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Dec 6, 2010

Finding New Possibilities in Virtual Reality

I'd been hearing about Second Life (SL) for years, a digital reality on the internet, a world built not according to the laws of nature but those of the imagination.  Then I found that a friend at church was one of the beta designers! I was floored when she invited me to a special theater production she'd directed of Alice in Wonderland which was being staged by actors from all over the world in a digital theater (very cool when Alice falls down the rabbit hole and the whole audience falls in!)

Here I am being dissected in Rembrandt's famous painting
Much of SL sports unremarkable stores and fancy homes on tropical beaches, but occassionally I find something that really touches me deeply. Such was the case in discovering a museum called Primtings, which features interactive reconstructions of well-known artworks where you can walk up and down M.C. Escher's screwy stairs in a 3D reconstruction, between Dali's melting clocks in The Persistence of Memory, or around the cafe in Edward Hopper's Nighthawks.  Having heard that sex and violence is easy to find there (like everywhere on the internet) I was pretty skeptical about what else I would discover in this alternate world until I started experiencing simple things in a new way (like being able to make really cool stuff or flying, which I'm now also addicted to).

As a black woman (well why the hell not- it's my only chance!), I have found out some very surprising things about myself presented in a new form- like I'm suddenly obsessed with having great shoes!  And when I meet guy (I tend to avoid them) I don't care what he looks like I just want him to have a good personality.  So far the most intriguing guy I've met is a great eyeball on stubby legs.  Wow.  Who could have imagined?
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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.