"I'm on a journey. Trying to make sense between soul and shadow. Getting out of my head. Seeing in new ways. Dropping into my heart. Feeling in new ways. Unlearning, to arrive at states of naked, fearful innocence. Fascinated by how our path to a greater collective consciousness might emerge from a radical witnessing of our intimate, interior truths."
- John Oliver
John Oliver was born in the UK and lives in SW France with his wife and two daughters. After a degree in engineering (as a sponsored employee of a large aerospace group), John worked for an overseas aid charity (Nepal and Ghana), an Internet Start-Up an electronics multinational (with 2 years in the USA). Having completed a MBA (EDHEC-France), he created and ran an organisational development consulting brand Human-Equity Ltd for 10 years, specialising in developmental psychology and the Sensemaking school of complex adaptive organisational change that leverages narratives.
Aligning long-term interests in philosophy (in particular Integral Theory - Ken Wilber), creative and spiritual practices, John now explores our world from the artist's perspective - with both video witnessing (with training from Nic Askew www.nicaskew.com) and sculpture/painting art projects at: www.Tyler.World
Why do I film?
To make art, in intimacy with another.
To dance with the crazy poetry of our lives.
Engaging with the deep ironies
Turning the wheel of self / no-self to arrive at a new wholeness
Playing with the felt sense of time
Inviting voices from beyond
Not to find answers, but to hold our struggles and our joys
My inquiry and adventure is that through the radical 'holding' or witnessing of our individual, unique souls, we can come to a revelatory collective consciousness. It's almost as if the "narrative" has a life of its own, wanting to emerge, evolve and enter into our inner conversations.
I have found that the camera and editing process provides a magical and faithful window into our consciousness.
I feel the world needs more 'listening' than 'telling' - in other words creating space for participatory knowledge vs propositional knowledge (ref. John Vervaeke). My hope this work provides a container for the voices of our infinitely unique experiences and sense of self.
From this quality of sense of self, I believe is a wonderful opportunity for our collective humanity to create a new level of union. It is with these deep ironies, balances of polarities (almost koans) in life that I want to engage and dance with - how thanks to our differences and unique experiences in life, we can come together
A recurring remark of participants at the end of the filming, is that even they are surprised as to which narratives arose in the moment and (especially after the editing process) the clarity they brought. I get to know them with a type of intimacy that even the closest people in their lives don't often have.
This "witnessing" experience integrates training from the Inner View Method (nicaskew.com), and inspirations from Integral Theory (Wilber), Focusing (Gendlin) and Sensemaking (narratives).
The filming is alongside my organisational development work in narratives (based on Sensemaking principles) and developmental psychology (Business Bio - LinkedIn) and my art projects (www.Tyler.world).
I have particularly interest in working with artists in exploring the future of art and it's role in the development of our societies.
New dimensions in authenticity - My journey to witnessing
Hover mouse over for the video script
Video script: "That's pretty scary, the more you look into something, examine it, the more you realise you don't know and is impossible to know.
So the journey in the last year has been for me to completely let go of trying to be anything of an expert in any subject.
The video work has been...a revelation.
To go out there and not actually say or do anything behind the camera...And wow...You get these amazing insights!
Hey, well, all those years of education and and the investment into building who you are ...and then you end up just sitting behind a camera doing nothing. And the less you do, the better.
That's a huge irony. So it's fun to welcome that in...That I could get away with that!
In my next pivot in my life. Completely invert the striving of building knowledge and even wisdom and to try and offer that into the world, to actually now with the film work, Being an empty vessel behind the camera,
It does feel like a very nice switch to the other polarity..."
Further thoughts on purpose in integrating philosophical inspirations and developmental studies - is there a sense of direction for our human evolution?
I wish to present opportunities for constructive and creative perspectives on our most critical social challenges, for example, is climate change happening TO us for FOR us? (Quote fro Paul Hawken). Having organised a climate change conference 30 years ago in London UK with a national TV personality (Rory Bremner), and worked in Asia and Africa with the NGO that E F Schumacher founded (author of "Small is Beautiful"), I've been exploring across disciplines (psychology, sociology, critical complexity thinking) to "make sense" of the inertia that is so evident in our everyday news headlines.