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Jul 8, 2016

The Great Itch

"Salome Acts", by Tim Holmes
I'm constantly churning inside with an nameless desire inaccessible to words. It is a subtle inch: constant, nagging and somewhat specific; but forcing it into thoughts is pointless. It's like I'm dangling over a waterfall, feeling simultaneously the cool spray, exhilarating height, stunning beauty and the very taste of death.

A simple itch speaks a simple phrase. I'm at once compelled to put my long-nailed hand to its task. As reaching around and feeling inside my shirt the path to my skin, every attempt feels good at the start– a step in the right direction! But suddenly it's quite impossible. I'm scratching an itch with a string quartet!

Because, as it happens, this is not a normal itch. It is the slight trembling from the terror of being fully alive.

I have everything I need for success. I have an enormous studio with space enough for 20 artists laboring to birth the new millennium.

So, flushed with my good fortune, all my tools laid out before me, I lift a new tool and with it apply a beautiful phrase I've been saving for years. But stop: this is a painting, where every beautiful phrase is equal in its utter uselessness. The itch is not here beneath my nails, it's on the other side of the valley, hidden in the dance between pale blue and subtle pink.

Perhaps this is the tune to which we all dance: trying to match our clumsy steps to the music that pulses within us, while desperately trying to make it look effortless and intentional. Surely I don't just dance alone...

Beauty calls me constantly. Beauty is everywhere–I can taste it on the wind in every direction. It calls my name every day, like the dinner gong. Sometimes a sweet melody, sometimes the scream erupting  the depths. Always itchy.

And yet…

Where is that clear path and where the perfect tool to finally scratch that itch to satisfaction?

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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.