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Sep 1, 2012

Cesar Hidalgo's fascinating glimps into the future.

I just discovered this young Chilean professor, a guy that that I am going to be watching closely! He gives a rapid-paced talk on in which he covers a number of ways of viewing the world that I find very illuminating. We need this kind of wide-focus imagination to help us unfold a better future! Here some ideas from his talk:

• We currently obtain our data on human health from sick people, as it's collected from people entering hospitals! We simply don't have data "in the wild" (data on health from healthy people). But soon we'll be able to track such information and learn a great deal about how our environment, such as the stresses of the city, affect our well-being. (Now there's a novel idea!)

• What is the difference between value and money? They are very different but I've not had a handle on how to think of it before listening to Cesar talk about the difference between Google- (which gives all of us value every day for free) and Wall Street (which sucks money out of the system while delivering nothing). We tend to think not of value but of money exchange in determining value. Yet as he points out, we could derive enormous value from something like cars if they did not sit idle most of the time but were shared among people who would use them, vastly decreasing their cost and increasing their value.

• Direct democracy (27 minutes in) represents a social dream that the American founding fathers would have loved to have achieved, but the best that they could carry off technologically was for the people to elect representatives to approximate decisions the people would like to make directly. One day the obvious solution to ruling a free nation will be direct democracy, where people vote on any and every decision that is important to them. There is a great deal of value in giving citizens direct control. People tend to own decisions that they make but not necessarily those made for them by those that they choose. (Not to blow my own horn or anything, but I do have a model for direct democracy I've been designing.) Gotta hear more from this guy!

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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.