Statement dated 1 January 2019 / updated April 1, 2021                                                            

Scarcity vs  Generosity  •  John Tomlinson, artist

This day as we slide out of 2018 into 2019 and onward through 2021 and beyond it may be bleak or it may be sunny, but we ought to take heart that it is a day of great significance, not just any ordinary "whatever" day, not a day of darkness and despair, not even a rancorous partisan political day.

To loosely paraphrase Martin Luther King, this is the momentous beginning of a new history as well as the end of our contemporary history.

I have arrived at a perspective of this moment in our history - the world's history affecting all humans and living creatures - that tells me that we can designate 1 January 2019 as the beginning of an epic struggle leading to a enormously different world and life for all and everything.

Grandiose? Yes. No "whatevers" are possible now.

The signs are all before us; just look at what has revealed itself, at who have emerged from the shadows.

I call it unleashed and unrestrained "dog-eat-dog-fuck-you" capitalism. Now we can see out in the open what harm that it will do to us and has been doing to us for decades.

That kind of capitalism demands and engenders greed, aggression, war and inequality. 

Let's call it "the scarcity model".

In that model there is only room for a few individuals self-anointed as superior through wealth and position who only recognize others who have anointed themselves in that way but who at the same time engage in fierce and cagey competition with each other as well. That's their game.

In that model there is strategic, legislated or grudging permission for people not of the European Caucasian descendancy or not of the male gender to be anointed. That's their game, too. Dark stuff. Painful to watch and endure the self-entrenched white males and their allies at their game. Catastrophic for most of humanity. The predictions for the destruction of the Earth and of our species are coming fast and furious.

Nevertheless, my perspective sees what I have borrowed from my life-mate, my colleagues, my friends and my personal experience as "the generosity model", as the goal towards which we must strive and struggle in order to overturn the scarcity model.  As an artist, I want to see it applied as well to the art profession and practice outside the capitalist art market of scarcity.

In the generosity model we respect the lives of our fellow creatures and the Earth and we share.

We share our knowledge, our experience, our expertise, our opportunities, and our positions.

We care for those we love and those who need help. 

It needn’t be on a grand scale, but it ought to be on a personal one.

Most importantly we seek our authenticity and strive to express it.

There's always lots more to say and do. I am working on my perspectives and activities every day. Let's all commit to doing the same.

The Paradigm of Awfulness has retreated to his lair in Florida (2021) and his enablers, blind followers and cronies will continue to trip up but will do a lot of damage before they are finished. We have to counter them with generosity and friendship. It’s time for each of us to create our own narrative.                                                                                                               ©2019/2021 John Tomlinson