Episode 40: Rachel Hulin

Rachel Hulin is a photographer and writer based in Providence, Rhode Island. I first came to know Rachel's photographic work several years ago, and when I saw that she'd recently published her first novel, I snapped up a copy as quickly as I could. In our conversation we talked about her book, Hey Harry Hey Matilda, about working in multiple creative disciplines, and the differences between photography and writing. For the second segment, Rachel chose creative flow as her topic.

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Episode 39: Becky Senf

Dr. Becky Senf is the Chief Curator at the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, Arizona, and the Norton Family Curator of Photography, a joint appointment between the Center and the Phoenix Art Museum. In our conversation, Dr. Senf and I talked about her work at the Center, and what the breadth and depth of the Center's archival collection enables in terms of researching and understanding the artists whose work is housed there. We also talked about a deeply personal exhibition she curated for Art Photo Index, entitled "Not MY Family Values," which is a favorite of mine. For the second segment, we talked about the #BuyArtFriday hashtag that she started, and what her hopes are for the initiative in the future.

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Episode 38: Brandon Taylor

Brandon Taylor is a writer and a Ph.D. candidate in biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. One of my favorite contemporary writers, Brandon's short stories are marvelously crafted, understated and emotionally charged, while his personal essays and cultural critique are insightful and often lyrical—all of it is just a joy to read. In today's conversation, Brandon and I talked about his work and his process, how he often finds himself inventing around the margins of the stories he takes in, and how and why he always resists the reductive take. For the second segment, Brandon chose expectation as his topic, both the excitement and terror of one's own anticipation of the future, but also the expectations others can put on us.

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Episode 37: Jonas Yip

Jonas Yip is a photographer and musician in the Los Angeles area, not to mention a friend of mine. I first met Jonas several years ago at the first Medium Festival of Photography, where we immediately hit it off. As he puts it in his bio, Jonas is "more interested in capturing feeling than in capturing detail," something that I've always found to be true about his work. For today's show we talked about several of his bodies of work, including his "Somewhere Between" series and his "Paris: Dialogue" series. For the second segment, we talked about the idea of the Internet as an archive, and what that might mean for our culture as we move into the future.

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Episode 36: Barbarella Fokos

Barbarella Fokos is a writer and filmmaker based in San Diego, CA. I came to know Barbarella's work through The Artist Odyssey where, as one of the executive producers, she creates documentary films about artists and their processes and motivations. In our conversation, we talked about her work with The Artist Odyssey as well as her previous work, including her Emmy-winning show Art Pulse TV. I was also pleased to get her perspective on San Diego's burgeoning art scene. Finally, in the second segment, Barbarella chose as her topic the distinction between art and craft.

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Episode 35: Paul Turounet

Paul Turounet is a photographer who lives and works in the San Diego area. Paul's work focuses on the border region between the United States and Mexico, which is a topic that is always relevant here in San Diego, but which has taken on even greater import over the past few months. Using forms from traditional darkroom prints to artist books to site-specific installations, Paul's photography encompasses a wide range of experiences, and I was happy to get the chance to talk with him for today's show. We talked about three of his series, "Tierra Brava," "Bajo La Luna Verde," and "Estamos Buscando A," all of which deal with various psychological aspects of the border region. For the second segment, we talked about the idea of artistic commitment.

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Episode 34: Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib

Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib is a poet from Columbus, Ohio. For today's episode I was pleased to talk to Hanif about his 2016 book The Crown Ain't Worth Much, one of my favorite reads of 2016. The poems in this book are an intensely personal account of his experiences growing up in Columbus, and in our conversation we talked about Hanif's approach to writing from experience, and how art can engender empathy. We also talked about music, a subject he's very familiar with as a music and culture writer for MTV News. For the second segment, we talked about a subject near and dear to Hanif's heart: the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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Episode 33: José Olivarez

José Olivarez is a poet living and working in Chicago, Illinois, and is also co-host of one of my all-time favorite podcasts, The Poetry Gods. In our wide-ranging conversation we talked about how The Poetry Gods came to be, toxic masculinity in the poetry world, and how discovering poetry allowed José to find his artistic voice. In the second segment, we talked about beginnings and endings.

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Michael SakasegawaWriting, Poetry
Episode 32: Ginger Shulick Porcella

Ginger Shulick Porcella is the Executive Director of the San Diego Art Institute, an experimental, bi-national contemporary arts center in San Diego, CA. In the three years since Ginger has been leading SDAI, it has grown to become one of most vibrant, innovative art spaces in San Diego, something that has been exciting for art-minded folks in San Diego, like me. In our conversation, Ginger and I talked her curatorial background, the changes she's made at SDAI, how it's grown, what's to come, and how she engages with the San Diego arts community. In the second segment, we talked about one of Ginger's favorite topics: conspiracy theories.

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Episode 31: Christina Riley

Christina Riley is a photographer and musician currently based in Seaside, California. When I first saw Christina's 2014 book Back to Me, I was immediately blown away by the emotional power and authenticity of the photographs. We talked about Christina's experience with bipolar disorder, her photographic process, and what it's like to move from Ontario, Canada to a small coastal community in Northern California. For the second segment, Christina chose change as her topic.

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Episode 30: Rachael Short

Rachael Short is a fine art photographer based in Carmel, California. After graduating from the Brooks Institute, Rachael had a thriving wedding and portrait photography business, which ended in 2010 when she was in a car accident that broke her neck and left her paraplegic. Nowadays, Rachael uses her iPhone as her primary tool, and makes beautiful platinum prints from her iPhone images. I talked with Rachael about her work, the town we're both from, the gallery she owns, and her experience as a board member with the Center for Photographic Art. For the second segment, we talked about the importance of supporting the people in our communities.

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Episode 29: Matt Eich

Matt Eich is a documentary and editorial photographer based in Charlottesville, Virginia. I've been a fan of Matt's work for several years now, and I was excited to get the chance to talk about his four-part project The Invisible Yoke. We talked about his approach to documentary photography, how he reckons with and avoids stereotypes in his work, and what he hopes the work can accomplish. For the second segment, we talked about how to balance family live with an art practice.

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Episode 28: Alexander Kohnke

Alexander Kohnke is a San Diego-based artist and graphic designer (originally from Germany) whose work incorporates a variety of different disciplines and genres, from printmaking to drawing to photography. Alex and I had a great conversation about his artistic process, especially about the value of randomness and how that interacts with intention. In the second segment we talked about politics.

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Episode 27: Lindsay Hatton

I knew that I was going to read Lindsay Hatton's debut novel, Monterey Bay, as soon as I saw the title—I grew up in that area, after all—and I was pleased to discover that between the covers of the book lay a story that is by turns funny, sexy, and profound, an alternate history of a place I know and love so well. I talked to Lindsay about her book, about our shared experiences growing up on the Monterey Peninsula, and a lot about John Steinbeck (both as a real-world literary figure and as a character in her book). In the second segment, we talked about how to navigate multiple modes of creative expression, parenting, and artistic legacy.

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Episode 26: Chantel Paul

Chantel Paul is the Program Coordinator of the San Diego State University Downtown Gallery, a space which has rapidly become an important part of the vibrant art scene here in San Diego. In this wide-ranging conversation we talked about the Downtown Gallery, her role as a curator, the burgeoning San Diego arts community, and photography portfolio reviews from the reviewer's perspective. In the second segment we talked about slowing down, technology, and its effect on our quality of life.

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Episode 25: David Emitt Adams

David Emitt Adams recently won the 2016 Clarence John Laughlin award for his photography, and if you've ever seen it before, you know why. In his work, David uses the wet-plate collodion process to create images on objects from his students' used film canisters to discarded cans found in the desert to oil drum lids, and the interplay between the photographs and the objects on which they're exposed adds a whole new dimension. (No pun intended.) David and I had a great talk about his work, and then in the second segment we moved on to discuss the ideas of permanence and impermanence.

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Episode 24: Shaindel Beers

Shaindel Beers is the author of two full-length collections of poetry, A Brief History of Time and The Children's War and Other Poems, and her poems have also been published in numerous journals and anthologies. I found both of her books deeply moving, from her depictions of growing up on a farm to poems inspired by child survivors of war, and I was pleased to get to talk to her about her books. For the second segment we talked about artists' collaborations.

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Episode 23: José Iriarte

José Iriarte and I go way back, and it's been with great pleasure that I've watched his writing career start to take off over the past few years. He's had short stories appear in a number of publications, including Motherboard, Strange Horizons, and Fantastic Stories of the Imagination, and what I particularly love about his stories is that how he uses genre and genre elements to put a new perspective on or provide a means of entry into more familiar emotions and experiences. José and I talked about a few of his recent stories for the show, and then for the second segment we talked about online communities and the function of public "shaming."

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Episode 22: Esmé Weijun Wang

Esmé Weijun Wang's debut novel The Border of Paradise is one of my favorite books so far this year. A multigenerational epic centered on an interracial family, the Nowaks, this book touches on so many profound topics, from mental illness to intergenerational trauma to culture clash to the very question of what it means to be a family, all done in stunningly beautiful prose. Esmé and I had a great conversation about her book in the first segment, and in the second segment we chatted about our favorite social media platform: Twitter.

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Episode 21: Kurt Simonson

In his lecture at the 2014 Medium Festival of Photography, photographer Kurt Simonson said that the common thread running through his work is the idea of longing; whether through family or friendship or community, the desire for connection is something we all feel, and that feeling is something he examines in his work. For this episode Kurt and I talked about his 2015 book The Northwoods Journals, an intimate, powerful, and sometimes funny look at the family and place that shaped him. For the second segment Kurt chose community as his topic, particularly the photographic community that he and I are a part of.

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