15 episodes

A podcast about art and its role in our lives. Artist and armchair aesthetic philosopher Greg Beam probes various topics in the arts, asking how art both reflects and shapes our perceptions of the world.

Quite Useless Greg Beam

    • Books
    • 5.0, 8 Ratings

A podcast about art and its role in our lives. Artist and armchair aesthetic philosopher Greg Beam probes various topics in the arts, asking how art both reflects and shapes our perceptions of the world.

    Madmen | The Republic, Part II

    Madmen | The Republic, Part II

    Antonin Artaud was a self-described 'madman' and persistent failure in the theatre... He was also one of the great artistic geniuses of the 20th Century.

    • 38 min
    Raising the Curtain, Lifting the Veil | The Republic, Part I

    Raising the Curtain, Lifting the Veil | The Republic, Part I

    Bertolt Brecht was the force behind some of the most popular and influential theater of the 20th Century. But he didn't make plays to entertain. He made them to wake people up to the insanity around them.

    This episode delves into Brecht's background and work, his philosophy and his legacy... and leads to some surprising places.

    This is the first in a sequence inspired by the Allegory of the Cave, from Plato's Republic.

    • 48 min
    Angels & Demons

    Angels & Demons

    What lies at the intersection of art and commerce? Is it possible for these two categories of human endeavor to get along, or are they like cats and dogs, fated to engage in an endless struggle for dominance? (Okay, not really like cats and dogs, but you get the idea...)

    This episode features insights from Alan Watts, Tom Waits, Samuel Johnson, David Foster Wallace, and someone's psychic grandmother (seriously).

    • 42 min
    The Use of the Useless

    The Use of the Useless

    For the first episode of season two, I examine what the experience of creating and contemplating art does for us at the deepest level. A dip into the philosophy of art with some help from Tao master Zhuangzi, Thomas Merton, Simon Armitage, Duke Ellington, and Haruki Marukami.

    • 29 min
    PREVIEW - The Use of the Useless

    PREVIEW - The Use of the Useless

    Season 2 of Quite Useless is on its way! Here's a sneak peek at the first episode, in which I take a few steps in the direction of a general theory of art (and arts education), with reference to Zhuangzi, Thomas Merton, Simon Armitage, Duke Ellington, and Haruki Murakami.

    • 2 min
    Choices | In the Waiting Room | Appetite for Distraction

    Choices | In the Waiting Room | Appetite for Distraction

    The Hero's Journey, as described by Joseph Campbell, is one of the most influential ideas in modern storytelling. Every Hero's Journey starts with a call to adventure.

    But what happens when the call is confusing or contradictory... or when it never comes?

    This is the final episode of Season One of Quite Useless.

    • 35 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
8 Ratings

8 Ratings

greencowboy4life ,

Philosophy and Art

"There are more things in heave and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy." If you like philosophical persepctive on art, that's also still hip and funny, this is your jam. This guy has a way of bringing famous philosophical concepts to movies, art and other pop culture. Super smart. Very funny. Extremely charming. Good stuff.

Austin_F ,

Thought Provoking

I really enjoy this podcast! The subject matter is incredibly thought provoking, and the production is very high-quality. I'll be thinking about this podcast's topic all day now.

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