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Jul 18, 2012

Open Source Future Culture

Leo Sketch, multi media by Tim Holmes
Cesar Harada is an inventor who, like me, watched the pathetic attempts to clean up the BP oil spill with dismay. But unlike me he thought he could do a better job of it so he set out to do just that. But what he ended up with was a better boat! It's the first flexible boat shape in history, one that will forever change the way we sail the seas! Then rather than patent it for his own enrichment he shared it with the world, with astonishing results!

One thing I'm sure future generations will take seriously is that quality of life is worth more than money. Happiness indexes affirm what I have found personally– that moving into a life of creativity and service produces a drastic cut in pay, greater happiness and a more meaningful life. What it doesn't account for is what happens to the social environment. As demonstrated in Harada's talk, when one concentrates on creating ideas for a better world, EVERYONE benefits. What could possibly mean more to one lying on their deathbed than to know that one has contributed to the betterment of the planet?

This kind of attitude emanates from a vision of a world of abundance rather than one of scarcity. When we are afraid of losing what we have we become cornered animals locked in protection mode. But when we are confident of a world of abundance, sharing, a characteristic that separates civilization from natural tribalism, becomes much more important than hoarding for ourselves.

One day we will all share in a great creative flurry at the roundtable of social evolution. Until then it will be a very few individuals who drive evolution by selflessly giving of their talents and ideas for the benefit not of a higher standard of living but of a higher quality of life. And I think we will find them to be among the happiest people in the world!
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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.