Show cover of Meaning What

Meaning What

The way people talk about fine art sucks, but it doesn't have to. Every Thursday join Mason Hershenow (a classically-trained photographer and educator), Sean Ang (a classically-trained violinist and vocalist), and Christopher Scott McNeill (a freelance writer and journalist) as they discuss the art world in a truly groundbreaking way: like real people. Welcome to Meaning What, a space for conversations missing in contemporary art and culture.

Tracks

Point Break
It's that Meaning What Movie Club time again, folks. This month we're discussing the 1991 cops-and-robbers-who-are-also-surfers blockbuster Point Break. Not without its flaws, this is a surprisingly complex (and surprisingly progressive thriller) that even the acting chops of early-90s Keanu couldn't sink.   If you want to help keep us from resorting to robbing banks in rubber masks, join our Patreon! For as little as $3/month, you'll get access to just so much bonus content you don't even know. Go now! Patreon.com/meaningwhatpod ——— Meaning What is a product of it's no sam studios Created by Mason Hershenow Produced by Sean Ang and Christopher Scott McNeill Edited by Christopher Scott McNeill Mixed by Mason Hershenow Original music by Mason Hershenow   Advertising provided by Voxnest
61:47 7/29/21
BONUS: Thanks India!
Welcome to a special preview episode of our Patreon-only podcast The Subscription Show! Enjoy and we'll see you again on Thursday for our regularly scheduled programing.  This month we saw our podcast break out internationally. And by "internationally" I mean just in India. And by "our podcast" I mean specifically our episode about Moonlight. You know what, just listen to the episode. You'll see what I mean. Other topics include Space Bezos and Jackass: The Movie: The New One If you would like access to more content like this while simultaneously funding our promising expansion into the international podcasting market, consider joining our Patreon! ——— Original music by Mason Hershenow, with special contributions this episode by Sean Ang and Christopher Scott McNeill.
26:13 7/27/21
Spy Movies
This week we're looking at secret agents in cinema. From the genre-defining silliness of Sean Connery's James Bond to the shaky-cam-defining realism of Matt Damon's Jason Borne, we discuss how the films defined politics and masculinity for generations, and how new generations are beginning to redefine the genre in return. If you would like to help make future commentary on Pierce Brosnan's bowties possible, join our Patreon! for as little as $3/month, you'll help keep this podcast going and get even more content in return. Patreon.com/meaningwhatpod ——— Meaning What is a product of it's no sam studios Created by Mason Hershenow Produced by Sean Ang and Christopher Scott McNeill Edited by Christopher Scott McNeill Mixed by Mason Hershenow Original music by Mason Hershenow   Advertising provided by Voxnest
64:56 7/22/21
East, West, & Twelve Bronze Heads
This week, we discuss the tenuous relationship between the Western fine art market and the People's Republic of China. We cover the Old Summer Palace bronze heads, why westerners find it easy to love Ai Weiwei, and the Second Opium War because global conflict was the most popular means of art collecting in 19th century Europe. For more on the sacking of the Summer Palace, its bronze heads, and the theft of Looty the dog, listen to this excellent 99% Invisible episode.   If you would like to help fund Mason's one-man war against government-backed global art theft, join our Patreon! for as little as $3/month, you'll help keep this podcast going and get even more content in return. Patreon.com/meaningwhatpod ——— Meaning What is a product of it's no sam studios Created by Mason Hershenow Produced by Sean Ang and Christopher Scott McNeill Edited by Christopher Scott McNeill Mixed by Mason Hershenow Original music by Mason Hershenow   Advertising provided by Voxnest
42:37 7/15/21
Hudson River School & Manifest Destiny
This week we discuss one of the United States' first fine art movements—the Hudson River School—and it's inextricable relationship with Manifest Destiny. We also discuss the legacy of these two ideas in American art, and Mason rants some more about Ansel Adams. A good time is had by all.   And if you want to keep the good time going, consider joining our Patreon. There you'll find bonus content of all kinds, and be directly contributing to Mason's mission to dethrone Ansel Adams once and for all. Patreon.com/meaningwhatpod ——— Meaning What is a product of it's no sam studios Created by Mason Hershenow Produced by Sean Ang and Christopher Scott McNeill Edited by Christopher Scott McNeill Mixed by Mason Hershenow Original music by Mason Hershenow   Advertising provided by Voxnest
48:06 7/8/21
Play Up – Hiatus
In his special segment Play Up, Meaning What producer and co-host Christopher Scott McNeill explores unique and innovative storytelling in video games. This month, Chris has a message about his recent experience video games and the future of the segment. Click here to donate to the McNeill's GoFundMe.   We have a Patreon, and are on Instagram and Twitter. Call to action! ——— Play Up is a product of it's no sam studios Created, written, and hosted by Christopher Scott McNeill Produced Christopher S. McNeill, with help from Mason Hershenow and Sean Ang Edited by Christopher S. McNeill Mixed by Mason Hershenow Theme music: "CopyLoop" by Mason Hershenow   Advertising provided by Voxnest
06:49 7/3/21
Apple Podcasts
Last month we were removed from Apple Podcasts without warning or meaningful explanation. What followed was a short-lived tour through some of the reasons why turning everything into a subscription platform and expecting Big Tech to solve all our problems are two of the stupidest ideas man kind has ever had.   We have a Patreon! Help us in our mission to break the capitalist cycle gripping our education and our souls through the only effective tool you have access to: money. Patreon.com/meaningwhatpod ——— Meaning What is a product of it's no sam studios Created by Mason Hershenow Produced by Sean Ang and Christopher Scott McNeill Edited by Christopher Scott McNeill Mixed by Mason Hershenow Original music by Mason Hershenow   Advertising provided by Voxnest
57:10 7/1/21
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
For the Pride Month edition of the Meaning What Movie Club, we watched Shane Black's 2005 dark comedy Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. It's not a perfect film, but it does feature arguably the first favorable depiction of a gay man in an American action movie: Val Kilmer's delightfully blunt LA private eye "Gay" Perry. Look, this movie is a mess but its fun and it'll make you miss Robert Downey Jr. before Kevin Feige built a media empire on top of him.   We have a Patreon! Help us break even, get stuff in return, something something content creator economy go now! Patreon.com/meaningwhatpod ——— Meaning What is a product of it's no sam studios Created by Mason Hershenow Produced by Sean Ang and Christopher Scott McNeill Edited by Christopher Scott McNeill Mixed by Mason Hershenow Original music by Mason Hershenow   Advertising provided by Voxnest  
56:18 6/24/21
Pirates of the Crystal Void
This episode contains mature content. Last week saw us briefly booted from Apple Podcasts (more on that later), so here is the episode we were going to put out on 6/17 but didn't get to for various reason. On today's episode, join the crew of the ISS Optimism as they embark on their most dangerous mission yet. With their captain incapacitated and their shuttle down behind enemy lines, will these four intrepid individuals finally uncover the dark secrets of the Crystal Void? If you'd like to read the rules of Lasers & Feelings (or play a game yourself), you can download the rules for free here. If you like what we do and want more please consider supporting our podcast. ——— Meaning What presents: Pirates of the Crystal Void Written and directed by Mason Hershenow, based on Lasers & Feelings by John Harper   Starring  Kim McMasters as Martia Roundhouse David Cox as CLOUD E.O. Christopher Scott McNeill as Tex Bramble Sean Ang as Crystal Beth And Mason Hershenow as everyone else   Produced by Sean Ang and Chris McNeill Edited by Chris McNeill Mix, Sound Design, and additional editing by Mason Hershenow Meaning What is a product of it’s no sam studios   Advertisements provided by Voxnest
93:30 6/21/21
Fine Art & Queer Censorship
This episode contains explicit content that is meant for neither work nor children. It's Pride Month, round two! This week, Mason and Sean are discussing the history of censorship of LGBTQ+ art from Robert Mapplethorpe (NSFW link) to now, and what that history can tell us about the evolution of American fine art and culture as a whole. We all discuss moral panic, religion in legislation, and deceased Republican Senator Jesse Helms. Mason rants about capitalism, Sean tries to advance the Gay Agenda, and we make an honest attempt at organically pitching our Patreon. There's something here for everyone. ——— Meaning What is a product of it's no sam studios Created by Mason Hershenow Produced by Sean Ang and Christopher Scott McNeill Edited and mixed by Mason Hershenow Original music by Mason Hershenow
59:30 6/10/21
Listen Now! – K-Pop
Welcome to Listen Now!, a monthly mini-podcast from it's no sam studios hosted by Meaning What producer and cohost Sean Ang. This week, Sean provides a crash course in K-pop and the ways it reimagines and subverts Western popular music, often creating something entirely new in the process.   Join our Patreon and help us continue making this podcast. https://patreon.com/meaningwhatpod ——— Listen Now! is a product of it's no sam studios Created and hosted by Sean Ang. Produced by Mason Hershenow, Sean Ang, and Chris McNeill. Edited and mixed by Mason Hershenow. Theme music by Mason Hershenow.
13:44 6/5/21
Welcome to Pride Month
June is LGBTQ Pride Month! This week, Mason and Sean are introducing our month-long discussion of LGBTQIA+ issues in the arts with a conversation about the annual Pride Parades: their history, their contemporary climate, and what it all can illuminate about the process of cultural minority groups moving into (and/or being coopted by) the mainstream. In other news, we have a Patreon! Head over to https://patreon.com/meaningwhatpod for the impending onslaught of bonus content every month. You'll be glad you did, and so will we.   ——— Meaning What is a product of it's no sam studios Created by Mason Hershenow Produced by Sean Ang and Christopher Scott McNeill Edited and mixed by Mason Hershenow Original music by Mason Hershenow
44:16 6/3/21
Minari
It's the Meaning What Movie Club! As AAPI Heritage Month draws to a close, Mason and Sean are visited by our good friend Hicham Benhallam (in his first solo appearance) to discuss the award-winning 2020 Korean-American film Minari. Go buy a bucket of Cherry Coke and watch this film like a gosh dang American.   We have a subscription program and Patreon in the works! Lots of bonus material headed your way in the coming months, so follow us on Instagram and Twitter for the latest updates. ——— Meaning What is a product of it's no sam studios Created by Mason Hershenow Produced by Sean Ang and Christopher Scott McNeill Edited and mixed by Mason Hershenow Original music by Mason Hershenow
63:38 5/27/21
Kathleen Larsen
This week, Mason and Sean are joined by abstract painter Kathleen Larsen to discuss how personal experiences and the events of the past year or so brought about a new direction for her art practice. We also discuss the shifting landscape of art Instagram, peace and conflict studies, and navigating abstract art in mediums you’re not particularly familiar with. Follow Kathleen on Instagram! And this is the untitled piece we reference!   We have a subscription program and Patreon in the works! Lots of bonus material headed your way in the coming months, so follow us on Instagram and Twitter for the latest updates. ——— Meaning What is a product of it's no sam studios Created by Mason Hershenow Produced by Sean Ang and Christopher Scott McNeill Edited by David Cox and Mason Hershenow Mixed by Mason Hershenow Original music by Mason Hershenow, with a special contribution this week from David Cox   Advertising provided by Voxnest
47:55 5/20/21
Asian Culture in Western Art
Mason and Sean return for part two of AAPI Heritage Month with an episode examining the outsized influence of Japanese art and Asian culture in general on modern and contemporary Western fine art. We discuss Jun'ichirō Tanizaki's In Praise of Shadows, Urban Outfitters, and whatever this ignorant garbage is. We only ever so briefly touch on the cancer that was and is Pablo Picasso, but focus is important and there's always more time later.   We have a subscription program and Patreon in the works! Lots of bonus material headed your way in the coming months, so follow us on Instagram and Twitter for the latest updates. ——— Meaning What is a product of it's no sam studios Created by Mason Hershenow Produced by Sean Ang and Christopher Scott McNeill Edited by David Cox and Mason Hershenow Mixed by Mason Hershenow Our theme music is "January: Brief" by Mason Hershenow   Advertising provided by Voxnest
49:30 5/13/21
Play Up – To the Moon
Play Up is a monthly segment where Meaning What producer and co-host Christopher Scott McNeill explores unique and innovative storytelling in video games. This month, Chris talks about Canadian game designer Kan Gao's To the Moon and its roots in the 16-bit era of Chris's childhood.   We have a Patreon and Apple Podcast subscription in the works! Lots of new and exclusive content on the way, so stay tuned and follow us on Instagram and Twitter. ——— Play Up is a product of it's no sam studios Created, written, and hosted by Christopher Scott McNeill Produced Christopher S. McNeill, with help from Mason Hershenow and Sean Ang Edited by Christopher S. McNeill Mixed by Mason Hershenow Theme music: "CopyLoop" by Mason Hershenow. Sound effects provided by Freesound. Game clips, commercial segments, and third-party commentary used in accordance with fair use. For a full list of sources, email Chris at meaningwhatpod@gmail.com
10:30 5/8/21
Chinatown
May is Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in the United States, and Sean and Mason are kicking it off with a conversation about San Francisco's Chinatown. It's an ugly history, but there's no shortage of lessons along the way. The California Society video about Arnold Genthe. *This episode has been corrected, because Mason got some names mixed up! Lewis Caroll was the author who photographed children, not CS Lewis. Meanwhile, Edward S. Curtis photographed American Indians, not TV personality Edward Sullivan. The audio should be fixed when you listen, but sometimes Libsyn and certain pod-catchers don’t cooperate.   We have a subscription program and Patreon in the works! Lots of bonus material in the works, so stay tuned, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter for the latest updates. ——— Meaning What is a product of it's no sam studios Created by Mason Hershenow Produced by Sean Ang and Christopher Scott McNeill Edited by David Cox and Mason Hershenow Mixed by Mason Hershenow Our theme music is "January: Brief" by Mason Hershenow   Advertising provided by Voxnest
56:03 5/6/21
Blazing Saddles!
Welcome back to the Meaning What Movie Club! This month, Mason and Sean are joined by special guest Robert Hershenow to talk about the important, influential, geniusly stupid film Blazing Saddles. We all loved this film, so get ready for a lighthearted episode! Don't worry though; next week we'll be back to normal.   Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and sign up for the newsletter. ——— Meaning What is a product of it's no sam studios Created by Mason Hershenow Produced by Sean Ang and Christopher Scott McNeill Edited and mixed by Mason Hershenow Our theme music is "January: Brief" by Mason Hershenow   Advertising provided by Voxnest
51:51 4/29/21
The Oscars
Sean watched all but one of this year's nominees for Best Picture, so this week we're discussing the Academy Awards and all the things that they come with. This is a big episode full of hot takes that took Mason an extra long time to edit into something coherent, so please enjoy and tell your friends and family and associates with advertising money. *Content warning: On this episode, we discuss sexual assault in the context of the film Promising Young Woman.   Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and sign up for the newsletter. ——— Meaning What is a product of it's no sam studios Created by Mason Hershenow Produced by Sean Ang and Christopher Scott McNeill Edited and mixed by Mason Hershenow Our theme music is "January: Brief" by Mason Hershenow
63:07 4/23/21
Listen Now! – Serpentwithfeet
Welcome to Listen Now!, a monthly mini-podcast from it's no sam studios hosted by Meaning What producer and cohost Sean Ang. This week, Sean discusses the work of Serpentwithfeet and his important role in challenging thematic and sonic conventions in R&B and pop music, as well as his influence as an openly queer voice in a stubbornly conservative industry Songs featured: cherubim four ethers A Comma Amir Fellowship   Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and sign up for the newsletter. ——— Listen Now! is a product of it's no sam studios Created and hosted by Sean Ang. Produced by Mason Hershenow, Sean Ang, and Chris McNeill. Edited and mixed by Mason Hershenow. Theme music by Mason Hershenow.
13:27 4/17/21
Crowdsurfing & the Millennial Layer Cake
We are joined once again by our good friends Kim McMasters and Hicham Benhallam from the band Post Sixty Five. We discuss their latest release "Crowdsurfing" and how the pandemic helped shape it.  We also discuss promising future opportunities for kissing our friends, the minefield that is internet advertising, and hypothetical ways to defraud for-profit insurance companies through the power of podcasting.   Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and sign up for the newsletter. ——— Meaning What is a product of it's no sam studios Created by Mason Hershenow Produced by Sean Ang and Christopher Scott McNeill Edited and mixed by Mason Hershenow Our theme music is "January: Brief" by Mason Hershenow
61:27 4/15/21
Andres Serrano's "Immersion" and Morality in Art
Immersion (Piss Christ) is a 1987 photograph by Andres Serrano that helped Senator Jessie Helms realize his career-long dream of gutting the National Endowment for the Arts. It's a 60x40-inch Cibachrome print of a plastic Jesus figurine apparently submerged in the artist's own urine. It's a piece that is as controversial as it is misunderstood, and which highlights an important thing that many American adults forget: you have a right to free speech, not freedom from being offended. We also discuss exciting merchandising ideas! Finally, here's an article about the history of halitosis as a marketing tool and the controversial regulation which bans certain kinds of "extreme" porn in the UK. I promise it's all important, just listen to the episode.   Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and sign up for the newsletter. ——— Meaning What is a product of it's no sam studios Created by Mason Hershenow Produced by Sean Ang and Christopher Scott McNeill Edited by Christopher Scott McNeill. Mix and additional editing by Mason Hershenow Our theme music is "January: Brief" by Mason Hershenow
55:11 4/8/21
NFTs
Non-Fungible Tokens! You’ve probably heard about them, leading fine art auction houses Christie’s and Sotheby’s now sell them, and famed South African emerald mine heir/Tony Stark-wannabe Elon Musk loves them. They’re so magical that they sometimes disappear! And, perhaps most importantly, they answer the question which has vexed so many since the beginning of digital art: how do we create monetary value for art objects that are easily duplicated and distributed? This week we discuss the rise of the NFT in digital art, why the tech world seems to love NFTs so much, and why—once again—a utopian ideal might not reflect the real world.   Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and sign up for the newsletter. ——— Meaning What is a product of it's no sam studios Created by Mason Hershenow Produced by Sean Ang and Christopher Scott McNeill Edited by Christopher Scott McNeill. Mix and additional editing by Mason Hershenow Our theme music is "January: Brief" by Mason Hershenow
54:08 4/1/21
Play Up – Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
New segment alert! Play Up is a monthly segment where Meaning What producer and co-host Christopher Scott McNeill explores unique and innovative storytelling in video games. This month, Chris reflects on the Starbreeze Studios and Josef Fares collaboration Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and its use of dual-stick controls to connect the player to the games' characters in ways that arguably could not be achieved with words or visuals alone.   Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and sign up for the newsletter. ——— Play Up is a product of it's no sam studios Created, written, and hosted by Christopher Scott McNeill Produced Christopher S. McNeill, with help from Mason Hershenow and Sean Ang Edited by Christopher S. McNeill Mixed by Mason Hershenow Theme music: "CopyLoop" by Mason Hershenow. Sound effects provided by Freesound. Game clips, commercial segments, and third-party commentary used in accordance with fair use. For a full list of sources, email us at meaningwhatpod@gmail.com
16:24 3/27/21
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Meaning What Movie Club: March Edition! This month, we discuss Ana Lily Amirpour's 2014 Iranian-American Vampire Western A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. Celebrated upon its release for its unique visuals and subversive undertones, Amirpour's black-and-white-rockabilly-goth-romp is often heralded as a feminist indie jewel. A lot has changed in the past 7 years though; is this film still as progressive as it once seemed? Listen and find out. Why are you still reading this?   Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and sign up for the newsletter. ——— Meaning What is a product of it's no sam studios Created by Mason Hershenow Produced by Sean Ang and Christopher Scott McNeill This episode edited by Christopher Scott McNeill Mix and additional editing by Mason Hershenow Our theme music is "January: Brief" by Mason Hershenow
70:03 3/25/21
The Grammys
This week Mason, Sean, and Chris discuss the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards. They happened last Sunday and none of us actually watched the broadcast, but Sean really wanted to talk about them and they're "music's biggest night" so here we are. What follows is a conversation about who won what of course, but more importantly about what sinking so much attention and money into an inherently undemocratic celebration of the corporate music machine tells us about the state of music, art, and culture in America. Mason also makes a suggestion concerning Metallica.   Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and sign up for the newsletter. ——— Meaning What is a product of it's no sam studios. Created by Mason Hershenow. Produced by Sean Ang and Christopher Scott McNeill. This episode edited by Christopher Scott McNeill. Additional editing and mix by Mason Hershenow. Our theme music is "January: Brief" by Mason Hershenow.
67:27 3/18/21
Listen Now! – SOPHIE
Welcome to Listen Now!, a monthly mini-podcast from it's no sam studios hosted by Meaning What producer and cohost Sean Ang. Sean is joined by Alan Dill to discuss the life and legacy of the late, groundbreaking trans musician SOPHIE, whose avant-garde sound helped redefine contemporary pop and dance music.    Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and sign up for the newsletter. ——— Listen Now! is a product of it's no sam studios Created and hosted by Sean Ang. Produced by Mason Hershenow, Sean Ang, and Chris McNeill. Edited by Christopher McNeill, mixed by Mason Hershenow. Theme music by Mason Hershenow.
33:30 3/14/21
On Francesca Woodman & Respecting the Dead
This week Mason, Chris, and Sean consider the work of posthumously-celebrated photographer Francesca Woodman and discuss our culture’s toxic habits of deifying tragic figures, romanticizing struggling artists, and replacing basic human empathy with academic jargon. It’s a heavy one. Content warning: this episode contains strong language, adult themes, and frank discussion of the subject of suicide. If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.   Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and sign up for the newsletter. ——— Meaning What is a product of it's no sam studios. Created by Mason Hershenow. Produced by Sean Ang and Christopher Scott McNeill. This episode edited by Christopher Scott McNeill. Additional editing and mix by Mason Hershenow. Our theme music is "January: Brief" by Mason Hershenow.
51:59 3/11/21
Naomi Haverland
This week, Mason and Sean speak to chalk artist and muralist Naomi Haverland about her practice, the influences of social media on her projects, and how public art has changed over the past year. See more of Naomi's art on Instagram. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and sign up for the newsletter. ——— Meaning What is a product of it's no sam studios. Created by Mason Hershenow. Produced by Sean Ang and Christopher Scott McNeill. This episode edited by Christopher Scott McNeill, with additional editing and mix by Mason Hershenow. Our theme music is "January: Brief" by Mason Hershenow.
44:41 3/4/21
Moonlight
Welcome back to the Meaning What Movie Club! This month's film is Barry Jenkins' 2016 Academy Award winning film Moonlight. Mason, Sean, and Chris discuss the film's masterful use of visual storytelling to critique and complicate themes of masculinity, race, and sexuality—all with far more heart than Best Picture winners generally have. Some additional things we mention in the episode:  The role typographic design played in the Moonlight Oscar gaff. A brief history of Shirley Cards and color films' racial bias. The Saturday Night Live “Papyrus” skit.   Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and sign up for the newsletter. ——— Meaning What is a product of it's no sam studios Created by Mason Hershenow. Produced by Sean Ang and Christopher Scott McNeill. This episode edited by Christopher Scott McNeill, with additional editing and mix by Mason Hershenow. Our theme music is "January: Brief" by Mason Hershenow.
60:31 2/25/21