Episode #404

Medea, FBI, Scanner

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Saturday, January 25, 2003

Kurt Andersen and New Yorker writer Bill Buford talk about how voyeurism creeps into our lives and into our art. A musician scans your phone calls. Broadway audiences watch the great actress Fiona Shaw portray Medea, the tragic murdering mother. And a security guard paints what he sees on all his tiny screens.


Bill Buford

Commentary: Cultural Revolution Kitsch

Hip marketing and communist propaganda make for strange bedfellows. Studio 360’s Kurt Andersen takes a look at this bizarre media moment happening half-way around the globe.


Design for the Real World: Zipper

MoMA design curator Paola Antonelli has these thoughts on an elegant little machine that helps us hold it all together — the zipper. Produced by Jocelyn Gonzales.


Special Guest: Bill Buford

Kurt Andersen and writer Bill Buford talk about the seduction and dangers of watching.

Bill Buford writes for The New Yorker and was the Fiction Editor of the magazine for eight years. Before that he was the editor of the literary quarterly Granta. He’s now working on three different non-fiction ...



Every night an audience of several hundred aims its gaze at Fiona Shaw, who has the title role in the Broadway production of Medea by Euripedes. She portrays a woman who murders her children as revenge against Jason, her unfaithful husband. Shaw, the New York Times theater critic


Watching Arnold Mesches

When the painter Arnold Mesches began making political artwork in the 1950s — including one painting series on the Rosenberg trials — someone else began surveillance of the painter’s life. Produced by Karen Michel.



Almost all of us, given the opportunity, indulge the eavesdropping urge, especially overheard cell phone conversations. The sound artist known as "Scanner" has been incorporating the frequency band of cell phones in his work since the early 1990s. Produced by Michael Raphael.


Art Guard

Meet the guy at the other end of that security camera. Bob Rini is a security guard at Seattle's Henry Art Museum. He spends his days watching people who are watching art. Then he goes home and makes art. Produced by Harriet Baskas.


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