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Jul 23, 2014

Vision for a Fresh View of Relationships


Our relationships have been forged in the furnaces of an era that is very long gone. The modern
"Paolo and Francesca", digital collage print by Tim Holmes
concept of marriage hasn't changed much since before the industrial revolution. That marriage was basically the property arrangement that characterized most marriages since at least medieval times. In any case, our culture has never really examined the way we do relationships to see how well they respond to this our rapidly changing world.

My grandfather was born on a Pennsylvania farm that had no electricity because neither his family nor anyone in the neighboring town had any use for it. The changes he saw between his birth in 1875 and his death in 1964 were astonishing, but nothing like the increasing speed of change we experience today! I think it took a different set of skills to manage a marriage in that world than it does today. 

I suggest we've passed the time when it was really helpful to have marriages based on property management or power dynamics or correcting personality deficits. We have better tools to achieve those things and can therefor foster healthy, egalitarian relationships for their own sake. With a vision of how we can be in more responsive touch with each other and our world, we can replace the coercion, violence and loneliness that have characterized unequal pairings for so long, with those based on dialog and exchange equal on every level.

We are creatures of habit and we generally just carry on those given us by the previous generation. But as creative creatures we can form a new culture any way we can conceive it! We can form relationships that not only serve us as before, as tools, but as creative adventures in themselves to draw open new doors to the possible, in ourselves, each other and 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.