project to re-evaluate the
body in a capitalist world
Tim's TEDx presentation on the Body Pslams, "The Erotic Crisis"
Psalms is a celebration of the sanctity of the body through performance
rituals and video sculptures involving dancers and diverse ordinary
people unfolding passages of mystical texts painted on their skin to
create moving sculptural poetry.
In a capitalist culture increasingly
governed by the ethics of pornography, where nothing is too sacred to
be exploited by amoral commercial forces, the body becomes the
preferred currency. Is this what we are meant for?
art is meant to invite dialog between separate value systems– personal,
corporate and religious- that each one of us engages in our own way,
but that are rarely addressed together. I see the current
devaluation of the body as akin to climate change- a world problem
that, regardless of whether we ignore it or face it, will increasingly
effect our lives.
our own flesh with an attitude of deep respect
opens us to
truly see dignity in others.”
In Mirabai's Mountain the
“two flames” combine to form the
Body Psalms university course
"Shikibu"s House" fan
Psalms is a multi-tiered project in social engagement designed to
challenge the ongoing devaluation of the human body in capitalist
culture. As capitalism and its accompanying values structure
rapidly spreads around the world, ascending to a world monoculture, the
meaning of the human body is dethroned from its exalted place in the
history of art to become little more than a one-dimensional economic
stimulant. My preferred subject matter as an artist– the image of
the human body, once a symbol of humanity's highest achievements and
spiritual aspirations– is rapidly being drained of its meaning and
impact across the world. Body
Psalms tries to encourage through art events, performances,
exhibitions, and creative collaborations an exploration and
re-evaluation of the flesh in this volatile time in human
evolution. The ultimate vision is to help create a meaningful,
live community celebration (much like a religious ritual but without
denomination) that would form the root around which a new
perfectly-sustainable all-inclusive, human-centered culture could grow.
As technology races toward artificial intelligence that sees little
need for the body at all, our window of opportunity for real responsive
embodiment is quickly closing...
Project is a 12-year exercise in social
engagement using art as a metaphor to reach people wherever their lives
have meaning, whether that be through traditional institutions or on
the street. Art is a radical act of the soul and this work is aimed at
engaging our souls in creative struggle.
Made Flesh Made Word" 1:20
flesh is a metaphor for every body we know, our own, that of the human
family and that of the the Great Mother the Earth. We treat
all about the same."
Psalms Project invites
people to engage the value of the flesh at the level of their own body
story. Each of us is a body immersed in a sensual world that's both
painful and erotic. The flesh carries at once an inherent spiritual
value, a sensuous and poetic value for life and an economic value to
capitalist culture. But increasingly our bodies are subsumed in
activity focused on economic and technological stories that have little
to do with coming alive in a deeply embodied way.
We tend to treat the intimate garden of our flesh little better than
the rest of nature, resulting in a deflation of the value of our
bodies. But we abandon nature only at our peril.
“Our culture causes our daughters to carve up their own vibrant bodies.
This is a contemporary form of WITCHBURNING!”