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Feb 27, 2014

In the Business of Killing Ourselves

Americans aren't the only ones captivated by a business life, but it characterizes us in particular. It has always struck me as odd– if not suicidal– that we are concerned more with economic than with public health, more enamoured of individual rather than community rights.  My beloved mom, Polly Holmes, was among the first courageous legislators in the 70's to ask whether the rights of the majority to breathe clean air didn't perhaps deserve as much consideration as the rights of a few smokers to ruin that air. Forty years later that issue has been solved and we are rightly incensed when anyone fouls public air with cigarettes. But that's only one battle out of hundreds of similar cases.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to live in a culture where such majority rights were respected and individual liberties only extended as far as public health was not damaged? The concept sounds so reasonable as to be almost unquestionable and yet our culture bows to business and its pursuit of profits at any cost as a kind of religion of free marketeering, rarely stopping to wonder what the difference is between criminal profiteering and legitimate business! So we tolerate attacks on public health as the "free market" at work. All that's really free is profits for the profiteers! The rest of us pay the costs and– so far– pretty quietly. We'd be horrified to find an animal that treats its young as poorly as we do!

To me any business that gives more than it takes– whether socially or environmentally– is legitimate, while those that don't are criminal. If our culture can't find that dividing line, we are doomed to sink deeper into inequality for all. We are not built for that, but for care, for sharing, for community! 
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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.