The Face of Panic

August 28th, 2012

“This is the face of panic…”

“…that’s you, the public, you’re the ones who are panicking.”

Is a radio show, produced and presented by The Wells group, sponsored by Peter Mcleavey Gallery and is broadcast on Fresh FM every Fortnight. Its described on the website as “a radio program on Nelson’s Fresh FM presenting a global scan of the current infosphere, peering beneath the veil of local arts, politics and the economy.”

A couple of weeks ago I listened to episodes 2 through 5 on Friday afternoon/evening. Here are some thoughts on each episode:

Episode Two

A great episode. I loved Charles Bukowski doing a reading of his work. It added immensely to his work. Kim dotcom’s song didn’t do it for me.

The guest list were all fantastic Valerie Morse and Urs Signer talked about Urewera 17 fiasco here in New Zealand and the fate of Western Civilisation, while Sue Bradford continued talking about her work advocating for the poor (which began in Episode 1).

Episode Three

This one was weird not an easy listen I almost gave up towards the end. The interview with Dan Arps was well… difficult. It started out normally enough as a discussion about the arts in New Zealand.

The interview if you can call it that deteriorated towards the end into Tao Wells and Arps talking at cross purposes not really communicating but giving monologues. The discussion would be interrupted seemingly at random by harsh noise music, often in the middle of sentence or idea. It really made the interview feel dissonant, difficult, frustrating and uncomfortable as a listener.

Episode Four

I loved Allen Ginsberg reading his poem. It was fantastic. I also loved the Throbbing Gristle track. Awesome. The Interview with Gilbert May (Editor of Crop Magazine) was really interesting, especially with regard to the history of the concept of the University and how this affects the current status of them in New Zealand.

My favourite poster to date

Episode Five

George Carlin was hardcore and what a way to start off a show ‘fuck hope’! The Interview with Beneficiary advocate Kay Brereton was really interesting; exploring Work and Income New Zealand’s (WINZ) ways of making people’s lives difficult and unpleasant. Even though it was interesting I found it a tough, frightening interview.

I cannot understand why we don’t live in a compassionate society which cares. As Individuals we generally have these values ,yet together they seemly vanish.

The Verdict

After listening to all these shows one thing became clear it’s not really a radio show. In a radio show one only hears the presenter and ads. This show diverges from corporate radio.

Weird interpersonal moments that happen in everyday life turn up in the show. Through these moments Tao Wells is rendered truly human not just a presenter. Laura Wells has a very noticeable presence not only in producing the show (content, music, sound board and mixing) but actively vocal; not someone invisible in the background. As does their son Cassius.

It becomes a family show; the whole family making art. The Family rather than just the presenter, the Patriarch lording over us. Guests who are often shunned or made a mockery off by the mainstream get a voice embraced by the family.

It’s not a show but performance art involving us, Tao, Laura, Cassius and the guests. This art is like the ingrown hairs on someone’s shaved pubic area.

I just wish this gets a wider audience than just the converted, like myself.

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