An audio time capsule from The Festival of Dangerous Ideas, recording this moment in time

We are at the end of an era, and on the precipice of a new one. What do we keep? And what do we leave behind?

FODI: The In-Between features 8 conversations between 16 of the world’s biggest thinkers, featuring Stephen Fry, Roxane Gay, Waleed Aly, Peter Singer, Sam Mostyn, SlavojŽižek, Naomi Klein and more. Accompanied by 8 short creative sound responses to the themes released alongside each conversation.

FODI: The In-Between tackles the big issues of our world and future, from climate change and global politics to artificial intelligence, truth and social media.

“The In-Between project is like a requiem for a passing age. These are the types of candid and big thinking conversations that you hear in the green room at FODI, which we are recreating in a new audio format.” – Danielle Harvey, Festival Director, Festival of Dangerous Ideas

Listen to FODI: The In-Between trailer



Episode 01 | Joya Chatterji & Stephen Fry | There is no beginning

In a conversation moderated by Simon Longstaff, historians Joya Chatterji and Stephen Fry discuss whether the age of Enlightenment is truly coming to an end. They share varying Enlightenment narratives that cross geographical, cultural and class borders and challenge the attempt to define an era of history as linear, with a definitive start and end point.

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Episode 01.5 | Light Shines | B-Side

Sydney-based writer Tasnim Hossain records her written take on the meandering histories of Enlightenment discussed by Joya Chatterji and Stephen Fry, and the experimental sounds of the first known recordings of the human voice. Music is composed from sounds found in the archives of, and recordings taken from a museum of mechanical music (

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Episode 02 | Sam Mostyn & Peter Singer | We have failed to protect those who don’t yet exist

A conversation between business sustainability advisor Sam Mostyn and moral philosopher Peter Singer, moderated by Simon Longstaff. Sam and Peter discuss the role of business in sustainability and climate action, the discrepancies between our values and monetary donations for global aid, and the ethics of responsibility we have toward the generation of humans who don’t yet exist. They touch on how the pandemic has highlighted gender and class divisions, along with the significance of community and care.

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Episode 02.5 | Anthropocene | B-Side

We hear the recorded sound of the invisible electromagnetic landscape that humans created unintentionally, allowing us to tune in to what our environment has to endure. Against a backdrop, we hear the voices of anonymous FODI listeners, recording their hopes and fears for the future of humanity, and a poem by Sylvie Barber and Simon Longstaff. Anthropocene is a response to Sam Mostyn and Peter Singer’s discussion.

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Episode 03 | Lee Vinsel & Tyson Yunkaporta | A gradual decline into disorder

Lee Vinsel and Tyson Yunkaporta speak with Ann Mossop about the passing age, apocalypses, and the cyclical nature of eras. Their conversation is anchored in language: both speak of systems, entropy, the roles of maintainers or custodians, and the machines and languages of capitalism. Tyson explains entropy by connecting an incident of Aboriginal people spearing Dutchmen centuries ago to the modern-day experiences of colonialism, and Lee speaks of entropy as the natural breaking down of systems.

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Episode 03.5 | Within Salt | B-Side

During Sydney’s most recent lockdown, sound artist Alexandra Spence submerged a 15 minute-long piece of cassette tape in seawater. The cassette tape contained a field recording of waves, and a recording of Alex’s voice offering a non-definitive, and non-hierarchical list of things found in the Pacific Ocean. The resulting physical deterioration of the magnetic tape and degradation of the audio recording can be heard in this composition. ‘Within Salt’ is a short piece that responds to Lee Vinsel’s take on entropy and the breaking down of technology, along with Tyson Yunkaporta’s words on the importance of story and of preserving nature over data.

Listen on Apple and Spotify now.

Episode 04 | Eleanor Gordon-Smith and Slavoj Žižek | The age of doubt, reason and conspiracy

Against the pillars of Enlightenment, how can we make sense of conspiracy theories, tribalism, and deepening divisions between our beliefs? In a conversation moderated by Simon Longstaff, Eleanor Gordon-Smith and Slavoj Žižek discuss the proliferation and saturation of knowledge, the rise of conspiracy theories, and whether or not the Age of Enlightenment is coming to an end.

Listen on Apple and Spotify now.

Episode 04.5 | The Dancer | B-Side

Recording art for a post-human world, a machine attempts to describe a human dance. The piece responds to Eleanor Gordon-Smith and Slavoj Žižek’s discussion, the power of words to create reality, and the experience of emotion between the digital or artificial and what we take as ‘real’.

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Episode 05 | Joanna Bourke & Toby Walsh | Killer robots and the human construction of war

By the year 2062, it is predicted that we will have built machines that are as intelligent as humans. Modern weapons will become more autonomous, machines will further infiltrate our daily lives, and the way we think of humanity will be permanently altered. To understand what lies ahead and learn from our past, Ann Mossop sits between Joanna Bourke and Toby Walsh in a conversation about the future of AI, killer robots and what it means to be human.

Listen on Apple and Spotify now.

Episode 05.5 | Semi-Autonomous | B-Side

A text-generating AI that has been trained with FODI transcripts speaks in conversation with a deepfake AI about violence, conspiracy theories and what it means to be human. Our FODI-trained AI was created using Max Woolf’s simplified version of OpenAI’s Generative Pre-trained Transformer 2 (GPT-2) and Google Colab; Max has created a tutorial so that anyone can train an AI model for free. Semi-Autonomous is a response to Joanna Bourke and Toby Walsh’s discussion.

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Episode 06 | Roxane Gay & Kate Manne | The mild terror of publishing feminist cultural criticism

Roxane Gay and Kate Manne speak to this moment in time, the nature of progress, and their hopes and fears for the future. In a conversation moderated by Ann Mossop, they discuss modern feminism, online communication and social media, and the “lean white male” bodies that history has centred over those that exist on the periphery.

Listen on Apple and Spotify now.

Episode 06.5 | Tongues | B-Side

Tongues is an explicit, potent musical manifesto, exploring having your voice taken away, in response to Roxane Gay and Kate Manne’s discussion. Tongues is written and performed by Tanya Tagaq, a Canadian Inuk improvisational singer, avant-garde composer, bestselling author, and Saul Williams, Sumach Valentine, Jesse Zubot; published by Songs of Six Shooter B (SOCAN), Martyr Loser King (ASCAP), Warp Music Limited (PRS/ASCAP), Jesse Zubot (SOCAN).

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Episode 07 | S. Matthew Liao & John Rasko | Immortality, fraud and the future of the human species

From the ancient tale of Gilgamesh to Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, the dream of immortality has long captured the imagination of writers and scientists. But how close are we to conquering death? In a conversation moderated by Simon Longstaff, neuro-ethicist S. Matthew Liao speaks with stem cell-researcher John Rasko about the age of regenerative medicine, the heroes and fraudsters of the past, and the reality of a distant future where genetic engineering helps humans to colonise future planets.

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Episode 07.5 | Revivification | B-Side

CellF is a cybernetic musician and the world’s first neural synthesiser, created by Perth-based artist and researcher, Guy Ben-Ary. Its ‘brain’ is made of biological neural networks bio-engineered from the artist’s own cells, that grow in a petri dish and control in real time its ‘body’ – an array of synthesizers that play music live with human musicians. Revivification is a short piece that responds to S.Matthew Liao and John Rasko’s discussion.

Listen on Apple and Spotify now.

Episode 08 | Waleed Aly & Naomi Klein | Our entanglements have been exposed

On the precipice of a new age, what are the forces that will bring us together, and what is driving us apart? Simon Longstaff sits between Waleed Aly and Naomi Klein as they discuss the decline of meta-narratives in society and politics, reconciling coloniser and Indigenous histories and narratives, and trends of hyper-individualism and conspiracy. Neither are wholly optimistic nor pessimistic about the future that lies ahead.

Listen on Apple and Spotify now.

Episode 08.5 | Endtropy | B-Side

A playerless piano performs a repeating piece of music in which every note of a scale is played on every beat of the bar. The melody is absorbed into chaos, as the words of Noami Klein and Waleed Aly speak of our interconnectedness and entanglements.

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Whats inside the guide?


Danielle Harvey, Festival Director and Co-curator
Simon Longstaff, Co-curator
Ann Mossop, Co-curator
Rebecca Blake, Producer, FODI
Jess Hamilton, Senior Audio Producer, Audiocraft
Adam Connelly, Sound Designer and Composer, Audiocraft
Jasmine Mee Lee, Researcher/producer, Audiocraft
Weronika Razna, Mixing engineer, Audiocraft
Kate Montague, Executive Producer, Audiocraft
Michelle Walter, Head of Fundraising and Development, FODI
Jess Lewis, Content Manager, FODI
Kathleen Evesson, Head of Marketing and Communications, FODI
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