The conscient podcast is a series of conversations and monologues about art and the ecological crisis. This podcast is bilingual (in either English or French). Episode notes are translated.
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 follows up on my https://simplesoundscapes.ca (2016–2019) project: 175, 3-minute audio and video field recordings that explore mindful listening.
Season 1 (May – 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 ) explored the concept of reality and was 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 featured 41 interviews with thought leaders about their responses and reactions to e19 reality.
Season 3 (October 2021 – February 2022 ) 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’. Season 3 was a series of unscripted and unedited monologues (except for the occasional insert of quotes and soundscape compositions and some short conversations). This work was guided by intuition (as opposed to intellect) and with a lightness of touch (shorter, more fun). I decided to start season 3 with a ‘soundscape composition’, like I did in season 1 and 2. Season 3’s composition is e63 a case study (part 1) and e64 a case study (part 2). It’s 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’. Note: After season 3 (October 2021 – February 2022), I took a pause to do the exercises in the this book : https://decolonialfutures.net/hospicingmodernity/ and don’t how or when I will continue the podcast.
Season 4 will begin during the fall of 2022.