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Jan 30, 2012

Moved by an Invertebrate

Cutest octopus in the world
(Knock it off, I'm not referring to the GOP presidential field.) Seriously; I've lived a life blessed with having become close to many animals. It's amazing to me how intimate a bond we can create with these beings with whom we share no common tongue and yet a deep language. We homo sapiens notoriously anthropomorphize, projecting human feelings out into the world, and particularly into the animals, so close to us in this dance of life. As a result we read all kinds of meanings into random behaviors that don't necessarily mean that an animal is trying to communicate anything at all, but might be just going through their lives without any reference to us ego-besotted humans. (Recently I spotted 100 or more ravens gather on the ground just outside the doors of the state capital building. Ego or not: Hmm.)

I'm not much for doting over invertebrates, really. So I was most putrefied with astonishment to be brought to tears by one. Like most people I place animals in a hierarchy from the simplest forms up, of course reserving the pinnacle for MY kind. In this scheme invertebrates fall somewhere between the heartless reptiles and the rock-like molluscs. But I recently I came across a remarkable video of an octopus coming out of the water and walking on land! That lead me to some research and an article about a special connection a woman developed with a lonely octopus that nearly brought me to tears. (And here's a great video on octopus love!)

We really do long for a deep connection with others and when that bond arises out of the mysterious wiles of nature, it is a most moving thing to us soft-hearted beings. The new movie The Whale, an amazing tale of how an animal captured the hearts of thousands, reminds me of how deeply love runs in this world. Oh how little we're yet aware of it!
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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.