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Jan 12, 2010

Christmas in Vienna

Vienna has a reputation for having the best Advent season displays in the world.  It is really spectacular here, especially at night!  The town hall is even turned into a giant advent calendar, though in this photo you can't see the beautiful windows.  I was riding the tram home and passed a spontaneous sidewalk parade with a band, revelers and several traditonal Christmas characters: Krampus, St. Nick, and an old woman who I think may be "Tante Arie".

Here winter is very apparent, like in Montana, though milder.  This weekend though was bitter cold.  We went to church in a place I've been wanting to attend for weeks- called the Church of St. Maria of the Fishermen.  I always go to mass here rather than a protestant service.  I guess I've become a Catholic this year.  (It's OK with me because I love the ritual- I just have a little trouble with Catholic theology.) 

This church has a strange structure- a long, thin gothic church, second oldest in Vienna, build in the 12th century on the site of an earlier church.  Its apse and choir don't align with the nave, making the whole thing off-kilter.  It also has a almost unique 7-sided tower.  The church was almost demolished after Napolean's troops moved on– they used it as a stable– but here it stands, thank God.  [Somebody did shovel it out though.  Thank God!]  Anyway we attended a mass in French but also in the cold.  You could see everyone's breath!  It was not quite an hour's miserable experience, but certainly an ascetic one.   (I've never had to warm my hands over devotional candles before).  Still, I loved it!
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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.