Conscient Podcast: e49 windatt

Note: photo of Clayton Windatt courtesy of the National Gallery of Canada

What if you tasked the arts sector with how to make messages, not about the crisis, but on the shifts in behavior that are necessary on a more meaningful basis. When the pandemic began and certain products weren’t on the shelves at grocery stores, but there was still lots of stuff. There were shortages, but there wasn’t that much shortage. How much would my life really change if half the products in the store were just not here, right and half of them didn’t come from all over in the world? Like they were just: whatever made sense to have it available here and just having less choice. How terrible would that be: kind of not. How can we change behavior on a more holistic level, and have it stick, because that’s what we need to do right now, and I think the arts would be a great vehicle to see those messages hit everybody and make a change.

clayton windatt, conscient podcast, may 13, 2021, sturgeon falls, ontario

Clayton Windatt is a curator, multi-arts performer and filmmaker living and working in Ontario who is current Executive Director of the Artist-Run Centres and Collectives Conference. Clayton has an extensive history working in Artist-Run Culture and Community Arts and works in/with community, design, communications, curation, performance, theatre, technology, and consulting, and is a very active artist.

I first met Clayton Windatt at a national arts service organization meeting in Ottawa while I worked at the Canada Council for the Arts. Clayton always impressed me with his clarity of thought and vision. The slogan of his web site is ‘make things happen’. This has been my experience with him. 

As I have done in all episodes in season 2 so far, I have integrated excerpts from soundscape compositions and quotations drawn from e19 reality, as well as moments of silence, in this episode.

I would like to thank Clayton for taking the time to speak with me, for sharing his deep knowledge of art practice and rights, his values, his wicked sense of humour, his generosity and his sharp strategic mind. 

For more information on Clayton’s work, see



Imaginez, si vous chargiez le secteur artistique de faire passer des messages, non pas sur la crise, mais sur les changements de comportement qui sont nécessaires de manière plus significative. Lorsque la pandémie a commencé, certains produits n’étaient pas sur les étagères des épiceries, mais il y avait encore beaucoup de choses. Il y avait des pénuries, mais pas tant que ça. Dans quelle mesure ma vie changerait-elle vraiment si la moitié des produits du magasin n’étaient tout simplement pas là, et si la moitié d’entre eux ne provenaient pas du monde entier ? Par exemple, tout ce qui a un sens d’être disponible ici et avoir moins de choix. Ce ne serait pas terrible : pas du tout. Comment pouvons-nous changer les comportements à un niveau plus holistique, et faire en sorte que cela soit durable, parce que c’est ce que nous devons faire maintenant, et je pense que les arts sont un excellent véhicule pour voir ces messages toucher tout le monde et apporter un changement.

clayton windatt, balado conscient, 13 mai 2021, sturgeon falls, ontario

Clayton Windatt est un commissaire, un artiste multidisciplinaire et un cinéaste qui vit et travaille en Ontario. Il est actuellement directeur général de la Artist-Run Centres and Collectives Conference. Clayton a une longue expérience de la culture et des arts communautaires gérés par les artistes et travaille dans/avec la communauté, le design, les communications, la conservation, la performance, le théâtre, la technologie et la consultation, et il est un artiste très actif.

J’ai rencontré Clayton Windatt pour la première fois lors d’une réunion d’un organisme national de services aux arts à Ottawa, alors que je travaillais au Conseil des arts du Canada. Clayton m’a toujours impressionné par la clarté de sa pensée et sa vision. Le slogan de son site Web est “faire bouger les choses”. C’est ce que j’ai vécu avec lui. 

Comme je l’ai fait dans tous les épisodes de la saison 2 jusqu’à présent, j’ai intégré dans cet épisode des extraits de compositions de paysages sonores et des citations tirées de e19 reality ainsi que des moments de silence.

Je tiens à remercier Clayton d’avoir pris le temps de s’entretenir avec moi, de m’avoir fait partager sa profonde connaissance des pratiques et des droits artistiques, ses valeurs, son sens de l’humour, sa générosité et son esprit stratégique aiguisé. 

Pour plus d’informations sur le travail de Clayton, voir

The post e49 windatt appeared first on conscient podcast / balado conscient. conscient is a bilingual blog and podcast (French or English) by audio artist Claude Schryer that explores how arts and culture contribute to environmental awareness and action.


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 :

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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