Paper Radio: AM: Non-fiction
Summary: AM is for real things – true stories, micro-histories, and queries into the character of the mercurial southern islands.
When we talk about the difference between hearing and listening, or between looking and seeing, what is that actual difference? Is it about recognising, and matching something with what you already know, or starting clean and building a picture? Is it possible to move from recognition to reimagining? Meet Roger. He lives his life surrounded by a beguiling sprawl of shapes and patterns; an assemblage of repetitions and broken pieces. For this story, he explores the internal resonances of these objects – with the help of contact microphones and various agitators. How does Roger’s unseen world resonate with us?
What do actor Brad Pitt, neuroscientist Oliver Sacks and science commentator Dr Karl Kruszelnicki have in common? Let’s just say: you might not know it if you saw it. Sonja Dechian looks into what’s really in the eye, or the mind, of the beholder.
Surviving a trip to the shopping centre at Christmas time is enough to test the patience of a saint. Imagine, then, the annual suffering of your local Santa Claus. Take a trip behind the tinsel to hear a true account of what it takes to be a gifted man in red. There’s much more to the jolly man than a ho ho ho and a snow-white beard.
In a time of repetition and assertion, repetition and assertion, questions have become rhetorical and answers unrelated. The pioneers of this practice? The residents of the fourth estate – and yes, Australian politics. At the end of a microphone, hesitation takes on the quality of uncertainty. But the power of rhetoric is far more insidious.
Once the home of the ubiquitous KEEP QUIET sign and the archetypal shushers, libraries now serve as repurposed meeting places, infotech zones, and speakeasies. The contemporary hum of incidental noise we make in libraries is considered acceptable, unavoidable, and sometimes even outwardly encouraged – the paper rustle, the machine whirr, the echoing cough. In the midst of all these sounds, Jon Tjhia and Oslo Davis ask: how can we still think of libraries as ‘quiet’?
A day spa isn’t the first place you’d expect to find a think tank, and yet it’s here that Toby Fehily finds himself stepping into a darkened capsule filled with warm, salty water. With the lid tightly shut, Toby comes to his senses – in a most senseless way.
Before the likes of Skype and Twitter, curious people built and operated amateur ‘ham’ radios in order to connect with other curious people around the world. The Cosmic Frequency tells the story of Maggie Iaquinto, an American-born Australian who forged a unique relationship with the Russian cosmonauts aboard the space station Mir.
In his ongoing wrestling match with the Cantonese language, Benjamin Law charts his attempts to master his family’s mother tongue. Tone Deaf is an extract from Benjamin Law’s book The Family Law, published by Black Inc. Fine out more about the book here; it’s since been adapted for TV, too! Please note: this podcast contains explicit language.