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Apr 30, 2016

The Emotional Content of Space


Every depature from my country is an opportunity to learn about home. I just left Montana for Sweden and right away I begin to notice differences. Europe has a sense of calm prosperity that I find refreshing. For one thing Europe's civic space feels different to me. While in America only roads, sidewalks and plazas feel like civic space, here that space feels like it extends right to the doors of buildings. The streets are clean, well-organized and are dedicated to people than to cars. One can often see workers cleaning and doing upkeep, which seems new and different to an American. It's not that workers don't appear in the US but that they're largely contracted to beautify private space. I feel like I'm not included except as an observer, whereas in Europe it feels like it's done for me.

With certain exceptions, things seem to work better and run more smoothly here. For instance, at home I'm often awakened by trains, though the tracks are a mile off. Here we're staying in a private home flanking the railroad. In the US that would mean horns, noise and dirt. Here the (electric) trains are no more disruptive than a car passing on a highway: smooth, fast, quiet. Unlike at home, where a scar remains for months, here if there's a plumbing problem in the street a crew comes, digs it up, repairs the damage, replaces the paving stones and in a few hours there's no sign of disturbance.

What I feel in conversations is a social satisfaction, a sense that all of us live together in society built to make everyone welcome. At home, I feel more sense of competition, as if we are all individuals competing for limited resources, so that private often denotes "rich" while public denotes underfunded and substandard, as in schools. I get the sense not that people make more money here but that people get to spend more of thier own money and if not happier, or at least less dissatisfied. And this is only from a few days' awareness. I wonder what else I'll pick up over the coming weeks.
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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.