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Sep 9, 2011

Learning to See

Carl Jung, perhaps the most important of our foundational psychologists, reveals how much we are unconscious of our true reality. As we pass the 10th year of 9/11 and finally begin to come to our senses about the tragedy, we can see that we weren't seeing clearly to begin with, which has caused much of the mess we are in now. If we had seen more clearly at the time this would be a very different world today. Living unconsciously is very expensive, often leading to catastrophe. If ours was a more feminine culture devoted to the powerfully transforming magic of listening, how different our future would look!

Jung says that our greatest threats are not natural crises but psychic ones. Our nation is not nearly as likely to "die a natural death" (like being overcome by a greater culture) as to fall by means of our own psychic failure to recognize and deal with our reality.  If in fact we are overcome by nature in the end it will not be because nature turned nasty but because we refused to live conscious of the real dangers we faced. The challenge for our time is to grow more conscious. And as events overtake our ability to respond intelligently to them, the stakes grow.

I feel that the most crucial growth we can undertake– as individuals and nations– is to learn to see what really is before us. The psychic reality is the REAL reality. Our culture, wooed by the power of the scientific mindset, tends to peg our sense of what is real in what is literal. But "literal" only refers to what we conceive of as most deeply true. I'm soon teaching a course in figure drawing, which is a great practice for learning to draw the person that is really before you instead of what your mind tells you is there. People are always surprised– myself included– to really SEE something that is right before them. If we had SEEN what 9/11 presented us, we could have used it to usher in a much more civilized world... But we do have the capacity to learn from our mistakes. I wonder what we'll do with that?
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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.