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Why would an artist have a vision and mission statement? In today's world where humanity has entered the Anthropocene, where we stand on a precipice of our own making, I believe that every artist, every person, should understand clearly their world view and be working with others to carve out a new vision for humanity. We are standing at a great bridge of opportunity, a chance to make fundamental shifts in how we think and live as a species. Within that context I believe that it is not enough as an artist, for me at least, to present political, cultural and historical critiques in and of themselves. I (we) must be answering these questions and critiques with "yes, and...", meaning: Yes, and what comes next? How do we evolve? What is our larger world vision? And just as importantly we must ask: What is our role in bringing this new human vision to life? We have to solve this together; we have to present a new vision for humanity, all of us, of all ages, races, genders, socio-economic positions; we need to be having this discussion, every day, everywhere, and moving ourselves forward into this new version-vision of ourselves, and it can only grow organically and from all of us.

My guiding vision rests upon the premise that humanity is still fundamentally psychologically and spiritually infantile, unevolved beyond our most early stages. I envision a human species where gender, race, nationhood, all of these kinds of social constructs and allegiances simply do not make any sense any longer. I see a human species where ideas like progress and survival are words that no longer mean what they do today. I envision what can be called a species level awareness, an awareness out of which we define ourselves wholly, inclusive of both our practices and our entire way of being. This species level awareness not only allows for but holds a much greater ability for us to live out all the things we cherish today that we define as freedom: individual freedom, freedom of expression and self-realization, freedom of ideas and the ability to choose how we live and what we aspire to and the freedom to realize those aspirations. I see a future human in which we are not burdened by a definition of our being in which scarcity plays such a fundamental role or any role at all for that matter. I see a future human way of being in which freedom is not something to be achieved or taken from others in order for us to have it, where freedom is so much more than the accumulation of things and the false power that these bring; I envision a new rendering of "freedom" that is defined by self-expression, the exchange of ideas, where freedom is a collective way of being, a shared modality, an evolving and deeply cherished entity that shifts, grows and changes as we evolve.

 

I envision a human being who values art for the great pleasure of the insights we glean from it through our conversations about it;  a human being who values the formation of laws that are truly purposeful and meaningful for all; a human being who values the dwellings we inhabit and the cities we live in as communal and sacred for all; a human being who listens to and appreciates the capabilities of science and technology in serving the greater good; a human being who seeks the guidance of spirituality and lives in great trust and appreciation of others as opposed to fearing others; a human being who respects the great abundance of food, air, water and other essential resources available on earth and the sharing of them; a human being who respects and cherishes other living creatures as equals with which to share our home; a human being who has a deep appreciation for universal health and wellness; a human being who lives to engender deep communal connections and the many and diverse contributions we make to to our communities as most fundamental to our being and sense of purpose and value. I envision a human way of life where all the things that matter to a human life function as part of a grand and interdependent ecosystem. I see a future human in which all of these defining ways of being are understood as being composed equally of cognition, reason, the physical world, the emotional world and the spiritual realm. Put simply, in contrast to today, I envision a human guided by love not by profit and self-gain. I envision a human way of being in which all of these modalities conspire to work with and for us in great unison and alignment with our collective sense of value, our collective sense of purpose, our collective need to thrive not merely survive, and our collective and innate sense of joy and abundance. I see a human so far beyond the violent and scarcity minded creature we are today that this future human could hardly know how to speak with the creature that we are now, for it would hold a whole new language for its very way of being.

My mission, my proverbial mountain to climb, is to make the artwork that brings forth this vision to humanity in some capacity, an artwork that begins to allow for it, for us to see it, to feel it. To do this, I believe that we must first see ourselves in the way that we are. This honest view will automatically place us outside of ourselves in this new potential human that we are not yet. I believe that this is the purpose of my art, namely, to shift us out of our current sense of self by pushing us further into the truth of who we are. We must see ourselves. When we can look back at something we are no longer in it. That is my deepest ambition: that we can truly see ourselves and perhaps feel some regret, perhaps even some shame, but that this act will ultimately be felt as a great and universal relief that we can now realize our potential as a thinking, feeling being with this great and most mysterious substance called love that is truly what defines us. - Mateo Gutiérrez, last updated November 2021