Conscient Podcast: e43 haley

Climate change is actually a cultural issue, not a scientific issue. Science has been extremely good at identifying the symptoms and looking at the way in which it has manifest itself, but it hasn’t really addressed any of the issues in terms of the causes. It has tried to use what you might call techno fix solution focused problem-based approaches to the situation, rather than actually asking deep questions and listening.

david haley, conscient podcast, may 6, 2021, united kingdom

I first came across David Haley’s work as an eco artist and eco educator through the Eco Art Network, notably his Going beyond Earthly essay, from which I drew this quote in e19 reality:

We now need aesthetics to sensitize us to other ways of life and we need artists to sensitize us to the shape of things to come.

I was hooked on his thinking and was enchanted when we had a conversation on May 6, 2021.  For example:

Going back to reality, one of the issues that we are not tackling is that we’re taking a dystopian view upon individual activities that creates guilt, syndromes, and neuroses which of course means that the systems of power are working and in terms of actually addressing the power – of speaking truth to power – we need to name the names, we need to name Standard Oil, IG Farben who now call themselves ESSO, Chevron, Mobil, DuPont, BP, Bayer, Monsanto BASF, Pfizer and so on. These are the people that control the governments that we think we’re voting for and the pretense of democracy that follows them. Until those organizations actually rescind their power to a regenerative way of doing and thinking, we’re stuffed, to put pretty bluntly.

I was also touched by his idea of ‘space as habitat for new ways of thinking’ (which made me think of the adage ‘do no harm’):

What I have learned to do, and this is my practice, is to focus on making space. This became clear to me when I read, Lila : An inquiry into morals by Robert Pirsig. Towards the end of the book, he suggests that the most moral act of all, is to create the space for life to move onwards and it was one of those sentences that just rang true with me, and I’ve held onto that ever since and pursued the making of space, not the filling of it. When I say I work with ecology, I try to work with whole systems, ecosystems. The things within an ecosystem are the elements with which I try to work. I try not to introduce anything other than what is already there. In other words, making the space as habitat for new ways of thinking, habitat for biodiversity to enrich itself, habitat for other ways of approaching things. I mean, there’s an old scientific adage about nature abhors a vacuum, and that vacuum is the space as I see it.

As I did with all episodes this season, I have integrated excerpts from previous episodes in this case, from e19 reality in this episode, including moments of silence. 

I would like to thank David for taking the time to speak with me, for sharing his deep knowledge of ecological art practices, his insights as an eco educator and for his vision of a path forward that ‘creates space’.

For more information on David’s work, see



Le changement climatique est en fait une question culturelle, et non une question scientifique. La science a été extrêmement efficace pour identifier les symptômes et examiner la façon dont il se manifeste, mais elle n’a pas vraiment abordé les questions relatives aux causes. Elle a essayé d’utiliser ce que l’on pourrait appeler des approches ‘techno-solutions’, centrées sur les problèmes, plutôt que de poser des questions profondes et d’écouter.

david haley, balado conscient, 6 mai 2021, royaume-uni

J’ai découvert le travail de David Haley en tant qu’artiste et éducateur écologique par le biais du Eco Art Network, notamment son essai Going beyond Earthly, dont j’ai tiré cette citation dans e20 réalité :

Nous avons maintenant besoin de l’esthétique pour nous sensibiliser à d’autres modes de vie et nous avons besoin des artistes pour nous sensibiliser à la forme des choses à venir.

J’ai été accroché à sa pensée et j’ai été enchanté lorsque nous avons eu une conversation le 6 mai 2021.  Par exemple :

Pour revenir à la réalité, l’un des problèmes que nous n’abordons pas est que nous adoptons une vision dystopique des activités individuelles qui crée de la culpabilité, des syndromes et des névroses, ce qui signifie bien sûr que les systèmes de pouvoir fonctionnent et, pour ce qui est de s’attaquer réellement au pouvoir – de dire la vérité au pouvoir – nous devons nommer les noms, nous devons nommer la Standard Oil, IG Farben qui s’appelle maintenant ESSO, Chevron, Mobil, DuPont, BP, Bayer, Monsanto BASF, Pfizer, etc. Ce sont ces gens qui contrôlent les gouvernements pour lesquels nous pensons voter et le simulacre de démocratie qui les suit. Tant que ces organisations n’auront pas abandonné leur pouvoir au profit d’une manière régénératrice de faire et de penser, nous sommes fichus, pour dire les choses crûment.

J’ai également été touché par son idée de “l’espace comme habitat pour de nouvelles façons de penser” (ce qui m’a fait penser à l’adage “ne pas faire de mal”) :

Ce que j’ai appris à faire, et c’est ma pratique, c’est de me concentrer sur la création d’un espace. Cela m’est apparu clairement lorsque j’ai lu la : Lila : An inquiry into morals de Robert Pirsig. Vers la fin du livre, il suggère que l’acte le plus moral de tous est de créer l’espace nécessaire à la vie pour aller de l’avant. C’est l’une de ces phrases qui m’ont semblé vraies, et j’y ai adhéré depuis lors, en cherchant à créer de l’espace, et non à le remplir. Quand je dis que je travaille avec l’écologie, j’essaie de travailler avec des systèmes entiers, des écosystèmes. Les choses au sein d’un écosystème sont les éléments avec lesquels j’essaie de travailler. J’essaie de ne rien introduire d’autre que ce qui est déjà là. En d’autres termes, faire de l’espace un habitat pour de nouvelles façons de penser, un habitat pour que la biodiversité s’enrichisse, un habitat pour d’autres façons d’aborder les choses. Il y a un vieil adage scientifique qui dit que la nature a horreur du vide, et ce vide est l’espace tel que je le vois.

Comme je l’ai fait pour tous les épisodes de cette saison, j’ai intégré des extraits d’épisodes précédents; dans ce cas, de e19 reality dans cet épisode, y inclut des moments de silence.

Je tiens à remercier David d’avoir pris le temps de s’entretenir avec moi, de partager sa connaissance approfondie des pratiques d’art écologique, ses idées en tant qu’éco-éducateur et sa vision d’une voie à suivre qui “crée de l’espace”.

Pour plus d’informations sur le travail de David, consultez le site . 


The post e43 haley 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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