me n the boys #roblox #fyp #foryou #robloxian

♬ original sound - 8

Kieran Press-Reynolds produced an audio essay/guided tour of zoomer hall of mirrors genres, glitch-hop and Robloxcore. That segment came out on MPR last October and last week he published a piece in the NYT on the Robloxcore side of things. You should R it but TLDR: some kids who met on Roblox ended up creating an absurd and gnarly sounding (but totally loving ,caring, and queer) rap scene for themselves. It recalls a conversation I had with Cade Diehm of New Design Congress on how the design of these social platforms (the UI/UX, their internal economies, the depth of interactions permitted between users) can make for some unintended and sometimes beautiful outcomes. We're familiar with the less pretty places these sorts of social spaces can take us, but this little world feels alright.

Full acknowledgement that it sucks when the NYT catches on to fun stuff kids are doing, but these artists are 16...they'll figure the next thing out soon enough. Also congrats to Kieran who just graduated from Fordham :)





Thursday, May 20, 2021 by DJ Uncertain #technology

MPR at H0L0 on May 30th

We’ve been waiting for a chance to bring people together, and H0L0 presented themselves with a perfect opportunity. In the spirit of frequent gatherings and celebrations of music and talk radio that would take place at our 46 Canal Street location - we're bringing the realm shifting artists Celes, HARDCOREBAE, Violence, and SYANIDE to H0l0’s backyard. Making Sunday evening what we all know we deserve and can finally have - a good time. 


Monday, April 5, 2021 by Montez Press Radio #interviews #justice

Let the Record Show: Sarah Schulman

Back in September 2019, we had the honor of speaking with novelist, playwright, nonfiction writer, screenwriter and AIDS historian Sarah Schulman, focusing primarily on ideas from her books Conflict Is Not Abuse and Gentrification of the Mind. The transcript from our conversation is below, or you can listen to it in the archive. At the time, she was working on an 800-page history of active New York. Twenty years in the making, Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993 is finally about to be released and can be found here. Thank you Sarah!

Interview with Sarah Schulman
Transcription by Carly Sorenson

Thomas Laprade: This is Montez Press Radio, it’s two o’clock, Saturday afternoon. We have Stacy Skolnik and Sarah Schulman in studio. It’s a pleasure to have you, Sarah. If you don’t know, Sarah is a novelist, playwright, nonfiction writer, screenwriter, and AIDS historian. Stacy Skolnik will be talking to her, I’ll be sitting here, I might chime in here and there, might ask stupid questions.

Stacy Skolnik: Thank you for joining us, Sarah. I feel like it’s really cool to have you here because not only do I respect all the work that you’ve done and appreciate the many hats that you wear, but you have been mentioned perhaps more times across segements than any other. We’ve been on the radio for about a year, and in various segments and various topics in various countries, your work seems to arise.

TL: It came up in London a lot.

Stacy: So it’s really cool to be able to put your work and yourself in conversation with other stuff that we’ve had on air. I first was introduced to you through the Lesbian All-Stars series that was happening through Belladonna*. You organized--

Sarah Schulman: A tribute to Belladonna*, yeah.

Stacy: Yes. That was a great reading. James Loop, who’s been on the radio a bunch, said, “You should totally get Sarah Schulman on the radio.” I approached you, and you were so open to doing it, which is -- Tom and I talk all the time about how we really appreciate the people who say, “Yes.” [laughs]  It’s cool to have you here and thank you for joining us. The first book that I read of yours was Conflict is not Abuse, and I am really intrigued by the ideas that are shared in this work. I thought that maybe we could start today with -- I mean, feel free to decline -- talking a little bit about Conflict is not Abuse. I’m curious if there’s been any pushback to the ideas that you’ve shared in here. Would you like to maybe tell us a little bit about, sort of an annotated version or the main idea of what Conflict is not Abuse is trying to get at?

Sarah: There’s two main constructs in the book. The first is something that we are all witnessing right now when we have Trump say, “It’s a witch hunt!” and it’s so sad and he’s a victim, when actually he’s a perpetrator. He hides behind that. Yet at the same time, he puts blame on immigrants for pain that is caused by the 1%. It’s a deflecting system. So that’s one of the constructions that I look at. The other is the similarities between supremacy and traumatized behavior, and how when people are raised in supremacy they really hate difference. They feel that they have a right to never have to confront difference, so if they’re asked to question themselves in some way, they see that as an abuse or an attack. But when we’re traumatized, sometimes it’s so hard for us to just keep it together that when we’re asked to be self-critical, that can be so overwhelming. That simple difference can appear to be a kind of attack when it’s not. So the similarities there are the other dynamic that I’m dealing with in that book.

Stacy: Did you find that, after this book was released, did people conflate your critique with a type of victim blaming, or…?

Sarah: The biggest attack on the book was before it was published.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2021 by Montez Press Radio


A cool thing that happens on the radio is the way threads organically, unexpectedly develop between different shows in a given month. This month, the thread was friendship  (´・ω・`)

Listening to people who like each other a lot simply vibe might just be one of the many the secret ingredients in the mysterious recipe for what makes a "good segment". 

Check out a few of the shows from our March broadcast in which the hosts get along really well, and have chemistry that is very, very pleasant to be included in:

Craig Kalpakjian and Arto Lindsay: Mise en abîme / stairway to hell episode 3
Aria Dean and Emmanuel Olunkwa: The Radio Show: Energy 003
Bob Nickas and Adrian Rew: The Singer, Not the Song / Name That Tune
The Drunken Canal Attempts to Fill An Hour, with Jacky Flowers
Whitney Mallett and Seashell Coker featuring Esther Choi: Mukbangers

Image: Gargoyles at the Cloisters

Thursday, March 11, 2021 by DJ Uncertain

Naps and Dust

A few months ago, Esther Sibiude came by the studio to discuss an idea for a show she had about sleep. I'd been writing my dreams down for the past few weeks and was excited by her proposal -- especially since I'd just read somewhere that the reason we forget our dreams is, perhaps, because if we remembered them too clearly, they'd become indistinguishable from reality. Whatever that is. 

Esther mentioned a few articles that had just come out about sleep too, one of which was this one about dream sharing by Matthew Spellberg. It seemed like sleep was on a lot of people's minds, maybe because in the pandemic we all finally had a little more time for it. Or because, in the monotony of quarantine, sleep offered a reprieve from the interiority of our repetitious days by, ironically, bringing us even further into ourselves. 

The segment materialized in the form of Naps and Dust, a compilation of music, stories, and poetry evoking the world of sleep with contributions by Anna Pierce and Benjamin Scott, Millie Kapp, Celia Lesh, Colleen Billing, Lucia della Paolera, Justine Lugli and Esther Sibiude, and Megan Cline. Though I heard it when it aired at 9pm on the last Friday of February, I listened to it today as I rounded the final bend of my morning walk, with winter retreating and spring on the horizon. I couldn't tell at moments if the sounds I was hearing were from inside or outside. Was the chirping of the birds "real" or part of the recording? Were the buzz and hums from the cars and passersby, or from inside my earbuds? Walking with my head down, I started noticing all of these imprints of leaves in the cement. Soon they'll be in the trees. And then, gone again. 

Monday, March 8, 2021 by DJ Uncertain #technology


In May of last year, art historian and media theorist Kris Paulsen came on the radio for a segment with Electronic Arts Intermix and spoke about her book, Here/There: Telepresence, Touch, and Art at the Interface. Telepresence, as she describes, is the ability to engage our senses in distant environments that we can manipulate and effect without ever being physically present. Our senses are engaged while our bodies are removed and sitting miles away. With the current state of the world, one of the biggest challenges we’ve all had to face is finding a way to connect with one another while being physically distant. And so with everything we’re going through, thought I'd share some of my favorite telepresence projects. Some are wonky futurist visions that never saw completion, while others gave us robotic limbs to remind us that we’re never as isolated as we think we are. 


1. Telegarden (1995): A community garden where members could visit a web page that would instruct a robotic arm to plant new seeds, water the flowers, and keep track of its growth. 

Ken Goldberg & Joseph Santarromana  - Telegarden, Telerobotic Installation 1995


2. Hilton’s TeleSuite and Teledining services

In the late 90s, Hiliton hotels had started creating special rooms called “TeleSuites'' that would simulate the feeling of sitting down at a table and sharing a meal. Each room had a 92 inch screen that would project life size images of the other party, each side eating the same food with the same silverware. The systems were connected by land based lines instead of by satellite to make sure there were no delays or any buffering.


3. Underwater robot sampler that gently traps creatures without any harm for deep sea research. Future iterations of the robot will have the ability to take DNA samples and film video.


4. Kissenger: Perfect for star crossed lovers or I guess if you moved back in with your parents lol.

OceanOne robot has a haptic feedback system, so you can feel exactly what the robot is feeling with his hands

5. LiveMask: A screen that molds to the shape of your face


Monday, February 15, 2021 by Montez Press Radio #interviews #justice

Happy President's Day

At the radio we're reminded again and again of the vitality of art and language, a power which can be used to disrupt damaging structural and generational stigmas. And historically the radio has proven to be a useful tool for providing a platform to individuals whose voices are isolated from the general public or for providing resources on important and suppressed subject matter.

Last March, Wendy Jason, the manager of the Justice Arts Coalition website, organized a segment called The Art of Moving On which brought together several people with varying relationships to art and the prison system. A few months later, Stacy sat down for a conversation with Emily Jacobson, the Correctional Services Supervising Librarian at the New York Public Library. Emily opened the first dedicated library space on Rikers Island in 2016 where she now runs circulating library services for women, transgender, and GNC people. She also manages the NYPL's Reference by Mail program which provides research through the mail for people in prison.

The work of people like Wendy and Emily is crucial and we hope these segments are the first of many on MPR to highlight their efforts and the voices of those they serve.

For further reading and listening about Emily's field of work, visit the following links, and listen to the segment here:
Reference Services to Incarcerated People, Part I: Themes Emerging from Answering Reference Questions from Prisons and Jails
Reference Services to Incarcerated People, Part II: Sources and Learning Outcomes
Change-Makers: Librarians Bring Books and Answers to Rikers (WNYC)