Contemporary art podcasts usually discuss recently opened exhibitions, burning topics in the art world and document what is currently going on in the arts. Surprisingly there aren’t that many good art podcasts out there. This is a carefully selected list of my favourites.
Podcasts are getting more and more popular. It seems that everyone has to have a podcast, even me. Our lives are getting busier, we are constantly distracted by social media feeds, texting platforms and very rarely have time (or attention span) to sit down and read for a longer period of time. I read a lot, sadly more emails than books. When I discovered podcasts, audiobooks and wireless headphones – my life changed and the amount of books I read has rapidly increased. I mix analogue reading with audiobooks and listen to a lot of podcasts as well. I listen while walking, driving and even doing chores. Two hours spent on cooking, vacuuming and mopping floors are not lost anymore. I can just tune in to an audiobook or a favourite podcast and learn about things I wanted to know anyway and never had time.
All listed contemporary art podcasts are in English.
This weekly podcast is an extension of The Art Newspaper and similarly to the magazine it covers breaking art news and insider stories related to exhibitions and art events. It is hosted by Ben Luke and broadcast from London, so it is very UK-centric, although topics do cover the art world’s biggest stories with the help of special guests. It is a good podcast for people who are interested in contemporary art, major players of the art world and the art market. Conducted in a very professional and polished manner.
Art Monthly is one of the most important printed art magazines in the UK and this is their monthly podcast. Presented by Matt Hale and Chris McCormack and broadcast from London, they each month discuss topics featured in the current issue with the writers contributing to the magazine. It has got a radio feel to it, with professionally conducted interviews. It covers major, current exhibitions and looks at them from an art critical perspective.
Podcast run by a New York-based online “platform for collecting and discovering art”. This podcast takes us to the US and instantly feels much more laid-back than it’s British equivalents. Artsy’s team of editors takes us behind the scenes of the art world, talking about everything from art history to the latest market news. The Artsy podcast also touches on broader issues related to the contemporary art world like ‘Making It in the Art World If You’re Not a Rich Kid’ or ‘Instagram vs. The World’. Each episode finishes with guests talking about exhibitions they are planning to visit in the next few days.
One of the two grass – root podcasts on this list, hosted by ‘real’ people, not an art magazine or an organisation. It is run by The White Pube, British rebels of the art world, art critics who hate art criticism, who set up their own website with articles about art. Their podcast is as informal as their writing. They take us on their lunches and allow to listen to their conversations (and rants) about the bunch of topics related to art, like ‘Perspectives of a Female Artist’ or ‘White Ignorance’. They have been recently focusing more on writing, so the podcast is a bit neglected but you can still listen to some older episodes.
We – arty people – are always bad at sports, right? These guys maybe are bad at sports but were really ahead of their time in making podcasts. They were doing the podcast when no-one even heard of it yet. Their first one reaches back to 2005. Bad at Sports is released weekly and produced in Chicago. Their archive contains 656 episodes (at the time of writing). It features artists talking about art and the art world. They don’t call themselves art critics but ‘artists with beer, a microphone, and a desperate enthusiasm for art.’