West Texas Talk

West Texas Talk — Marfa Public Radio’s flagship program — made its debut when the station launched and is now a repository of hundreds of local profiles.

The show is hosted by Diana Nguyen and other contributors. The program is also produced by Diana Nguyen. 

The program features discussions about regional issues and topics with residents and experts. Whether looking at immigration on the border, delving into West Texas history, or having conversations about the Big Bend’s changing towns we hope to explore the topics that matter most to residents.

The show also celebrates the creative spirit of Far West Texas and features conversations with writers, musicians, filmmakers, and artists who both live here and pass through the region. 

Subscribe to the West Texas Talk podcast on Apple Podcasts.

West Texas Talk broadcasts on Thursday at 6 pm and rebroadcasts Friday at 9 am.

The show’s theme music was composed by Andy Stack.

Recently on West Texas Talk:

Friday, Aug 1, 2014:
Chinati Placed on World Monuments Fund’s 2014 Watchlist

On Saturday August 2, the Chinati Foundation will hold a special sunrise viewing of Donald Judd’s “100 untitled works in mill aluminum” to celebrate being placed on the World Monuments Fund‘s 2014 watch list. This is followed by a panel discussion at 3pm at the Crowley Theater.

The Fund’s mission is to preserve the world’s architectural heritage of significant monuments, buildings, and sites. Currently celebrating their 50th anniversary of advocacy and preservation, they have completed 603 projects in 120 countries. Alongside Chinati Foundation, 2014 Watch sites include the church of Yemrehanna Kristos in Ethiopia, the historic cityscapes of Sawara and Kesennuma in Japan and various heritage sites in Syria.

We speak today to Chinati’s Executive Director Jenny Moore and the World Monuments Fund’s U.S Program Director, Frank Sanchis, about the importance of the Fund and why Chinati Foundation was chosen.

Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014:
Artist Amanda Beech

Host K. Yoland speaks with the current Fieldwork Marfa artist in residence Dr Amanda Beech. The Artist and writer is based in Los Angeles and is the co-director of the Political Currency of Art Research Group and the Dean of Critical Studies at CalArts.  She will be screening video work on July 31st at Fieldwork Marfa, 7 – 9:30pm, 212 E San Antonio Street. The screening is followed by a Q& A with Matthew Poole,  a curator and writer, currently living in Los Angeles, California.

Beech has exhibited internationally and regularly speaks and publishes writing on contemporary art and the politics of the image. Recent solo shows include those at Lanchester Gallery Projects, UK, and HaGamle Prestagard, Norway, Spike Island, Bristol, Harlow, UK and DNA Gallery, Berlin, as well as a group exhibition at Tate Britain.

Poole has curated exhibitions of contemporary art in venues around the world, as well as conferences and symposia dedicated to exploring the political agency of contemporary art. Between 2002 and 2012 he was Programme Director of The Centre for Curatorial Studies within The School of Philosophy & Art History at The University of Essex in the UK. He is currently working on a book called “Anti-Humanist Curating”, and an edited volume titled “The Politics of Parametricism” (forthcoming, Bloomsbury Press, London 2015). He continues his curatorial practice via the online gallery www.kynastonmcshine.org.uk

Thursday, Jul 24, 2014:
Viva Big Bend Coverage

Host Tom Michael speaks with Stewart Ramser, organizer of Viva Big Bend, and Beth Bellante about this year’s Viva Big Bend festivities.

Five towns, 60 bands and over 75 shows– the annual music festival Viva Big Bend is back! Marfa Public Radio has all the information on the hot shows catch and where to catch them.

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014:
Photography Exhibition at The Lumberyard, Marfa

Emerging curator Francesca Altamura, artist Hannah Texie Bailey and community supporter Elaine Harmon, discuss their upcoming exhibition.  Seeing and Hearing Memories is a photography/multimedia exhibition that explores an emerging genre, vernacular photography.  Photographs, candids and posed alike, taken by amateurs, make their way on to the exhibition’s walls reminding us of the past and ourselves.  The show also has a community evolvement aspect in which Marfa residents, both long time and new arrivals, share their own pictures for the show. Seeing and Hearing Memories opens at  The Lumberyard, Sunday, July 27, on Dean Street in Marfa.  An artist reception will be from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014:
Death Row and “The Last Forty Miles”

Talk at Ten host K. Yoland  is joined in the studio by Austin-based British journalist Alex Hannaford, producer and cinematographer Meg Mulloy and animators  Jeff Roth and Lucas Dimick to talk to about their animation “The Last Forty Miles,” a fictional, animated film based loosely on Hannaford’s interviews with Texas death row inmates. The animation screened at Marfa Film Festival along side experimental documentary Natural Life.

The Last 40 Miles follows an inmate on his final journey from Texas’s death row in Livingston, to the execution chamber in Huntsville. During the ride, his memories, the scenery flashing by and the unexpected compassion of the guard escorting him keep him company.

The animated and rotoscoped short film was conceived by journalist British-born journalist Alex Hannaford, who then teamed up with animators Jeff Roth and Lucas Dimick and producer/cinematographer Meg Mulloy. The group began working together early in 2012, forming Onalaska Films to produce the project.

The film features Austin actors Victor Steele, Gary Warner Kent and Al Dinneen, original score by British songwriter Ben Onono and guitar compositions by Julian Mandrake.

For more information on the film please visit the animation’s website : http://www.onalaskafilms.com/



Monday, Jul 21, 2014:
Documentary – Natural Life – Juvenile Incarceration


Filmmaker Tirtza Even talks with Talk at Ten host K. Yoland about her new documentary Natural Life. Shot entirely in split screen, this experimental documentary challenges inequities in the U.S. juvenile justice system by depicting, through documentation and reenactment, the stories of five individuals of different age, gender, economic background and race, who were sentenced to Life Without Parole (Natural Life) for crimes they committed as youth. The film screened at Marfa Film Festival this year alongside the short animation The Last 40 Miles.

Prisoners: Matthew Bentley, Barbara Hernandez, Kevin Boyd, Jennifer Pruitt, Efren Paredes

Tirtza Even has practiced video art and documentary film-making for fifteen years. She has produced linear and interactive video work representing the the social/political dynamics in specific locations including Palestine, Turkey, Spain, the U.S. and Germany. Her work has appeared at the Museum of Modern Art NY, at the Whitney Biennial, the Johannesburg Biennial, as well as in many other festivals, galleries and museums in the United States, Israel, and Europe.

For more information on the film please go to their website: http://www.naturallifefilm.org/


Friday, Jul 18, 2014:
Opportunities and Obstacles – The Future of Solar in Texas

This morning we conclude our week-long look at how the solar industry is shaping up in Texas.

Companies from California to France have plans to build sizable, utility-scale solar farms in West Texas, and at least one border city has already invested in solar power to help re-vamp its electrical infrastructure and bring more reliable power to a remote region.

Despite the fact that Texas has some of the nation’s highest potential for solar power generation, the industry faces challenges. For one, the state doesn’t have a specific mandate for solar power generation, and its overall goals for meeting a renewable energy standard by 2025 were already met four years ago.

Today we speak with two people with a ground-level view of how the industry’s growth in Texas is playing out.

Presidio County Judge Paul Hunt has spoken and negotiated directly with some of the solar companies looking to build in West Texas.

Larry Perea heads up a small solar company based in El Paso, servicing Texas and New Mexico.

Thursday, Jul 17, 2014:
Opera comes to Marfa TX: Alex Waterman, Director of Vidas Perfectas, with Fairfax Dorn of Ballroom Marfa

Back from El Paso and Juarez, where the opera opened last weekend, Alex Waterman and Fairfax Dorn joins K. Yoland in the studio for a Talk at Ten.  The opera takes place in multiple locations across Marfa on Friday, July 18. Performances in Marfa are free. For more information, please call 432-729-3600.

Note: Each episode is 30 minutes with a 15-minute set change.

Wednesday, Jul 16, 2014:
Science Studio

Dr. Keith Pannell & Dr. Russell Chianelli

On Talk at Ten today, we broadcast an episode of Science Studio.

Science Studio is an “online resource for in depth interviews with scientists on the cutting edge of innovation and technology. Here you will find various radio interviews conducted by your hosts Dr. Keith Pannell & Dr. Russell R. Chianelli. These insightful interviews will further enrich your understanding of science.”

For more Science Studio, visit their website.

Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014:
George Grayson and Jason McGahan Discuss Ongoing Tensions Between El Paso and Juárez

Tuesday on Talk at Ten, we will speak with two people whose work is shedding light on the risk of alliances with organized crime inside Mexico.

Guests include George Grayson, from the College of William and Mary, the author of: The Executioner’s Men: Los Zetas, Rogue Soldiers, Criminal Entrepreneurs, and the Shadow State They Created and  Jason McGahan, author Daily Beast, “US Visas Helped Fuel The Juárez Drug Wars” join Lorne Matalon to discuss issues of border politics.

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