Making connections through conversation with the art, literature, and creative work that matters to us, and the people who make it. Hosted by writer and photographer Mike Sakasegawa, Keep the Channel Open is a series of in-depth and intimate conversations with artists, writers, and curators from across the creative spectrum.
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan’s second novel, Starling Days, is a beautiful story about the complex love between the book’s two protagonists, Mina and Oscar, and their respective challenges in the wake of Mina’s suicide attempt. In our conversation, Rowan and I discussed the depiction of mental illness in her book, how she approached writing the multifaceted relationships between the characters, and why it was important to her to include multiracial characters.
Farrah Karapetian’s wide-ranging practice incorporates sculpture, performance, and different forms of mark-making to stretch the photographic medium as she is driven by her rigorous curiosity. In our conversation, Farrah and I talked about the appeal of the photographic medium, the tension between constructing an image and the happy accident, and the ethics of artistic beauty. Then in the second segment, we discussed the Nardal sisters and how we develop a language around issues like exoticization.
From the Archive: Ken Rosenthal
Tucson-based photographer Ken Rosenthal's work has always stuck in my mind for both its striking visual style and the way that he uses images to represent and explore his internal emotional and psychological state. We talked about several bodies of work, including his recent series The Forest and a work in progress called Days On the Mountain. For the second segment, Ken and I talked about change, and how it can spur us to new heights in our work. (Originally aired Aug. 8, 2016)
KTCO Book Club - Song (with Gabrielle Bates)
For this installment of the KTCO Book Club, poet and podcaster Gabrielle Bates joins me for a conversation about Brigit Pegeen Kelly’s 1994 poetry collection Song. In our conversation, Gabrielle and I talked about how Kelly builds the worlds of her poems, how the poems layer metaphor, and how the poems manage to be simultaneously (and paradoxically) both surreal and grounded.
The poems Kary Wayson’s latest collection, The Slip, are wonderfully slippery in both form and feeling, in a way that demands attention and rewards deep engagement. In our conversation we discussed what a poem can do, how we approach “meaning” in poetry, and how life changes affect our art. Then in the second segment, we talked about time and our human perception of duration.
Remembering Paula Riff
My friend Paula Riff passed away recently, after having been ill with cancer for two years. Paula was a wonderful, kind, generous, and enthusiastic person, and a brilliant artist whose work pushed the boundaries of the photographic medium. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to talk with her about that work for the show. In honor of her memory, I’m re-sharing our conversation today. Rest in peace, Paula.
Thoughtful Interviews with a Thoughtful Guy
It’s rare that people really prepare for interviews, and it’s rare that people are both incredibly smart and incredibly generous, and so it’s only right to say that this is a rare show on several counts.
I love the deep dive into art and things I care about here
I've been reading Mike's tinyletter for a whiel now and then learned about his podcast. Mike's interview with Celeste Ng got me hooked. He knows the art of thoughtful conversation and better yet, knows how to listen so that we get insights not just on craft but on life from artists we admire or just discovered. This is great. I don't listen to many podcasts but I'm adding this one.
Insightful Podcast with a Personable Host
As the host of a podcast myself, I always gravitate toward other literary and arts shows where the host likes to grapple with questions of craft, and where you can feel the host has a facility at establishing rapport with their guests. Look no further than Keep the Channel Open.