Fifth Plague of Egypt
Courtesy of the Indianapolis Museum of Art

ideal-view-Tivoli

Claude Lorrain, Ideal View of Tivoli
Courtesy of the New Orleans Museum of Art

HARD TARGETS
Sports and Masculinity Explored in Art

“The multimedia exhibition Hard Targets, on view January 30–April 11, 2010 at the Wexner Center, surveys provocative artworks produced over the last 25 years that take masculinity and sports as their central themes. Ranging broadly in interest and focus from biology to commodity and locker room to stadium, Hard Targets endeavors to complicate and revise the time-honored archetype of the male athlete as an aggressive, heterosexual, hyper-competitive, emotionally remote subject. Instead, the artists in the show offer opposing views of masculinity and sport, and of the entire theater of athletic play, including the rituals and accoutrements that surround this intimate, and often still male-dominated, world. The more than 70 works—in a wide variety of media, including video, photography, mixed-media sculpture, painting, and installation—range from funny and irreverent to self-effacing and incisive.”

Still from St. Henry Composition

Joe Sola, still from St. Henry Composition
The Wexner Center for the Arts

“The 21 artists in the show are Doug Aitken, Matthew Barney, Mark Bradford, Harun Farocki, Andreas Gursky, Douglas Gordon, David Hammons, Brian Jungen, Byron Kim, Jeff Koons, Cary Leibowitz, Glenn Ligon, Kori Newkirk, Catherine Opie (including a new suite of photographs of high school football players produced in Columbus), Philippe Parreno, Paul Pfeiffer (whose 11 exhibited pieces offer a mini-survey of this artist’s work), Collier Schorr, Sam Taylor-Wood, Hank Willis Thomas, and Jonas Wood. In addition, a video work by Joe Sola video will be presented in The Box video space during the first month of the show.”

brian_jungen-prototype

Brian Jungen, Prototype for New Understanding #23

“Each artist examines the way masculinity is characterized and ‘performed’ in a sporting context, and each suggests that the ways we view and consume sports stars and athletic events are structured by more complex systems of desire and identification than most spectators realize. The works in the exhibition open up alternative, and possibly more democratic, interpretations and inflections of sports and sports fandom than the authorized, often frankly commercial, images that most frequently and forcefully convey the cultural identity of male athletes and athleticism.”

opie_josh Catherine Opie, Josh, 2007

Remain Warm among Ice

From Moby-Dick, by Herman Melville:

The Fossil Whale, Frank Stella For the whale is indeed wrapt up in his blubber as in a real blanket or counterpane; or, still better, an Indian poncho slipt over his head, and skirting his extremity. It is by reason of this cosy blanketing of his body, that the whale is enabled to keep himself comfortable in all weathers, in all seas, times, and tides. What would become of a Greenland whale, say, in those shuddering, icy seas of the north, if unsupplied with his cosy surtout? True, other fish are found exceedingly brisk in those Hyperborean waters; but these, be it observed, are your cold-blooded, lungless fish, whose very bellies are refrigerators; creatures, that warm themselves under the lee of an iceberg, as a traveller in winter would bask before an inn fire; whereas, like man, the whale has lungs and warm blood. Freeze his blood, and he dies. How wonderful is it then — except after explanation — that this great monster, to whom corporeal warmth is as indispensable as it is to man; how wonderful that he should be found at home, immersed to his lips for life in those Arctic waters! where, when seamen fall overboard, they are sometimes found, months afterwards, perpendicularly frozen into the hearts of fields of ice, as a fly is found glued in amber. But more surprising is it to know, as has been proved by experiment, that the blood of a Polar whale is warmer than that of a Borneo native in summer.

It does seem to me, that herein we see the rare virtue of a strong individual vitality, and the rare virtue of thick walls, and the rare virtue of interior spaciousness. Oh, man! admire and model thyself after the whale! Do thou, too, remain warm among ice. Do thou, too, live in this world without being of it. Be cool at the equator; keep thy blood fluid at the Pole. Like the great dome of St. Peter's, and like the great whale, retain, O man! in all seasons a temperature of thine own.

[Check out Kurt Anderson’s Peabody Award winning episode of 360 in which he sails into the icy waters in search of Melville’s white whale with the help of Laurie Anderson, Stanley Crouch, David Ives, Elizabeth Schultz, Tony Kushner, Frank Stella, and Ray Bradbury.]

There is Grandeur, If You Look

More Funny Ideas About Grandeur
by Ruth Padel, from Darwin: A Life in Poems

'To Emma, in case of my sudden death.
      I have just finished this sketch
of my species theory. If true, as I believe,
      it will be a considerable step
in science. My most solemn last request
      is that you devote 400 pounds
to its publication.'

'There is grandeur, if you look
      at every organic being
as the lineal successor of some other form,
      now buried under thousands of feet of rock.
Or else as a co-descendant, with that buried form,
      from some other inhabitant of this world
more ancient still, now lost.

Out of famine, death and struggle for existence,
      comes the most exalted end
we're capable of conceiving: creation
      of the higher animals!
Our first impulse is to disbelieve — 
      how could any secondary law
produce organic beings, infinitely numerous,

characterized by most exquisite
      workmanship and adaptation?
Easier to say, a Creator designed each.
      But there is a simple grandeur in this view —
that life, with its power to grow, to reach, feel,
      reproduce, diverge, was breathed
into matter in a few forms first

and maybe only one. To say that while this planet
      has gone cycling on
according to fixed laws of gravity,
      from so simple an origin, through selection
of infinitesimal varieties, endless forms
      most beautiful and wonderful
have been, and are being, evolved.'


Charlie Darwin

by Low Anthem, from Oh My God, Charlie Darwin

Set the sails I feel the winds a'stirring
Toward the bright horizon set the way
Cast your wreckless dreams upon our Mayflower
Haven from the world and her decay

And who could heed the words of Charlie Darwin
Fighting for a system built to fail
Spooning water from their broken vessels
As far as I can see there is no land

Oh my god, the water's all around us
Oh my god, it's all around

And who could heed the words of Charlie Darwin
The lords of war just profit from decay
And trade their children's promise for the jingle
The way we trade our hard earned time for pay

Oh my god, the water's cold and shapeless
Oh my god, it's all around
Oh my god, life is cold and formless
Oh my god, it's all around

Explore Studio 360’s November 20, 2009 episode on Evolution.

 

Artists and Scientists

Generosity An Enhancement “I do not see a profound difference between art and science. I feel as if they are engaged each in different aspects of negotiating the world, of figuring out this precarious balance between inside and outside, the theories that we make about ourselves. This lovely kind of two-way portal between what we can measure and reproduce and what we intuit and feel in our viscera. We are these complex creatures. All of us are simultaneously artists and scientists. And wouldn’t it be lovely to create a kind of fiction, a kind of literature that did more than fear the transformation of material existence by science and technology? But said, rather, that these pursuits were every bit as much our pursuit and expressions of our own hopes and fears and desires as our social interactions.” 

~ Richard Powers discussing his recent novel, Generosity: An Enhancement, with Studio 360’s Kurt Anderson (October 23, 2009)

Maybe It’s Not Too Late to Grow Up

From Forever Young, and essay written and read by Kurt Anderson of Studio 360 (July 17, 2009):

"Waiting to get what you want is a definition of maturity. Demanding satisfaction right this instant is the definition of a seven year old. But instant satisfaction has been driving our economy and our culture for a while.

Send a message now! Get an answer now! Pick your airline seat now! Buy anything you want right now!

The web, cell phones, FedEx: they all indulge the impulsive child in every one of us.

Save? Why? For what?

Wait till I can afford it? No…Fooey!

Fuel efficient? Lame.

I don't mean to be a crank and I don't mean to condemn fun. I'm committed to rubber soles for life and I cherish The Simpsons. I'm even a convert to Twitter -- the official medium of back-of-the-class wisecracks.

Yes, the economic collapse had everything to do with credit policy and financial regulation. But I really, truly think that this forty-year-long celebration of our inner child helped lead us to the spree that we've just come off.

But with this crisis and now the rebuilding and reshaping of America we're required to do, we Boomers have maybe our last, best shot to suck it up and get serious and help straighten out the messes that we helped make. Maybe it's not too late to grow up a little.”