Conscient Podcast: e35 salas

I find that more and more artists are interested in understanding how to change their practice and how to adapt it to current circumstances. I really believe artists need help in this process. Like we all do. I’m not an environmental expert nor a climate expert, I’m just a very sensitive human being who is worried about what we are leaving behind for future generations. I’m doing what I can to really be more ethical with my work, but I’m finding more and more artists who are also struggling to understand what they can do. I think when in a conversation between curators or producers like myself and people like you – thinkers and funders – that we need to come together and to understand the current situation, to accept reality, then we can strategize about how we can put things into place and how we can provide more funding for different types of projects.

carmen salas, conscient podcast, april 30, 2021, Spain

I first learned about Carmen Salas’ work through her article What should we expect from art in the next few years/decades? And what is art, anyway?. It was the spring of 2020, and I thought her ideas were fresh and connected to our troubling times. She was raising many of the same issues that I will was thinking about, notably the evolving role of the artist and the value of community engaged arts. I read more of Carmen’s work on her website, https://carmensp.com/ and followed her curatorial work with the Connecting the Dots forum in Mexico. I was pleased when Carmen accepted to speak with me for a conscient conversation, which took place on April 30, 2021, remotely between Ottawa and Spain. 

Carmen asked me to include this quotation from neuroscientist Dan Burnett in the episode notes for context in relation to reality: 

The human brain, powerful as it is, can still be overwhelmed by the complex world we inhabit, so when it comes to creating mental models of how the world works, it operates a general “stick to what you know” policy. As such, things that are different or unfamiliar, especially if they’re confusing and uncertain or introduce an element of perceived threat or danger, are met with suspicion, doubt, dismissal and so on. All are defence mechanisms, in a way; it’s the brain saying ‘this is NOT how the world is meant to work, so I must dismiss this challenging new information.’

Carmen also suggested a link to this article : https://www.theguardian.com/science/brain-flapping/2018/may/15/mental-health-awareness-is-great-but-action-is-essential. Also, during our conscient conversation Carmen mentioned Gilberto Esparza’s Nomadic Plants project and her Shifting Paradigms article.

As I did with all episodes this season, I have integrated excerpts from e19 reality.

I would like to thank Carmen for taking the time to speak with me, for sharing her deep knowledge of curation and the arts and her insights on how the arts can reinvent themselves.  

Gracias. 

For more information on Carmen’s work, see https://carmensp.com/

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Je constate que de plus en plus d’artistes cherchent à comprendre comment changer leur pratique et à mieux l’adapter aux circonstances actuelles. Je crois vraiment que les artistes ont besoin d’aide dans ce processus. Comme nous en avons tous besoin. Je ne suis pas un expert en environnement, ni un expert en climat; je suis juste un être humain très sensible qui s’inquiète de ce que nous laissons aux générations futures. Je fais donc ce que je peux pour être plus éthique dans mon travail et je trouve de plus en plus d’artistes qui luttent également pour comprendre ce qu’ils peuvent faire. Je pense que lorsqu’il y a des conversations entre des commissaires ou producteurs comme moi et des gens comme vous, – penseurs et des bailleurs de fonds – afin de se réunir, de comprendre la situation actuelle, d’accepter la réalité, et d’élaborer une stratégie sur la façon dont nous pouvons mettre les choses en place et comment fournir plus de financement pour différents types de projets.

carmen salas, balado conscient, 30 avril 2021, Espagne

J’ai découvert le travail de Carmen Salas grâce à son article intitulé What should we expect from art in the next few years/decades? And what is art, anyway?. (Que devons-nous attendre de l’art dans les prochaines années/décennies ? Et qu’est-ce que l’art, d’ailleurs ?). C’était au printemps 2020, et je trouvais ses idées fraîches et liées à notre époque troublée. Elle soulevait bon nombre des questions auxquelles je réfléchissais également, notamment le rôle de l’artiste et la valeur des arts engagés avec la communauté. J’ai lu davantage sur le travail de Carmen sur son site web, https://carmensp.com/ , et j’ai suivi son travail comme commissaire pour le forum Connecting the Dots au Mexique. J’ai été ravie lorsque Carmen a accepté de s’entretenir avec moi dans le cadre d’une conversation consciente, qui a eu lieu le 30 avril 2021, à distance entre Ottawa et l’Espagne. 

Carmen m’a demandé d’inclure cette citation du neuroscientifique Dan Burnett dans les notes de l’épisode pour le contexte : 

Le cerveau humain, aussi puissant soit-il, peut toujours être dépassé par le monde complexe dans lequel nous vivons, donc lorsqu’il s’agit de créer des modèles mentaux de la façon dont le monde fonctionne, il opère une politique générale de “s’en tenir à ce que vous savez”. Ainsi, les choses différentes ou peu familières, surtout si elles sont déroutantes et incertaines ou si elles introduisent un élément de menace ou de danger perçu, sont accueillies avec suspicion, doute, rejet, etc. Ce sont tous des mécanismes de défense, d’une certaine manière ; c’est le cerveau qui dit ‘ce n’est PAS comme ça que le monde est censé fonctionner, donc je dois rejeter cette nouvelle information difficile.’ 

Carmen a également suggéré un lien vers cet article : https://www.theguardian.com/science/brain-flapping/2018/may/15/mental-health-awareness-is-great-but-action-is-essential

Au cours de la conversation, Carmen a mentionné le projet Nomadic Plants de Gilberto Esparza et son article Shifting Paradigms

Comme je l’ai fait pour tous les épisodes de cette saison, j’ai intégré des extraits de e19 reality dans cet épisode.

Je tiens à remercier Carmen d’avoir pris le temps de s’entretenir avec moi, de m’avoir fait part de ses connaissances approfondies en matière de commissariat et d’art et de m’avoir fait part de son point de vue sur la façon dont les arts peuvent se réinventer.  

Gracias. 

Pour en savoir plus sur le travail de Carmen, consultez le site https://carmensp.com/ . 

The post e35 salas 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.

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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 http://simplesoundscapes.ca (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 : claude@conscient.ca

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.

Go to conscient.ca

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