Around the Nation

BY Lauren Knapp  January 13, 2011 at 1:01 PM EDT

Here are some of this week’s arts and culture stories from public broadcasting stations around the nation.

Image via NPR, Photo by Andrew Moore
– Detroit’s abandoned buildings have become the muse of many a photographer since the recession hit. Ruin porn, as some are now calling it, is when artists and journalists parachute into the Motor City to take pictures of the town’s ruins. Michigan Radio’s Artpod podcast explores the topic.
[Michigan Radio]

- Alexandre Fleming is most well known for discovery penicillin in 1928, but few know of the scientist’s passion for art. Fleming’s medium was colorful bacteria and his paintings might have helped lead to his discovery. Now, two women are continuing the art of painting with microorganisms. Listen here.
[Studio 360]

 
– The audio documentary ‘The Sleeping Fool’ takes listeners into the silent world of the art museum security guard. Listen to the story, produced by Sofia Soldanha (winner of the Best New Artist prize at the 2010 Third Coast Festival) here or below.
[KCRW]

 
– Live simulcasts of opera and classical music performances have been gaining in popularity over the past few years (including the latest addition, the LA Philharmonic’s high profile concert series). They make performances available to some who might not be able to afford an opera ticket or travel to see a show, but they are also sparking some debate among classical purists who worry that performing for the big screen preferences appearance over talent. The Washington Post’s classical music critic, Anne Midgette, talks with Kojo Nnamdi about the trend.
[The Kojo Nnamdi Show]

- The Affrilachian literary movement was born when African American writer Frank Walker felt that he didn’t fit the typical definition of an Appalachian — a white resident from the mountains. He coined the term ‘affrilachian’ and sparked a movement among other African American writers in the region. Listen to a story about the Affrilachian movement, which turns 20 this year, here.
[WVTF]

- In the late 1960s, Poles living under communist rule had an unusual way of spreading and consuming American pop music: sound postcards. The postcards were small, plastic rectangles with images or a message on one side and grooves on the other. After receiving a postcard in the mail, one could put it on the record player and listen to all sorts of banned music.
[PRI’s The World]

 
– Navajo musician Clarence Clearwater says many Native Americans who struggle with oppression and prejudice escape through alcohol. He uses music as healing and expression.
[KEXP]

- Hastings 3000 is a 21st century one-man-band. He’s known for playing guitar, singing and banging on a bass drum simultaneously and is notorious for his elaborate shows. He performed recently at the studios of Minnesota Public Radio’s The Current.
[MPR]

Watch a live performance of Hasings 3000.