3 episodes

Poet Paul Farley reimagines technology we rely on but take for granted

Techno Odyssey BBC

    • Society & Culture

Poet Paul Farley reimagines technology we rely on but take for granted

    Cardiac

    Cardiac

    A new series where the poet Paul Farley re-imagines technology we rely on but take for granted, taking the listener on unexpected journeys into technological environments.

    From subsea internet cables to heart valve surgery to cash in transit Paul makes us think again about the less seen but vital places and systems that make our world tick. In each programme he writes a poem, as a response to each environment.

    3. Cardiac

    In an odyssey of a different kind, Paul follows the journey of a heart valve from its manufacturers in Milan to a patient in a UK hospital. One in twenty of us will suffer from valve complications in later life and that figure is rising as the population ages. From the perspective of one of the women working on the mechanical valve production lines, Paul's sonnets explore the life story of the valves and wrap around recordings of their assembly and the sophisticated surgery involved in their replacement. It's exactly 500 years since Leonardo da Vinci devised the first prosthetic heart valve, also in Milan. As well as telling the story of this miraculous mechanical object which can give people a second life Paul also reflects on the greatest piece of technology of all: the heart itself.

    Reader Aisling Loftus
    Produced by Neil McCarthy
    Sound Design Phil Channell

    Featuring, Roberto Casula and his team at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.
    Umberto Pasquali, Gianni Rolando, Sorin Group, Milan.

    • 27 min
    Cash

    Cash

    A new series where the poet Paul Farley re-imagines technology we rely on but take for granted, taking the listener on unexpected journeys into technological environments.

    From subsea fibre optics to artificial heart valves to cash in transit Paul makes us think again about the less seen but vital spaces and systems that make our world tick. In each programme he writes a poem, as a response to each environment.

    2. Cash

    We expect an ATM to immediately serve up our cash, but how did that note get there? Where was it last week and where will it be tomorrow or the next day? Paul goes through the hole in the wall and follows the secret journey of a ten pound note as it passes through the hands of the cash industry. He gains rare access to one of the capital's cash processing centres, hidden in plain sight, which warehouses hundreds of millions of pounds and keeps money moving around society. He follows it from its birthplace on the Bank of England's printing press, through our pockets to the streets to the counting house and back again until the note is withdrawn from circulation and is turned into the most valuable compost in the world.

    Reader Paul Hilton
    Produced by Neil McCarthy
    Sound Design by Phil Channell

    Contributors, in order of appearance: Andy Phillips, Gopal Kutwaroo NCR, Andy Cruikshank G4S; Victoria Cleland, Head of Notes, Bank of England.

    • 27 min
    Cables

    Cables

    In a new series, the poet Paul Farley re-imagines technology we rely on but take for granted, taking the listener on unexpected journeys into technological environments.

    From subsea internet cables to artificial heart valves to cash in transit Paul makes us think again about the less seen but vital spaces and systems that make our world tick. In each programme he writes a poem, as a response to each environment.

    1. Cables

    We all use the internet, but where exactly is it? Is it the cloud, is it wireless, is it satellite? First and foremost it's fibre optic cables that criss-cross the globe over land and especially under the sea, keeping the continents connected and our world online. Paul's poem slows down the lightspeed journey of an email from New York to London following it as it circles wrecks and deep sea abysses, pleasure beaches and roundabouts all the way to its final destination. Along the way he hears from the lighthouse keepers that maintain the optic connections, the cable layers on the high seas and the engineers who decode the light back into information.

    Reader Indira Varma
    Produced by Neil McCarthy

    Sound Design by Hana Walker-Brown and Phil Channell

    Featuring, in order of appearance: Richard Elliot, Apollo Submarine Calse Systems; Andrew Blum, author of "Tubes: Behind the Scenes at the Internet"; Emmanuel Desurvire, Thales; Tim Dickenson, Hibernia Networks; Stuart Wilson, Ian Griffith, Global Marine Systems; Gisele Lie, Hentong Group; Dave Dunk, GMS; Tim Anker, The Colocation Exchange; Mike Mackeeg, BBC.

    • 27 min

Top Podcasts In Society & Culture

Listeners Also Subscribed To

More by BBC