Weird Studies

A filmmaker and a professor talk art and philosophy at the limits of the thinkable

About the show

Professor Phil Ford and writer/filmmaker J. F. Martel host a series of conversations on art and philosophy, dwelling on ideas that are hard to think and art that opens up rifts in what we are pleased to call "reality."

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Episodes and Blog Entries

  • Episode 39: The Challenge of the Paranormal, with Jeffrey J. Kripal

    Episode  |  January 30th, 2019  |  1 hr 2 mins
    interviews, jeffrey kripal, paranormal

    JF and Phil discuss the paranormal with the esteemed professor and philosophy and religious thought, Jeffrey J. Kripal.

  • Episode 38: Style as Analysis

    Episode  |  January 16th, 2019  |  1 hr 10 mins
    music, writing

    Phil and JF discuss a recently published article of Phil's authorship on how to write about music.

  • Episode 37: Entities, with Stuart Davis

    Episode  |  January 2nd, 2019  |  1 hr 14 mins
    interviews, mysticism, paranormal, stuart davis

    JF and Phil discuss nonhuman beings in an aesthetic universe with filmmaker, musician and mystic Stuart Evan Davis.

  • Christmas Bonus: Hyperstition Addendum

    Episode  |  December 25th, 2018  |  24 mins 1 sec
    academic life, ideology, politics

    The final segment of our conversation on hyperstition, i.e., fiction that turns real.

  • Episode 36: On Hyperstition

    Episode  |  December 19th, 2018  |  1 hr 13 mins
    hyperstition, magic, metaphysics, occult

    JF and Phil talk hyperstitions, entities born in the realm of fantasy that slowly become denizens of the real.

  • Episode 35: Whirl Without End: On M.C. Richards' 'Centering'

    Episode  |  December 5th, 2018  |  1 hr 1 min
    art, creative process, individuation, mc richards

    Phil and JF discuss the first chapter of "Centering," M.C. Richard's penetrating essay on the artistic process.

  • Episode 34: The Weird Realism of Robert Aickman

    Episode  |  November 21st, 2018  |  55 mins 25 secs
    dreams, folklore, robert aickman, weird fiction

    JF and Phil discuss Robert Aickman's masterwork of weird fiction, "The Hospice," from his 1975 collection "Cold Hand in Mine."

  • Episode 33: The Fine Art of Changing the Subject: On Duchamp's 'Fountain'

    Episode  |  November 7th, 2018  |  59 mins 57 secs
    aesthetics, duchamp, modern art

    JF and Phil discuss the profound effects of Marcel Duchamp's "Fountain" (the urinal) on the development of the arts since 1917.

  • Episode 32: Orbis Tertius: Borges on Magic, Conspiracy and Idealism

    Episode  |  October 31st, 2018  |  1 hr 10 mins
    hyperstition, idealism, jorge luis borges, metaphysics

    Phil and JF discuss the classic tale, "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius," by the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges.

  • Episode 31: Scarcely Human at All: On Glenn Gould's 'Prospects of Recording'

    Episode  |  October 24th, 2018  |  1 hr 16 mins
    art, music, technology, transhumanism

    JF and Phil discuss the Canadian pianist Glenn Gould's prophetic essay, "The Prospects of Recording."

  • Episode 30: On Stanley Kubrick's 'Eyes Wide Shut'

    Episode  |  October 14th, 2018  |  1 hr 6 mins
    dreams, film, kubrick, sexuality

    Phil and JF discuss Stanley Kubrick's final masterpiece.

  • Episode 29: On Lovecraft

    Episode  |  October 9th, 2018  |  1 hr 15 mins
    hp lovecraft, philip k dick, self, weird fiction

    Phil and JF try to distill the essence of H. P. Lovecraft's monumental work.

  • Episode 28: Weird Music, Part Two

    Episode  |  October 2nd, 2018  |  1 hr 4 mins
    morality, music, romanticism

    The search for the music of the weird continues with a discussion on Bob Dylan and Franz Liszt.

  • Episode 27: Weird Music, Part One

    Episode  |  September 26th, 2018  |  1 hr 18 mins
    cinema, ligeti, music, ornette coleman

    Phil and JF discuss two powerful pieces of music: Ligeti's Musica Ricercata, second movement, and the opening music to Cronenberg's Naked Lunch, composed by Howard Shore and featuring Ornette Coleman.

  • Episode 26: Living in a Glass Age, with Michael Garfield

    Episode  |  September 19th, 2018  |  1 hr 18 mins
    glass age, michael garfield, modernity

    JF and Phil talk to artist and thinker Michael Garfield about his idea that we are living in the final days of the Age of Glass.

  • Episode 25: David Cronenberg's 'Naked Lunch'

    Episode  |  September 12th, 2018  |  1 hr 20 mins
    art, crime, david cronenberg, drugs, william s. burroughs

    Phil and JF discuss David Cronenberg's 1991 film, "Naked Lunch," an adaptation of William S. Burroughs' hallucinatory classic.