UNLOCKED: Swan Song Series 2 | Teal Swan: Art & Artifice (w/Paola Marino)


Aug 18 2022 • 1 hr 47 mins

In this episode of the Swan Song Series, Matthew interviews Paola Marino about why she found Teal Swan a fascinating subject to film for 2018’s “Open Shadow.” They discuss aesthetics, the mystery of personality, why Swan’s parents agreed to sit down with her. Matthew also surprised her with the newly-revealed translations of Swan’s coded journal pages.

Prefacing the interview is a discussion between Julian and Matthew about art, artifice, the risks of doing and not doing hard journalism on the subjects we cover. They discuss James Joyce’s proverb about noble art, in which he describes “aesthetic arrest” as the middle way between propaganda and pornography.

Marino’s work attempts to find that path, while Jon Kasbe’s The Deep End falters to both sides. On one hand Kasbe’s film titillates viewers with high drama. On the other hand it tells viewers what they should think. And in both cases it creates a story where the truth would suffice.

The feelings excited by improper art are kinetic, desire or loathing. Desire urges us to possess, to go to something; loathing urges us to abandon, to go from something. These are kinetic emotions. The arts which excite them, pornographical or didactic, are therefore improper arts. The esthetic emotion (I use the general term) is therefore static. The mind is arrested and raised above desire and loathing. —James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Show Notes

Open Shadow—Paola Marino

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