Where do speech balloons come from? How does time move from panel to panel? This week we explore the techniques of comic-book storytelling through Chris Reynolds’s graphic series, newly anthologized as The New World . Join us as we travel deep into the artist’s world to find the source of these bizarrely mundane comics’ depth and beauty.
What sounds don’t we hear when we listen? What sounds are discarded in digital processing, whether it’s through hearing aids or mp3s? This week we travel to Scottish lighthouses, professional sound-testing facilities, and animal slaughterhouses to find out. Our guests include animal scientist and autism advocate Temple Grandin and journalist Bella Bathurst, who regained her hearing after twelve years of deafness.
Between Speaking and Singing
Will spoken language become obsolete? What if, in the future, a simple conversation between two adults becomes a rarity, like an obscure musical piece that involves months of rehearsing and vocal training to be able to perform?
The Blindfold Challenge
In his audio diaries recorded while driving cross-country, artist David Wojnarowicz tries to describe how he feels after being diagnosed with AIDS. Writer Sandy Allen translates the autobiography of their schizophrenic uncle, presenting his hallucinations as facts. In the “Blindfold Challenge,” sighted people perform daily tasks while unable to see. Can art—or anything—help us understand a life different from our own?
The Secret Life of Plants
Stevie Wonder’s entire life, according to conspiracy theorists, is a lie. He’s been able to see all along. But what does that have to do with the idea that plants are conscious beings capable of communication?