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Sep 1, 2013

Can We Ever Know Another?

Dance Couple, by TIm Holmes
Though we think of modern humans having the same capabilities as our prehistoric ancestors, with little biological change, psychically we are evolving at a speedy clip! We might be tempted to say that something that doesn't depend on biology or technology– like intimacy– would be somewhat immune to changes over time. But I don't think that's true. I think we are daily cutting a brand new edge in the evolutionary story!

Take marriage, an institution with roots in the dark ages and before that simply gets passed on from one generation to the next without ever being really scrutinized. When I think about the intimacy my parents were able to achieve when they got together in the 50's it must have felt as deep and worthy as that we can feel today. But the fact is that in their world, although they could both value each other fully as human beings, because the marriage was still partly an economic arrangement, they didn't live in a culture that supported the kind of relating that we are capable of. So no matter how close they became personally, there is a way that their cultural context limited their intimacy.

In our generation, with the social changes brought by civil rights and feminism, the social world is more open (cognoscente of universal equality) and thus supports personal intimacy in a deeper way. (For instance now that women are more equal socially she is not economically dependent on him). This allows for a deeper intimacy. In fact, this is a depth of intimacy never before available in human history!!

Just as a landscape becomes the context for the body life, which is in turn limited by it, the social context calls forth the individual life. As human rights around the world becomes more universally respected and more minorities are allowed to inhabit their dignity in social space, the gift of a capacity for greater, deeper personal intimacy becomes available to all of us!   
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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.