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Jun 18, 2014

Vision for A Fresh View of Crime

"Corporate Harvest", pencil by Tim Holmes
When someone runs up to you and grabs your purse, they've violated your space, took something of real value and horrified and angered you in the process and that's a crime. But if that same guy were to secretly slip a dollar out of your wallet, none of those things would have happened. All he violated was your “privacy” (which hardly means anything in the Facebook age), what he took was not worth enough for you to miss it, and if you nobody knows, who cares? Right? This is the face of contemporary crime. The perpetrators are not so much predators who take a bite out of you as parasites who simply attach themselves unnoticed and fade into the background noise.

What's perhaps worse is that many today work for private companies that find perfectly “legal” ways to do this without ever engaging anyone's sense of wrongdoing, so there is no perp; it all sinks into the traffic of capitalism. And no individual who benefits from this is going to examine the means of their living too closely. This is a perfect criminal system: the crime, the perp and the victim all vanish. So there's nothing wrong! Right?

'No' may be the answer only if we look at isolated transactions. But that's not what relationships are. The social environment is a shared ecology where trust and goodwill are the signs of a clean environment we all depend on. Yet it's difficult to evaluate in individual terms. If a truck passes you walking on the street and engulfs you in a cloud of “buspoop”, your space has been violated but you can't sue anyone and it will clear in a just moment. But if the whole community lives in dirty air all suffer equally. And we really do suffer!

We need a fresh view where crime is recognized not only through the ends (evidence of violation) but through the means. Healthy economy is people benefiting from the good they create but if they make a living sucking the energy from other's creations they are parasites and that should be a crime. In that world our jails would be full not of petty joint-smokers but the big guys who drain billions from all of us. We need to develop a sense of communal health that transcends the individual or we'll never recognize the real criminals or be able to stop them.
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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.