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Oct 3, 2014

A Little Basic Psychology Understanding Would Help

"Throwing Stones Against the Sky", Tim Holmes  
America once again plunges into another phase of the endless War on Terror. With each phase it becomes less important just who is in the crosshairs of our drones. One hated enemy is like the next, though they all seem to be Muslim, which conveniently allows us to identify them as robe-and-turban wearing dark people. These are not human beings but targets. Not real people but subhumans. And so the war spreads from one country to the next in endless cycle.

What we fail to see is what psychologists like Carl Jung revealed 100 years ago: that people tend to project our shadow aspects into some likely target outside us, which then becomes our perpetual enemy. If we then kill them this shadow doesn't vanish like the victim's body but simply moves to the next likely figure. Thus entrapped, we become doomed to spend ourselves in a fruitless and violent spiral into oblivion. Once the pattern is recognized, it's clear to see that America is stuck in this fatal spiral. We will apparently exhaust our nation in a pointless slaughter of the carriers of our shadow.

But the cure is as simple as the trap: to recognize that the source of the shadow is inside us and can only be addressed by looking within. Meanwhile, if we were to talk to those who appear as our enemies as if they were human, we would discover that they are simply neighbors who, like us, crave a safe place to raise their families in peace. It is dialog, not guns, that bring lasting change. We should try it for once.
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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.