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Nov 22, 2011

The Most Powerful Silence in the World

There is only one interpretation of an event as clear as this!   -UC Davis.
I have not seen such a powerful symbol in the public sphere!  Perhaps not since Gandhi led the march to the sea in protest of the British salt tax in India is there a better example of so much being said with so little.

Even if you aren't following the Occupy Wall Street movement you've probably seen the horrifying video of a UC Davis cop calmly pepper-spraying seated, nonviolent students.  The incident is chilling!  (Even in the worst violent California prison uprisings guards are not allowed to spray the worst killers if they're seated!)  What is even sadder is that the university officials did not rectify this travesty against basic citizenship rights, an even more heinous oversight in view of this being not just a civic but a university setting.  [Why do I keep having the feeling that we need to overthrow Mubarak?]

To my astonishment there was another video posted, equally breathtaking, but for the totally opposite reason.  Watch what happens afterwards as the UC Davis Chancellor walks through the crowd of protesters from her office to her car!!  This is a poignant symbol that our grandchildren will remember. Like Archbishop Tutu said when my friends and I brought him here to Helena at the height of the South African apartheid regime, "we will eventually win because we are in the right".  There is no doubt looking at this video who is in the right.  Silent defiance can never be used for evil.  Violence will dig its own grave into which only the violent will fit!   
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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.