The Virtual Memories Show

With his amazing new book, Deaths of Artists (Blast Books), archivist Jim Moske explores art, mortality, media, fame and our secret lives. We talk about his chance discovery in the Met Museum's archives of century-old scrapbooks filled with artists' obituaries, his attraction to the obits' tabloid poetry, and how he fell down the rabbit-hole of figuring out the scandalous, redemptive life of their compiler, Arthur D'Hervilly. We get into what these obits — and D'Hervilly's life — can teach us about art and artistic reputation, the challenges of working with 100+-year-old newsprint, the aesthetic pleasure of historical records, and why Jim considered doing this project as a 'zine (just like last week's guest!). We also discuss how he got started as an archivist, his favorite phases of the Met's history, how artists have responded to his book, his archive of illegible historical documents (!), the impact of digitization and electronics on the archivist field, what we lose when materiality goes away, the oblique influence of Bolaño's 2666 on Deaths of Artists, and how D'Hervilly's art-obit collection became a chronicle of the democratization of art. Follow Jim on Instagram • More info at our site • Support The Virtual Memories Show via Patreon or Paypal and via our e-newsletter

Direct download: Episode_590_-_Jim_Moske.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:11pm EDT

With his amazing new book, THE WORK OF ART: How Something Comes From Nothing (Penguin Press), hall-of-fame magazine editor Adam Moss explores the artistic process by interviewing more than 40 creators about the evolution of a piece of their art. We talk about the archeology of early drafts and sketches, why he took up painting and how its vexations drove him into making this book, what it's like to tour artists' heads, the creative benefits of "the bounce," the differences between collaborative and solo art-making, and the dizzying iterations of a single artwork by Amy Sillman. We get into where his 40-year magazine editing career began (and where it ended), the process of figuring out how to write and edit his own prose for this project, the incredible design project of bringing The Work Of Art to life as a museum of creativity (& its early life as a 'zine), what happened when he pitched Warren Beatty on this project, and his ongoing attraction to the artifacts of artists in the midst of artworks. We also discuss why I may be the ideal reader for this book, how the introspection of COVID & lockdown influenced The Work Of Art and its subjects, what he learned about interviewing (& which subject intimidated him the most), how he finally learned to stop waiting for a catharsis and learned to take joy in the making of art rather than the finished artwork, and plenty more. More info at our site • Support The Virtual Memories Show via Patreon or Paypal and via our e-newsletter

Direct download: Episode_589_-_Adam_Moss.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:47pm EDT

With WINGING IT: Improv's Power & Peril in the Age of Trump (Spring Publications), author, professor & philanthropist Randy Fertel explores the role of improvisation & spontaneity in the arts, sciences & culture. We talk about what drew him to the conflict between reason and intuition, the importance of "Yes, And" in more than just a comedic context, the neuroscience of Hot and Cold Cognition, and the moment in graduate school that started him down this path 50 years ago. We get into what improvisation really is, how it underlies creativity and innovation, how Trump embodies its dark side, and how his upbringing in New Orleans may have contributed to his improv-epiphany. We also discuss how canonical authors & works began as outsiders, why the essence of improv is disruption, the importance of ego death and unmediated experience (and why he futilely took heroic amounts of hallucinogens to prepare for a conference panel), the relationship of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to his archetypes, his love for Jon Batiste's 2023 Jazz Fest set, his next project exploring the emergence of global pop culture, and a lot more. Follow Randy on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram • More info at our site • Support The Virtual Memories Show via Patreon or Paypal and via our e-newsletter

Direct download: Episode_588_-_Randy_Fertel.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:52pm EDT