An Egyptian poet tells Kurt about the precarious position of artists in his embattled country. Debra Granik, director of the Oscar-nominated "Winter's Bone," discusses setting a film in the impoverished Ozark Mountains. And we begin a journey across America, following in John Steinbeck's footsteps.
We make a prediction about the identity of the anonymous author of O: A Presidential Novel. Kurt Andersen talks with the playwright Jon Robin Baitz about "Other Desert Cities," his new drama about a family in crisis. The director Lisa Cholodenko has a fresh take on the modern family with her Oscar-nominated movie "The Kids are All Right." And in the new book, Spark, Studio 360 celebrates its first decade on the air and unlocks the secret to being a great artist.
The co-founder of the Belarus Free Theatre, Natalia Kaliada, tells Kurt about her run-in with the KGB of Belarus, and her new status as an exile. Shara Worden – part of a new generation of musicians who isn't afraid to mix classical composition with indie rock sounds – performs live in our studio. And we’ll hear about a redesign of the nation’s interstate highway signs.
This week in Studio 360, novelist Walter Kirn explains how Twitter and Walt Whitman are helping him make sense of the Arizona tragedy. The cartoonist Garry Trudeau looks back at forty years of Doonesbury. And comedian-musician Reggie Watts explains the universe.
Kurt finds out about a new edition of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn that gets rid of the "n-word" once and for all. The actor Matt Damon and the director Sofia Coppola share their takes on Hollywood stardom. And Detroit's decaying buildings have turned it into the capital of a new photographic genre called "ruin porn."
We jump-start the American car. Kurt takes a tour through L.A.'s car culture, talking to hot rodders and low riders and emerging designers who just might be able to rescue the U.S. auto industry. And underground hip-hop star Chali 2na explains why lately, oil painting is as important to him as rapping.
We offer a sci-fi tale with a holiday twist: Kurt Andersen's story about an observant visitor who's been here for a very long time. A member of R.E.M. remembers recording its groundbreaking song, "Radio Free Europe." And we get lessons in painting with bacteria from an artist and scientist team.
Every year the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress selects 25 recordings to be preserved for all time. We highlight four of this year's selections in our series "The Sounds of American Culture," produced by Ben Manilla and Devon Strolovitch for Media Mechanics.
We spy on the new culture of surveillance. Kurt Andersen talks to technologist and philosopher Jaron Lanier about why we have to watch the watchers. An artist meticulously tracks government spy satellites crossing the night sky. A computer scientist explains what goes into building a facial recognition system. And sitting silently in her car, a photographer secretly snaps pictures of strangers in their homes.