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Jun 13, 2017

A Funny Story of Design

Being a pretty healthy fellow I've never used a disabled parking spot until this week. I just had a minor knee surgery, shortly followed by a dentist appointment. So driving to the dentist, I did something I'd not done before. I parked in the parking space just at the bottom of a half-flight of stairs (not a real disabled spot, but just close to the stairs), and struggled up them directly into the office. When I was done there, they asked if I took the elevator up. No, I said, I took the stairs. So the nice receptionist guided me to the elevator and bid me farewell.

The elevator spits me out on the ground floor, but in a lobby emptying on the other side of the building. Calculating my options, I decided walking around the small office building on the flat would be easier than taking the elevator back up and descending the stairs on the other side. So I hobble across the lot, around the building and down the sidewalk... Which then ends in a concrete wall between this lot and the one with my car. I hobble across that and a small patch of landscaping, then hop a short wall, traverse another sidewalk and enter the target lot via the driveway as a car would, then scamper over to my car to avoid incoming traffic. Ouch!

For a pretty healthy guy with a temporary condition this is really pretty funny. But designing our cities for cars has an anti-human effect that quickly becomes serious. If a pedestrian ends up in an unexpected place it could be tragic.

I once spent a day trying to walk from a hotel outside Phoenix to a shopping mall and back, less than a mile away. I had time and two really good legs, so I walked. But the obstacle course I had to surmount unfolded like a military training course! I raced across busy highways, jumped retaining walls, scurried from planter to planter to broad sidewalks that suddenly end in an overgrown lot or a sea of parking roads. I truly felt like an escaped pet in a world ruled by cars; where if they caught you loose, they'd kill you! Who built this world again?
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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.