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Jul 12, 2010

Rattling my Faith!

I appreciate anyone who is clever enough to wobble my faith, even for a moment.  Which is exactly what this guy did in his TED talk (I LOVE these lectures!) about the scientific roots of human belief.  He makes some great points, even making God scientifically unnecessary.  The implication is that that's all there need be.  But for me it approaches the supernatural question from the wrong end– by ignoring the supernatural.

Even if God were "proven" not to exist that doesn't account for what happens on the human side.  Faith, much as it drives senseless wars, has also been the cause of most of human progress.  Little of great and lasting value has been created outside of faith– in art, science, social movement– anywhere.  In fact, if all there is to transcendence is a kind of altruism caused by a selected propensity to keep our species alive, what is the reason for sharing anything but with the absolutely destitute?  (Which, ironically, is the work of the faithful!)  In fact wouldn't it hurt human survival chances to make things easier for anyone else?  Where does inspiration come from then?– a fortunate fantasy that improves the world by mistake?

If the only reason to share is because it's practical in some way, what about the suffering of the mystics that inspires so many?  If it's mere illusion and all this progress is built on a fantasy, doesn't that make it in fact practical and therefor its source an image of divinity?  Unless that is ignored how can atheism make any sense? If an atheist can construct a universe where he is all alone, doesn't that just remove from eternal damnation any alternative?  Ugh.
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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.