Follow this by Email if'n you like

May 12, 2010

Home, at Both Ends of the Earth

I return home to Montana with tears of joy mingled with those of remorse over leaving Vienna and Europe.  One cannot make the transition without noticing many interesting things, like:
• Europe seems like a collection of communities while the US is definitely a nation of individuals.
• American cities look and sound like databases, often with street names like “150th St.” (clear but lifeless) while European cities grew like something in nature and reflect those softer values.  Their old buildings– even industrial ones– are beautiful, as if they were made by people who love life while modern ones look like American construction: built strictly for efficiency, not for enjoyment. 
• Americans are fat!  There is no ignoring it once you see the alternative. Europeans are more sleek and beautiful. (I hesitate to even say this, as we also export anorexia around the world!)
• They also smoke like chimneys.  Their hospitals will be crammed with smokers in a few years.
• But at least they have a health care system that will treat them regardless of their personal wealth.
• And they can get there on efficient public transport, which is not possible in much of the US.
• In Europe land is precious and is carefully partitioned for rural and urban use where in the US seems ambiguous about land– leaving areas of developed urban space empty and filling rural spaces with development.  Our spaces are huge and we seem to value them less as a result.
• Like old European art, their ads are classier and sexier than ours, which seem crass and conservative in comparison.

Obama is our president!  He's their's too.  We know the names of US companies.  Theirs have the same names and now we can buy familiar products everywhere.  Now it's harder to find places anywhere with unique character, which seems best preserved in poor rural cultures.  That is where tourists will go in the future– places of singular interest that offer something different from what people have at home, places where globalization doesn't just flatten out everybody but preserves their own story, unique on all the earth!
Post a Comment

Blog Archive

Tim Holmes Studio

My photo

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.