Claire has been on team Turtle from the beginning as the producer of this podcast. She’s been busy with other projects lately including @AnimalStone which brings people and animals together through the creation of artful silver animal charms and the narratives around them.
As usual, their conversations tend to become personal and serve as inspiration for anyone trying to figure out how to navigate their meat puppets through our world of ideas.
It’s been a hard winter full of personal and practical challenges for Jake Cenk, but it’s turning around as the season changes and he finds himself in love again with the universe.
An AI program called Deep Mind recently beat the world’s best human Go player embodied in Lee Sodol. Jake discusses the match then Cenk improvises music based on the audio from the Korean TV commentators reactions to the surprising (creative?) move 37 made by the AI.
Richard Gudiño used to play bass guitar in a heavy metal band named Medieval Rhyme. These days he's an executive recruiter with a wife and six kids in Toronto.
Blues & Gospel musician Grant Heckman (The Honeyboys, Isaiah Lighting) visits Jake in the loft so the conversation turns to the Gods and Devils in music.
Jake speaks with artist/scientist Kira Della Stua. Her brain was seriously altered in a car accident in Paris a couple of years ago. She’s since had to learn and relearn a great deal to adjust to her new reality. The conversation gets trippy fast.
Find Kira @ https://www.kiradellastua.com
Jake talks with clown, /performance artist, /comic, /actor Allan Turner about the art of clowning, and of birthing and coexisting with alter egos. Allan brings out his zombie clown alter ego Jean Paul Mullet to continue this chill chat with Jake.
On his last night in Italy Jake sits down with writer/journalist Daniela Piteo whom he's known for quite some time. Wine, agriturismos, life in Italy, privacy, religion and family are some of the topics they touch on in under an hour of friendly conversation.
Online dating and the Self.
In this monologue Jake tries Tinder and finds it weird how we try to describe ourselves to others, especially since we're not really a static and singular being to which we could easily point to and describe.
Jake speaks with Toronto Artist and Jewellery Designer Delane Cooper. Delane and Jake take a trip through the personal territory of Jake’s psychedelic habits and later Delane talks about her personal history as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. We learn about her artistic process for jewellery design as well as her upcoming art project which will honour 12 survivors with a piece of jewellery designed specifically to tell that person's story.
In this episode Jake reports from Italy where he’s spending the better part of the summer. Inspired by a trip to The Pantheon in Rome, Jake explores the tension between the gods of pantheism and the God of Judeo-Christian monotheism to get at the central message common to most world religions. The special nature of human being is highlighted as the only space we know of where that which is present as well as that which is not present can exist simultaneously and bring about a communion of the disparate realms of heaven and earth. This is where we access the cosmic consciousness and is where Jake considers to be the place where art happens. This segues into his conversation with documentarian, psychonaut, and bio-hacker Victor Mifsud who talks about his lastest film “My Neuroplastic Adventure” which explores the brain's capacity and propensity to change itself. They discuss epigenetics, biohacking and the importance of environmental factors such as electromagnetic fields as determinants in one's well-being
Andrea Subissati is a writer, sociologist and executive editor of Rue Morgue Magazine. She is also the cohost of The Faculty of Horror Podcast.
Jake's monologue deals with the philosophical mystery of existence in films, theatre and popular tv shows.
The episode ends with Cenk's improvised kinetic music.
Jake welcomes local Toronto artist and digital innovator, Anthea Foyer. They talk of media, digital culture, AI, making a living as an artist, the death of capitalism and other big developments that are currently underway. Anthea is a story teller who talks about the power of narrative and it’s value for social good.
Cenk music follows at the end but first we start with Jake’s musings on living systems. This time he highlights the common history between mother and child, from two completely enmeshed body systems into two divergent ones. He explores the process of finding a mate and how the prior experience of mother child bonding might influence his search and how it is likely built upon various biases of attraction. While the mind may say one thing the heart often moves action in a different direction, idea systems vs body systems.
Jake begins this episode with his thoughts on building new neuronal pathways with practice. He distinguishes the mind as the mansplainer, know it all while the body is like a non-verbal, autistic genius who is magical and mysterious and works with feelings and images; the verbal vs the textual. How then, do we learn to get the mind and body to cooperate? We can look to ancient practices such as Yoga or Thai Chi which work on the same substrate of breathing. This week our guest is Andy Keen, a local film maker best known for his film Bobcaygeon, a documentary on the legendary Canadian rock band, The Tragically Hip. The two discuss, film, art and more.
Jake primes this conversation with his thoughts on anxiety and the cyclones of energy that make up our inner and outer worlds. He says understanding anxiety often means sitting with it. Which is made difficult when we're living in a culture that appeals to laziness with short cuts to everything from cleaning the house with a Febreze bottle, fitness miracles and now durable toilet paper that will keep your ass clean for days. Alas, there are no short cuts, he reminds us. This week we take a journey with Eva Garber who takes us on a trip through her own neurotic tendencies and gets personal about her journey as an aspiring writer and comedian. Her gregarious nature makes for a wildly entertaining discussion on life, loss, fear, death and hypochondria and how to make it as an artist. Eva reflects on states of being, fame, self-respect, validation and how she’s learning to navigate her own career.
Jake begins this episode with a few thoughts on thought experiments. He questions the identity of things, how they change over time and how they remain the same. How do we see ourselves and how do we make sense of the multitudes within us? Jake’s musings on the nature of the mind segues appropriately into his conversation with neuroscientist Karen Campbell, whose research focuses on cognition and aging. The two explore how the brain and memory work. Karen discusses what research shows about aging populations, information, intelligence and integration. This episode ends with a taste of Cenk’s musical stylings, incorporating soundbites from the conversation - enjoy!
In this episode Jake and guest, Kyle Lumsden speak on the controversial topics of drug policy; use and society. They touch on the current cultural movements towards greater awareness and acceptance of substances for recreational or therapeutic purposes. Kyle is a researcher with UFT and a member of the Canadian Students for Responsible Drug Policy as well as the Canadian Coalition for Drug Policy. The two speak on popular notions of drug use, the history, moral and religious causes and the future of drug policy and culture. They explore the complexities and stigmas attached to drugs prompted during the Nixon era’s “War on Drugs”.
In this episode Jake speaks with local artist Damon Pourshian. This one is slightly more revealing as Jake and Damon dig a little deeper into personal secrets and stories from the past. The unburdening of stuff, makes way for discussions on love, intimacy, submission, the end of the world, art, creation and of course, manifest destiny.
In this episode Jake speaks with Ana Serrano. Throughout their conversation the two explore various ideas about framing a world view, political agendas, the bubble, mindfulness and how to be in the world. From the divisive left and right dichotomies, self-serving political agendas and the big question of what is truly best for everyone and who is going to determine that.
In this episode we welcome back our very first guest, Rodrigo Gudiño. Jake and Rodrigo begin this conversation with a reflection on Turtles All The Way Down, why Jake started the podcast and how he feels about where it’s going. The conversation continues into explorations on various subjects from the nature of experience to virtual reality, paranormal activity and tarot cards. The underlying theme throughout this conversation circles around the deeper mystery of existence and the conundrum of the unknown. While peeling back the layers the two touch on morality, death, truth and consciousness. They postulate on integration and holistic approaches to living. They discuss how more integrated realities could potentially lead to more fulfilling experiences. While the intellect is an important part of navigating and understanding the world, there is something to be said for the visceral experience, the intuitive, emotional and non-thinking elements of everyday life.
In this conversation Jake and Craig ponder the art of relating to each other and how media, bias, fake news and belief systems are creating barriers in between people and bubbles around individuals. They discuss the nature of “truth” and the role journalism traditionally played in distributing content and what journalism means in today’s world. How do we distinguish the real from the fake?. Craig and Jake ponder the emergence of AI, ethics and the moral responsibility of the designers of the future. The two explore ideas about Virtual Reality and what this world might look like, Jake suspects much like a psychedelic trip. The big question throughout this conversation is how do we relate to people who hold fundamentally different world-views. If progressive actions are what’s needed in today’s turbulent world, then we need to adopt new ways of relating, understanding and educating people on the issues that matter. And finally, amidst all the chaos, how do we find calm so that we can move about in non-destructive ways, creating bridges not barriers.
In this episode Jake and Elena discuss the current cultural and intellectual curiosities around home life, owning your own business, the changing workplace, young people, AI and of course, super-intelligence. The theme is balance. How do we find it, sustain it and manage the creative, intellectual, practical and existential flows? Elena describes her role as business owner and mom and how she created a life that works for her.
In this episode, Liberal Cucktard, A Primer For The Alt-Right, after a brief detour into the Star Trek vs Star Wars debate, Jake engages the young men of the Alt-Right with some brotherly advice and maps them within a framework illustrating the polarization of empathy and intelligence.
In this episode Jake welcomes Toronto artist, Jo Blakley where they discuss the more esoteric elements of the universe, such as the forces of creative genius, oneness, love, religion, spirituality and what it means to be an artist. Jo offers insights on her own spiritual and religious experiences, with reference to William Blake, from whom she draws her name. Jo is an optimist, who believes that love is the ingredient that holds the universe together. She believes that the spiritual energies in the world are slanted towards good and that we are now faced with a critical opportunity to connect, and encourage the creative genius in each one of us at a time of great uncertainty. She imparts that one doesn’t have to look much further than oneself for the answers.