Conscient Podcast Show Notes April 2 2021

Where do we go from here? (60 second composition from e19 reality)
  1. I realize now – as season 2 of the conscient podcast unfolds – that creating e19 reality has been a cathartic and transformative experience for me. I keep thinking about Where do we go from here? (see audio clip above). I’m also thinking about privilege, unconscious bias and access.
  2. I’ve received valuable feedback so far about e19 reality. Much appreciated. One person kindly mentioned that e19 was ‘a cross between a meditation, a news report and pure art’. Issues raised by listeners include: working through the daunting number of ideas and information about climate change, acknowledging the reality that males are leading the destruction of our planet and dealing with the cognitive dissonance of consuming our world to death.
  3. I’ve been listening to other podcasts about environmental issues : Outrage and Optimism, CBC Radio’s What on Earth, Zen Studies Podcast, CBC Radio Ideas, etc. This week, I recommend episode 302 from Green Dreamer featuring eco-communitarian anarchist writer, activist, and educator John Clark, which explores the idea of earth as a conscient being. It sent a shiver up my spine. 
  4. I’m now recording 2-3 conversations a week and will be publishing new episodes, in French or in English, as they become available. Coming next are philosopher Dr. Todd Dufresne (my first remote recording using Squadcast), composer Hildegard Westerkamp, activist Anjali Appadurai, cultural worker Jil Weaving, musician David Maggs and many more (eco grief specialists, indigenous artists, zen teachers, etc). Please stay tuned.

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About the Concient Podcast from Claude Schryer

The conscient podcast / balado conscient is a series of conversations about art, conscience and the ecological crisis. This podcast is bilingual (in either English or French). The language of the guest determines the language of the podcast. Episode notes are translated but not individual interviews.

I started the conscient project in 2020 as a personal learning journey and knowledge sharing exercise. It has been rewarding, and sometimes surprising.

The term ‘conscient’ is defined as ‘being aware of one’s surroundings, thoughts and motivations’. My touchstone for the podcast is episode 1, e01 terrified, based on an essay I wrote in May 2019, where I share my anxiety about the climate crisis and my belief that arts and culture can play a critical role in raising public awareness about environmental issues. The conscient podcast / balado conscient follows up on my (2016–2019) project: 175, 3-minute audio and video field recordings that explore mindful listening.

Season 1 (May to October 2020) explored how the arts contribute to environmental awareness and action. I produced 3 episodes in French and 15 in English. The episodes cover a wide range of content, including activism, impact measurement, gaming, arts funding, cross-sectoral collaborations, social justice, artistic practices, etc. Episodes 8 to 17 were recorded while I was at the Creative Climate Leadership USA course in Arizona in March 2020 (led by Julie’s Bicycle). Episode 18 is a compilation of highlights from these conversations.

Season 2 (March 2021 – ) explores the concept of reality and is about accepting reality, working through ecological grief and charting a path forward. The first episode of season 2 (e19 reality) mixes quotations from 28 authors with field recordings from simplesoundscapes and from my 1998 soundscape composition, Au dernier vivant les biens. One of my findings from this episode is that ‘I now see, and more importantly, I now feel in my bones, ‘the state of things as they actually exist’, without social filters or unsustainable stories blocking the way’. e19 reality touches upon 7 topics: our perception of reality, the possibility of human extinction, ecological anxiety and ecological grief, hope, arts, storytelling and the wisdom of indigenous cultures. The rest of season 2 features interviews with thought leaders about their responses and reactions to e19 reality.

my professional services

I’ve been retired from the Canada Council for the Arts since September 15, 2020 where I served as a senior strategic advisor in arts granting (2016-2020) and manager of the Inter-Arts Office (1999-2015). My focus in (quasi) retirement is environmental issues within my area of expertise in arts and culture, in particular in acoustic ecology. I’m open to become involved in projects that align with my values and that move forward environmental concerns. Feel free to email me for a conversation : or on my cell (613) 255 6468.

acknowledgement of eco-responsibility

I acknowledge that the production of the conscient podcast / balado conscient produces carbon. I try to minimize this carbon footprint by being as efficient as possible, including using GreenGeeks as my web server and acquiring carbon offsets for my equipment and travel activities from BullFrog Power and Less.

a word about privilege and bias

While recording episode 19 ‘reality’, I heard elements of ‘privilege’ in my voice that I had not noticed before. It sounded a bit like ‘ecological mansplaining’. I realize that, in spite of good intentions, I need to work my way through issues of privilege (of all kinds) and unconscious bias the way I did through ecological anxiety and grief during the fall of 2020. My re-education is ongoing.

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