On Wonder

Exploring the realm of wonder: a series of audio stories and meandering conversations about moments of enchantment, relationships with animals and things, and getting away from it all. The trajectory of this project, originally inspired by my father's affection for a little brown beetle (see story below), has been random and serendipitous. Each story contains a kernel that inspires the next.

1. The Day the Sun Rose in the West

We know one thing for sure: the sun always rises in the East. Right? My mother tells the story of the day she woke up to an upside-down world.

2. Maikäfer

In which my mother tries to understand my dad's fascination with a clumsy little brown beetle: the Maikäfer. A story about growing up in post-war Germany (with Maikäfer).

3. The Comfort of Tiny Shells (Part 1)

A two-part, meandering conversation with anthropologist Kit Davis on the joys of the non-human. 
In Part 1, she talks about the tiny shells that are always in her purse.

4. On Wolves, Trains and Trees (Part 2)

Kit Davis riffs on the comfort of wolves, trains and trees.

5. Giraffe Bones

Artist Pippa Skotnes is writing a book on giraffe bones.

6. Sissel Tolaas, Smell Artist

Sissel Tolaas perceives life differently than most people. Part-chemist and part-artist, she's one of the world's leading (and only) experts on smell. She can detect scents that most humans don’t even register, parse them down to the tiniest molecule and compose new ones out of thin air.

7. Blue-Black Skies

Moroccan anthropologist Abdellah Hammoudi reflects on his own encounters with the uncanny, beginning with his earliest, childhood memory of wonder.

8. Olafur Eliasson on Glaciers, Twilight

Artist Olafur Eliasson talks about a childhood experience in Iceland that inspired his fascination with light.

Dussehra Festival in Delhi, 2009.

Dussehra Festival in Delhi, 2009.