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May 6, 2009

Kafka knew whereof he spoke!

You won't believe this story:  Austria will allow you to live here under a tourist visa if you leave the country once every 90 days. I went to Croatia to fulfill that, but unfortuantely left my cell phone. I called the owner of the flat we rented, Mille, and asked him to mail it to me in Vienna. In the US this would have been the work of about $7 and a few days' post time. Here is how it unfolded here:

Over about 6 calls and 3 email exchanges, Mille convinces me he can't mail the cell, which his post office says will incur at least a €30 customs fee ($47 plus two exchange fees). I write to both Austrian and Croatian customs who send their assurances that there is no fee. I wire Mille money and these letters and he finally mails the phone. On its arrival here I get a notice from the Post that they are holding my package. Relieved, I go to retrieve the package, but am given a form to fill out which requests the contents and value of the item, both of which are printed on the form! The clerk answers my question by pointing to the phone number and email address on the form. I go home, call the number and am on hold forever, never getting though. So I email the info to the Post. They write back and say the form needs to be taken to the office (which gave me the form!) This I do, and am told the form has to be mailed in to the main office. This is the Post, but will they send this to their main office? No, I would have to buy an envelope and stamp. So I spend €3 to FAX the form to the central office. Then I get another notice exactly like the first, requesting me to go to my local Post to pick up my package. So I return to the office with my pile of papers. They inform me that the package can be picked up now, but at a different office in this district. I go there and present my documents, and am asked for my passport to prove I am the addressee. Upon its presentation, after spending about $24 and over a month without a cell, they hand over the package! Why am I so tired?

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Tim Holmes Studio

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I'm a sculptor/filmmaker living in Montana, USA. I am using art to move the evolution of humanity forward into an increasingly responsive, inclusive and interactive culture. As globalization flattens peoples into a capitalist monoculture I hope to use my art to celebrate historical cultural differences and imagine how we can co-create a rich future together.

I see myself as an artist/philosopher laboring deep in the mines of joy. I've had a good long career of exhibiting work around the world and working on international outreach projects, most notably being the first American to be invited to present a one-person exhibit in the Hermitage Museum. Recently I have turned my attention from simply making metal sculpture to creating films and workshops for engaging communities directly, tinkering with the very ideas and mechanisms behind cultural transformation. I feel that as we face tragic world crises, if the human species favors our imaginative and creative capacities we can cultivate a rich world to enjoy.

For me the deepest satisfaction in making art comes in engaging people's real life concerns rather than providing simple entertainment or decoration. Areas of conflict or tension are particularly ripe for the kind of transformative power that art uniquely carries. I invite any kind of challenge that serves people on a deep level.