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Oct 29, 2016

Can Female Nudity Ever be Empowering?

"Whose Desire Turns", by Tim Holmes
No matter how much feminism liberates the world, we can't seem to escape the inevitable exploitation of women's bodies so rampant in our culture. But to focus on female flesh alone misses a deeper issue. Exploitation is all around us and though it's always more fun to talk about naked ladies, it applies to every element of human life which is commodified and mined for its energy by a capitalist attitude. The same can be said of art, and indeed any other activity which has any spiritual value. Capitalism reduces humans to rather pathetic consumers and in that light we all become mere objects contending for other objects.

In the context of capitalist exploitation there is no freedom and any exposure simply becomes commodified by that cannibalistic system. Some of us see ourselves as spiritual creatures living as captives in a world of products. In this context affirming any spiritual value is an act of rebelion and thereby a person who shares their body, or indeed any intimate gesture, seizes their own freedom. Capitalism creates societies which will NEVER be free! But for every individual bound by that system, freedom is actually quite easy: refuse to objectify any spiritual value or to participate in objectification of others! While capitalism will always reduce you to a cog, you don't have to live that way. Fully inhabit your embodied spirit and although you will be exploited at every turn, this no longer defines who you really are!

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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.