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Psychic Art Forms

art that happens more inside than outside the viewer

A Dark Drawing comes alive when the lights dim. It's still the same drawing, so what changed?
A BlueBill buys the same cup of coffee but with a clear awareness of responsible economy. Why?
A stranger sits down at your cafe table, asks you a question and your eyes flood with tears. What has happened?

This is the world of Psychic Art.

Ritual Relationships

On Which Side is the Mystery?  -mixed media by Tim Holmes

y friend Susan, a worldly woman with an Ivy League degree, lives on a ranch outside Fishtail, Montana.  One day she had a visitor from the neighboring ranch, a ranch wife with a minimal education who had never been farther than 50 miles from home.  Just off the kitchen the woman caught sight of a print hanging on the wall and spontaneously burst into tears.  Until Susan told her the story behind the painting the woman had never heard of Guernica, and maybe not even of Picasso or even the Spanish civil war for all I know.  The war was history, the artist was dead, and the painting was located clear around the world.  So how did Picasso reach across time and space to affect her like that?
Every art experience is a complex drama of perceptions and projections involving the whole of the experience of the artist who created the work and that of the viewer who perceives it.  As a sculptor, the bronze I create is nothing but a chunk of metal that could put a hole in your car.  It has no meaning until the viewer projects meaning into it. No matter how much meaning I see therein, the work can only be successful if the viewer is also stirred into a lively response.

Over years of studying and manipulating the complex psychological matrices of artistic creation and apprehension I have become fascinated with the possibilities of ‘psychic’ art forms. For instance I’ve been developing for 30 years a project I call Ritual Relationships.  Here interpersonal relationships, which we normally use as tools to achieve certain productive ends, are renegotiated. Instead of serving to encounter another’s authentic personality with our own– the 'reasonable' way to relate to another– relationships are used as esthetic mirrors to encounter our own unconscious contents. This is a the technique that generates powerful images for me, the artist, to use the projective mechanism to engage my own unconscious through a creative interaction with a model serving as the other.  Through the theory of Ritual Relationships I believe other creative individuals could tread a similar path to explore their own creative powers through their own unconscious contents.
We are all projecting all the time, of course.  That is what allows us to make sense of our world, which would otherwise be an undistinguished mélange of sensory input.  But by using Ritual Relationship to explore the other, one can trace the path of numinosity rooted inside one’s own soul. In fact the impact can be so powerful as to effect a profound personal transformation, which is exactly what happened to me in 1994 in an encounter that altered the course of my life and resulted in a major museum exhibit that tracked the process, called Visitation By the Muse.
This is not a new idea to history. Psychoanalysis, psychedelic drugs, and shamanic vision questing are more common ways of accessing the powers in the unconscious.  Ritual Relationships is just another mechanism, but it is one that calls for a specifically creative response.

Active Modeling -This creative encounter with another is a kind of alchemy carried out within the larger arena of psyche, a space which includes two people, in this case using a model who embodies the image of the prima materia for the artist. This search provides another hall of mirrors, unleashing other creative powers from the depths of the unconscious. (Yes it is a path fraught with dangers and should only be approached with a great deal of foresight, humility, and vital safety gear!)
The frontiers of art are always moving. I have made forays into the arena of psychic art in a number of different directions. I feel that here is a great unexplored continent that lies before us! It's a land that has been discovered but still needs to be colonized by artists and creators of the future. I can only dream of the endless possibilities stretching off into the future! How can you participate in unfolding this vision?

Psychic Art Exhibitions -The same principles can also be applied to increase the power of the mirror experience: that of the viewer of art. Veiling the artwork in a controlled environment calls forth the projective mechanism in the viewer’s experience. Viewing an image under these conditions (or rather the viewer’s apprehending of their own projection thereon), creates the possibility of a numinous artwork, as if the artist had created a work specific to that person. A concrete example of this is my Dark Drawings series (which unfortunately can only be experienced to full effect through a live exhibition in near-darkness.)

Some of the territories of Psychic Art can be explored in the Metaphysical Maps,

The Science of the Nude, Active Model, and Searching for the Founations of the Universe

Blue Bills

Blue Bills is a psychic art project.

Money is a relationship. If you don't like the way you are being treated, change the relationship!

Blue Bills are real money tinged blue. They are just as legitimate as green bills, but rarer.
Blue Bills are a means for people to express their our faith in the value of a clean environment and a healthy community, the root of all wealth.

They represent a very simple, non-confrontive way for individuals to change one of the most frustrating problems of civilization: the degrading effect of economic activity on nature and community!

This is not a nation of banks and the elite, it's a nation of the people, for the people, by the people.

So is this art? Or democracy? Whence comes illumination?

Psychic Art operates on three distinct levels:

  • within the artist or viewer (who act in similar roles)
  • interpersonally (such as between artist/model or viewer/artwork)
  • among a group (such as among society or viewers of an exhibition)
Participants in a Psychic Artwork are exposed to the possibilities of powerful illumination not unlike with any work of art which engages each of us at a deep level.  The difference lies in the directness of the exchange. A psychic artwork is more directly experienced such as in music or drama. While witnessing psychic art (like receiving a BlueBill) is like hearing an aria sung by a master, passing on a BlueBill is akin to singing the aria yourself. Psychic art involves a performance aspect.

Night Ache by Tim Holmes

 Night Ache by Tim Holmes (and Lonnie Hanzon)

-Tim Holmes  cc  2014

The world is not only stranger than we imagine, but stranger than we can imagine!
- Haldane's Law

Creative Comons  Copyright • 2014• Tim Holmes Studio