This week's episodes are:
AESTHETICAL RELATIONS is a constellation of essays on art, fashion, cancer, comedy, Los Angeles, and your mom. Christina Catherine Martinez whips elements of fiction and stand up material into bits and pieces addressing both the critical and personal; including how many times you may kiss an art-world acquaintance, the theoretical stakes of sexting, and why German performance art is quite like French clowning. AESTHETICAL RELATIONS is titled after Martinez's ongoing conceptual comedy talk show of the same name.
Martinez is in conversation with Isabel Sloane.
Daphne A. Brooks explores more than a century of music archives to examine the critics, collectors, and listeners who have determined perceptions of Black women on stage and in the recording studio. How is it possible, she asks, that iconic artists such as Aretha Franklin and Beyonce exist simultaneously at the center and on the fringe of the culture industry?
Liner Notes for the Revolution offers a startling new perspective on these acclaimed figures--a perspective informed by the overlooked contributions of other Black women concerned with the work of their musical peers. Zora Neale Hurston appears as a sound archivist and a performer, Lorraine Hansberry as a queer Black feminist critic of modern culture, and Pauline Hopkins as America's first Black female cultural commentator. Brooks tackles the complicated racial politics of blues music recording, song collecting, and rock and roll criticism. She makes lyrical forays into the blues pioneers Bessie Smith and Mamie Smith, as well as fans who became critics, like the record-label entrepreneur and writer Rosetta Reitz. In the twenty-first century, pop superstar Janelle Monae's liner notes are recognized for their innovations, while celebrated singers Cecile McLorin Salvant, Rhiannon Giddens, and Valerie June take their place as cultural historians.
Brooks is in conversation with Lynell George, and also curated a companion playlist to Liner Notes, which you can listen to HERE.
In 1994, the New York Times Magazine assigned Joseph Rodriguez to ride along with cops from the Los Angeles Police Department, photographing them at work. This was just two years after the protests that erupted when four officers were acquitted on charges of beating Rodney King, and LAPD needed a public image makeover.
The photographs, now compiled in LAPD: 1994, tell a story about the power imbalance between police and the community, the constant tension between the stated goal of “protecting and serving” and the reality of police violence. From behind my camera, Rodriguez saw how decades of profiling, racism, and brutality had led to deep distrust in many communities—distrust that the LAPD’s mild attempts at reform couldn’t even touch. The photos capture a particularly turbulent time for the LAPD, just after several very public corruption scandals in addition to the charges of police brutality brought to light by the video of Rodney King’s beating.
Rodgriguez discusses his photographs with Ruben Martinez.
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