The O Show has its very own podcast, Multiple Os. Subscribe now on iTunes, Spotify or wherever you find your podcasts. To access the full transcriptions of each episode, visit the buzzfeed site.
With this trailer, Oriana Fox, the artist with a Ph.D. in self-disclosure, launches the spin-off podcast to her talk show The O Show. On The O Show Fox interviews artists and other experts who have no difficulty ‘spilling the beans’ about their lives and opinions, especially when they defy norms and conventions. So if you’re interested in candid confessions, non-conformity, creativity and mental health, you’ve come to the right place! As episodes of The O Show are released online, so too will this podcast featuring guests old and new to comment on and expand their content, hence the name Multiple Os. Topics explored include shyness; gender identity and fluidity; sexuality; money and success; mental health. Produced, edited and hosted by Oriana Fox Sound mixing by Stacey Harvey Original Music written and performed by Paulette Humanbeing Special Thanks to Chris Halliwell and Janak Patel.
Oriana interviews Hamja Ahsan, leader of the introvert revolution. They discuss their mutual affliction, shyness. Or is it in fact their superpower? Oriana admits to feeling very guilty for having tried to convert shy people ever since Hamja made her painfully aware of how much of a sell-out she’s been to the extrovert supremacy. Will he convince her to wholly embrace her shyness or, better yet, to take pride in it? Listen and find out!
Dr Oriana Fox is an artist with a PhD in self-disclosure. She puts her expertise to work as the host of the talk show performance piece The O Show. Be sure to check out the “Killer Conversations” episode, which is discussed on this podcast.
Hamja Ahsan is an artist, activist and the author of Shy Radicals: The Antisystemic Politics of the Militant Introvert (2017) published by Bookworks. Among his many accolades, Ahsan won the Grand Prize at the 2019 Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts. The film Shy Radicals, produced by Black Dog Films, about Ahsan’s life and work, was released in 2020. For information about Ahsan’s past political campaigning for his brother Talha visit: freetalha.org.
This is part 2 of Oriana’s interview with Hamja Ahsan, author of Shy Radicals. Hamja admits that if he dies tomorrow, he wants to be remembered for his interview on The O Show episode “You’re only as sick as your secrets”. But he’s still not convinced that Oriana’s series does anything other than promote extrovert supremacist, normative ways of living. Will Oriana dissuade Hamja from his assumption that practicing unconditional self-acceptance (USA) is in fact yet another example of extrovert supremacist dogma? Listen and find out!
In this interview with the artist Joshua Sofaer, Oriana asks for his help in finding her purpose, her why. He is, after all, a socially engaged artist who is deeply invested in turning life into art because art makes life more interesting than art. And, he’s also a relational dynamics coach and Oriana pays for his services from time to time. They also discuss the possibility of breaking into the mainstream simply by imitating the trappings of fame. But that is not all! Tune in to get the scoop on self-help, self-exposure, doubt and boilerplate definitions.
Joshua Sofaer is an artist who is centrally concerned with modes of collaboration and participation, which he explores through social sculpture, performance, installation, exhibition and publication. Equally as comfortable in the clean white gallery, the dramatic stage of the opera house, the carefully positioned vitrine of the museum, the shared areas of public space, and the domestic personalised rooms of private homes, what draws Sofaer’s diverse practices together is a concern with how audiences engage with the world as a place of potentiality.
Should you embrace your curves by smearing yourself in Dove products, or drink slimfast and chase the thin dream? Either way, the same giant corporation will benefit. Do what you need to do, but listen to this podcast too! Oriana talks with the artist, psychotherapist and fat activist Charlotte Cooper, who is an outlier in every field in which she takes part. They discuss what it takes to keep doing your thing and valuing it and yourself along the way, despite reactions ranging from indifference to intolerance and hate. Cooper, who considers her psychotherapy practice to be revolutionary, advises that compassion is necessary to the creative process. Charlotte Cooper is an artist, writer, psychotherapist and activist. It seems like there’s nothing she doesn’t do; she dances, makes music, produces zines and genealogies. She has collaborated with an enviable list of artists and most prominently with her girlfriend Kay Hyatt. The two perform as Homosexual Death Drive, a genre-defying band with irreverent lyrics and eye-popping music videos. Cooper’s decades-long work on fat, like her performance practice, defies categorisation. A new edition of her book Fat Activism: A Radical Social Movement, will be available in June 2021.
Curious about heterosexual dating habits in the age of the internet? Want to hear about it from the perspective of a feminist artist? Look no further! Oriana speaks with artist Indrani Ashe whose project 50 Dates of Grey documented her search for a man to spend her life with, to marry in fact, via online dating platforms. Unbeknownst to the men Indrani was seeing, she kept a blog under the pseudonym Unconventional Woman where she critiqued and vented about her experiences. Gossiping about this project with Oriana for this podcast six years later, having found love and steady employment, Indrani throws into sharp relief the economics of desire and the way that shame functions as a tool for social control.
Indrani Ashe is a US-born, Goldsmiths-educated, Berlin-based interdisciplinary artist of Bengali and white American descent whose practice speaks to the experience of the body as a political vessel, wresting the narrative from hegemonical structures. Her project 50 Dates of Grey earned mainstream press coverage from outlets such as Grazia, The Daily Mail and The Mirror bringing her blog 31,000 views to date. It was also exhibited as a multimedia installation at Exgirlfriend Gallery in Berlin as a part of You Look Like An Advert for Yourself (2017) and the exhibition & I<3U2 at Galeria Studio in Warsaw. Ashe is also the founder of the Berlin Diaspora Society and cofounder of The Golden Brown Girls Video Collective. Her work has been shown internationally with exhibitions at the South Asia Institute- Chicago, Galeria Studio-Warsaw, SOMA Art Space – Berlin, Root Division- San Francisco, El Segundo Museum of Art- El Segundo California, Graft Projects- Lancaster UK, Somerset House- London, Art 511 Mag- New York, Galerie Futura- Berlin and Queens Museum- New York.
Oriana speaks with the artist Harold Offeh whose practice engages with identity politics via an ambivalent and humorous self-casting within the pop-cultural material he admires (and in some cases, finds problematic). He pre-empts his own type-casting by pointedly living within certain racialised stereotypes including the Mammy, an Afro-Brazilian manual labourer and a toilet attendant. The discussion touches upon a range of topics such as cultural appropriation; national identity and belonging; decolonising the curriculum; and the undervaluing of the formal qualities of feminist and anti-racist art. Harold Offeh is an artist working in a range of media including performance, video, photography, learning and social arts practice. Offeh is interested in the space created by the inhabiting or embodying of histories. He employs humour as a means to confront the viewer with historical narratives and contemporary culture. He has exhibited widely in the UK and internationally including Tate Britain and Tate Modern, South London Gallery, Turf Projects, London, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, Wysing Art Centre, Studio Museum Harlem, New York, MAC VAL, France. He lives in Cambridge and works in London and Leeds, UK where he is currently a Reader in Fine Art at Leeds Beckett University.
Mentioned spontaneously by two prior guests in this very podcast series, the influential and pioneering performance artist and professor Lois Weaver needs no introduction. Yet Oriana provides a very lengthy one at the start of this interview with Weaver in which they discuss her alter ego, Tammy Whynot, who decided to stop being a country and western singer in order to start being a lesbian performance artist. In Weaver’s own words, Tammy’s “sense of wonder and her ability to fail gloriously and without shame were her super powers. Tammy’s wisdom of ‘why not?’ gave the definition she had been searching for: resistant femme = a highly competent woman who just looks like she needs help.” Having performed the role of resistant femme (among others) for decades now, Weaver shares her thoughts on femininity, falling in love (with your work), the challenges of autobiographical performance, orgasms into later life and finally retiring on the topic of retirement.
Dr Lois Weaver is the director and co-founder (with long-time collaborator Peggy Shaw) of the company Split Britches, which among many accolades, won the Innovative Theatre Awards (USA) Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award in 2017. So many awards! In 2014 she was a Guggenheim fellow in 2014 and shortly thereafter a Wellcome Trust Engaging Science Fellow. She got the WOW Women in Creative Industries ‘Fighting the Good Fight’ award in 2018. And, the honours keep rolling in… Most recently in 2021 Split Britches’ theatre-piece-cum-zoom-film Last Gasp has been nominated for the Drama League award for Outstanding Digital Production. Not even a pandemic can stop this woman from being creative! Weaver is also a professor of contemporary performance at Queen Mary University of London.
Season 1, Episode 8
Do you want to have better quality arguments about housework with your spouse? Then this episode of ‘Multiple Os’ is for you! Oriana Fox interviews Jo Van Every, the sociologist and coach who wrote the book Heterosexual Women Changing the Family: Refusing to be a wife. The research that informed the book was prompted by the kinds of personal questions that come from being disillusioned with ‘little girl’s dreams’ about love, marriage and family. Although the book was published in 1995, the research contained therein about anti-sexist living arrangements informed Van Every’s commitment to do feminism in her daily life, not just theorise about it. In other words, it’s been her durational project for the past 26 years! So Oriana is catching up with Van Every because she’s got some questions (not to mention disillusionment) of her own about living a feminist life. For example, does being financially dependent on a man render a woman a bad feminist? Must imbalances in earnings be made up for by doing a bigger share of domestic work? Perhaps most importantly, how can women value their labour when society doesn’t? And finally, can Jo’s advice actually resolve the one fight that Oriana and her partner continue to have ad infinitum? Listen and find out the answers to these and many more questions because the personal is as political as ever.
Jo Van Every is a feminist sociologist; an academic writing coach; a parent (to a grown kid) and a partner to her unmarried spouse of thirty years.
Season 1, Episode 9
Season 1, Episode 10
Season 1, Episode 11
Season 1, Episode 12
Oriana continues the interview begun on The O Show live edition on Instagram with the artist and author Season Butler. In that initial discussion, they spoke about the racial empathy bias, climate change and Bill Cosby, each of which has played a key part in Butler’s work. However, they both regretted not getting to discuss their shared passion for The Little Mermaid in all its incarnations. So here they jump straight in with an analysis of varied versions including the original Danish folktale, Disney’s animation and Splash from the perspective of two grown women for whom these narratives played a formative role. In this way, the conversation begins with the topic of boundary-crossing and then unfolds and meanders to address race, addiction, coming of age, the role that community plays in one’s tastes and self-judgments, as well as the end of the world, themes dealt with in Butler’s debut novel Cygnet. Toward the very end, they touch upon topics that are more central to the focus of this podcast series, that is, the risks and benefits of using one’s self and life experiences as the fodder for creative work, about which Butler provides a unique perspective.
Season Butler is a London/Berlin-based writer, performance artist and teacher, and an associate producer of the I’m With You art collective. Her debut novel Cygnet was published in 2019 by Dialogue Books in the UK and Harper Collins in the US.