Conscient Podcast: e123 maps – what possibilities do you not yet know?

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(Bell and breath) 

I sometimes try to map out, on a piece of blank paper like this, where I think humanity is at with the ecological crisis…

This helps me, among other things, to come to terms with reality. 

I decided to share this exercise with you, listeners of the conscient podcast, in case you have similar thoughts. 

I’ll start on the left with mitigation, which is the act of reducing the severity, or painfulness, of an activity. In this case, we are mitigating our own self-destruction. 

The second part of my map is adaptation which is the modification of our behaviour that makes us more resilient. In other words, adapting to disasters and catastrophe as the new normal. Adapting to new circumstances. 

Now the third part of my map is called a tipping point line, which is the point when unstoppable changes take place. A kind of tipping into a point of no return. Some say we’re already there, others that we’re very close. But either way the tipping point is a critical moment and it’s one we need to be  aware of. 

Next is survival which is about continuing to live in spite of extremely difficult circumstances. It makes me think of the film Thelma and Louise, some of you might know,  the very last scene, when their car drives off a cliff. I think humanity is like that, in free fall and that some of us might survive. 

The last element of my map is recovery which is a bit more positive, but the recovery happens after the catastrophe and the disasters that are coming. Recovery is that return to a normal and healthy state, where we recover knowledge and skills that are  required, or draw upon new knowledge in order to live in harmony with all living beings on earth. It’s ironic and tragic that we actually could do this now but we chose not to. 

So these are the five elements on my map: mitigation, adaptation, tipping point line, survival and recovery, but the problem is that I’m wrong. The map is wrong. 

The truth is that I don’t know. 

There are endless possibilities and dimensions that I’m not yet able to conceive or understand and yet sometimes, somehow, I can feel them.

So I’m done with drawing maps and speculating with thoughts and ideas. Instead, I’m going to listen to the intelligence of my body, to the intelligence of non-human beings around me, to other forms of knowledge and beings that are emerging, and see where that takes me. 

Thanks for listening.

Oh and my question is…

What possibilities do you not yet know?


This episode is a bit of a risk. I wrote the text in one draft and then recorded it right away before editing it too much. It is quite raw, which might make it interesting as part of my learning and unlearning journey. 

I’ll leave it up to the listener to determine where their own point of recovery might be: before or after the tipping point line…

I am grateful and accountable to the earth and the human labour that provided me with the privilege of producing this episode. (including all the toxic materials and extractive processes behind the computers, recorders, transportation and infrastructure that make this podcast possible).

My gesture of reciprocity for this episode is to the xx

The post e123 maps – what possibilities do you not yet know? appeared first on 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 – october 2020) : environmental awareness and action 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 – august 2021 ) : reality and ecological grief 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.

season 3 (october 2021 – february 2022 ) : radical listening Season 3 was about radical listening : listening deeply without passing judgment, knowing the truth and filtering out the noise and opening attention to reality and responding to what needs to be done. The format is similar the first podcast format I did in 2016 with the simplesoundscapes project, which was to ‘speak my mind’ and ‘think out loud’. I start this season with a ‘soundscape composition’, e63 a case study (part 1) and e64 a case study (part 2), a bilingual speculative fiction radio play, set in an undergraduate university history seminar course called ‘History of 2021 in Canada’. It concluded with a soundscape composition ‘Winter Diary Revisited’.

season 4 (1 january – 31 december 2023) : sounding modernity


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 :

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