Conscient Podcast: e73 judith marcuse – finding the energy to keep moving

e73 judith marcuse – finding the energy to keep moving is my conversation with arts for social change activist and dance artist Judith Marcuse at Judith’s home in West Vancouver on October 24, 2021. We started with a question about ‘radical listening’ followed by an overview of her work as executive director and founder of the International Centre of Art for Social Change (ICASC) and the soon to be announced Arts for Social Change Network (ASCN). At midpoint in conversation, we took a break to listen to the soundscape of her garden and continued with reflections from a presentation she gave today, October 25 at the Canadian Senior Artists Resource Network. Many thanks to Judith for taking the time to share her deep knowledge of, and passion for, all forms of community-engaged arts and for generosity and leadership over many years in the arts community. 

Note: the audio quality of this recording is not optimal because of social distancing. 


I feel really at the base of myself that creating anything, art, sofas, whatever it is, allows us to give of ourselves to something that may not be lasting but in the moment, that act of creation can engender hope, can engender a sense of autonomy, a sense of possibility and we can’t despair right now, we’re at a tipping point, as everyone is saying and the question for me is how do we find the energy alone and collectively to keep moving in this urgency that we’re all feeling without drowning in despair. I think art has an essential role to play in that agenda.



Transcript of excerpt from 22 westerkamp at 19m22s of e73:

That awareness of how we form relationships through sound or how we can block them, I think, is just as important and it extends right into the ecological issues and into climate change. What are we putting out there when we listen to our cities humming away: that’s energy, that’s the voice of energy being overused, right? And can we just relate through our ears to what’s happening out there? We can hear it. It’s all there…

Judith and I on a walk by the beach in West Vancouver



e73 judith marcuse - finding the energy to keep moving est ma conversation avec Judith Marcuse, militante des arts pour le changement social et artiste de la danse, au domicile de Judith à West Vancouver le 24 octobre 2021. Nous avons commencé par une question sur l'"écoute radicale", suivie d'un aperçu de son travail en tant que directrice exécutive et fondatrice du International Centre of Art for Social Change (ICASC) et du réseau Arts for Social Change Network (ASCN), qui sera bientôt annoncé. À mi-chemin de la conversation, nous avons fait une pause pour écouter le paysage sonore de son jardin et avons poursuivi avec des réflexions sur la présentation qu'elle a donné aujourd'hui, le 25 octobre, au Canadian Senior Artists Resource Network. Je remercie Judith d'avoir pris le temps de partager ses connaissances approfondies et sa passion pour toutes les formes d'arts engagés avec la communauté, ainsi que pour sa générosité et son leadership au cours de nombreuses années dans la communauté artistique. 

Remarque : la qualité audio de cet enregistrement n’est pas optimale en raison de la distanciation sociale. 


J’ai le sentiment profond que créer quoi que ce soit, de l’art, des canapés, quoi que ce soit, nous permet de donner de nous-mêmes à quelque chose qui peut ne pas être durable mais dans l’instant, cet acte de création peut engendrer de l’espoir, peut engendrer un sentiment d’autonomie, un sentiment de possibilité et nous ne pouvons pas désespérer en ce moment, nous sommes à un point de basculement, comme tout le monde le dit et la question pour moi est de savoir comment trouver l’énergie, individuellement et collectivement, pour continuer à avancer dans cette urgence que nous ressentons tous sans nous noyer dans le désespoir. Je pense que l’art a un rôle essentiel à jouer dans ce programme. 


Transcription de l’extrait de à 19m22s de e73 :

Cette prise de conscience de la façon dont nous formons des relations à travers le son ou comment nous pouvons les bloquer, il me semble, est tout aussi important et cela s’étend aux questions écologiques et au changement climatique. Qu’est-ce que nous diffusons lorsque nous écoutons nos villes ronronner : c’est de l’énergie, c’est la voix de l’énergie qui est surutilisée, n’est-ce pas ? Et pouvons-nous, à travers nos oreilles, faire le lien avec ce qui se passe là-bas ? Nous pouvons l’entendre. Tout est là…

The post e73 judith marcuse – finding the energy to keep moving 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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