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Nov 9, 2016

Survival Means Collaboration

"Sculpted Camp Path", oil by Tim Holmes
The results of the election really got me thinking a lot about the structure of community. Like a tree, community has two distinct segments. One makes up the roots: solidly fixed into the earth, fairly immovable, fairly unchanging, deriving nourishment from dark and basic elements. This part is very stiff, reliable, and if a hurricane comes along, the most likely to survive. The other part is made up of branches and leaves, growing ever upward into boundless space, seeking the light. This part is flexible, always responding to the slightest gusts from any direction, using the nutrients from below to transform light into food. Both parts of the tree are full of life, expanding into the free space around it by avoiding impenetrable objects. Both have unique aspects that only flourish in working together. This feels like a portrait of community to me, one made up of unique individuals arrayed along a spectrum between these two poles. At one pole people are motivated by fear, and at the other by love. Both are trying to solve the same problems. But they can really only move forward with the critical assistance of both perspectives.

One thing that was screamingly obvious about the election was the nonstop criticism of the opposite pole and its ideas (or lack thereof on the GOP side). Criticism is a crucial aspect of community, but without the balance of new ideas it amounts to mere helpless whining. This makes for great TV and is useful for creating an emotional frenzy, but without a creative impulse this aspect becomes poisonous to the community. It makes me wonder what happens to this impulse in nonliterate societies, like in an aboriginal Sioux tribe. (Plains Indian tribes are my favorite example because they are my spiritual family and I understand them.) In this tribal unit a mere whiner would not be ostracized but would be welcomed into the tribal Council along with the other members. But if half the tribal Council became mere whiners, the tribe would not survive.

Any society faces real problems and has to produce workable solutions. The alternative is extinction. This is exactly the situation we are in. If we don't learn that we are one, that both sides need to provide nourishment, the solutions are crucial we too will go the way of all things. God be with us!
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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.