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Dec 19, 2011

Home for the Holidays

As the last of our troops come home from Iraq, including a couple of my friends, I want to write that I am overjoyed that the Iraq war is finally over! We should be dancing in the streets. But I simply can't feel it. What I feel instead is a great sadness. Iraq started out a bad situation to be sure, but I'm not sure our invasion helped, pushed through on false premises and almost zero forethought (remember when it was going to last a few months and cost less than 2 billion?) Of course we're not going to feel anything like a sense of accomplishment.

I'm reminded of something my dad used to say: if you get a mouthful of too-hot coffee, anything you do next will be wrong. But I''m trying to resist the feeling that everything we did was wrong, because I know that can't be the case. We must have left something of lasting value besides the unaccounted-for billions in cash and some very valuable trash (bases, tanks, etc. that are not life-giving at all.) We were going to leave a few troops to "help" but the Iraqis wouldn't let us leave them without their being subject to their laws, so we backed out of that, too.  If that is what is preventing us from helping people, that's not a very good sign.

So there must have been some winners here. Who are the ones who gained? Besides companies like Haliburton (I'm sure Cheney's being VP was just a coincidence) American contractors made a killing. We may convince young, poor people to die for their country but no company is asked to sacrifice in the slightest. I only hope if I ever go to that part of the world people know the difference between America and an American.

Wouldn't it be great if our nation could give for the simple sake of the joy of giving?
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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.