Words, sounds and songs are mediums for new messages in ‘Articulate’

Most people have heard the expression “Life imitates art.” A new show on WGCU takes that a step further, with stories about where life meets art.
“Articulate with Jim Cotter” (above) began airing several years ago on the PBS affiliate WHYY in Philadelphia. In 2016, it won a mid-Atlantic Emmy Award for the episode “Tap Into America,” which explored the history of tap dance. The show was syndicated the next year through American Public Television and debuted recently on WGCU.
The series airs Mondays at 1 p.m. on WGCU HD.
“It’s All Between Their Ears” is the episode airing Monday, Nov. 5. It looks at the life and art of Olivia Laing, whose writing explores the aspects of life that are most difficult to put into words.
Laing is a British writer and critic with a particular interest in art, culture and sexuality. She is the author of “Crudo,” published this year. It is a real-time novel about the summer of 2017, Trump and Brexit, love and anxiety and a Sunday Times top 10 bestseller. She also wrote “The Lonely City,” an investigation into loneliness by way of several iconic artists, including Andy Warhol, Edward Hopper and David Wojnarowicz.
In 2013’s “The Trip to Echo Spring,” she explores the liquid links between writers and alcohol.
The episode also introduces viewers to Bill Fontana, a composer and artist who developed an international reputation for his pioneering experiments in sound. Since the early 1970s, he has made sculptures and radio projects for museums and broadcast organizations around the world.
Viewers also meet Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards. Her music draws from an eclectic variety of sources and utilizes elements such as loop pedals, ukulele, vocals, and lo-fi percussion.
“Articulate” host Jim Cotter is an Irish-born American journalist. From an early age, he had a relentless curiosity about all art forms and diverse cultures. But he didn’t become an artist, instead he became an arts journalist, sharing with others the appreciation he has had for all forms of art.