12seconds for Peace

12seconds-for-peace-om-times-march-2010-1The following article appeared in Om Times March 2010

12seconds for Peace is a collaborative video-arts project that is fast becoming something of a global phenomenon. Designed to bring together the creative talents of individuals; artists, musicians and film-makers wishing to help raise the energy for the manifestation of peace in our world; one of its primary missions is to help raise funds for the work of Humanity Healing.
12seconds for Peace grew out of a desire to do something creative and meaningful with the raw material of the micro-social 12seconds-for-peace-om-times-march-2010network: 12seconds TV. 12seconds
TV, the video version of Twitter, boils life down into visual vignettes in the same way that Twitter serves up 140 character slices. Whilst Twitter, however, has rapidly metamorphosed from being a cyber-junky’s play thing, into the internet’s circulatory system – and thus utterly indispensable to the way the internet functions, 12seconds TV is still very much lost in the hinterlands of peripheral semi-geekism.

As its name implies, 12seconds TV allows you just 12 seconds on camera. Not time enough to say much and not as easily accessible as Twitter which with a few deft thumbs of a cell phone keypad can instantly tell the world what you are doing, where you are and how you feel about things. 12seconds TV on the other hand, requires a camera or webcam, the willingness to spend time filling in fields with a title for your production, where you happen to be in the world and some tags. Most people are not going to bother with this but its creative possibilities are awesome. It has within it the seed of a life beyond the tepidity of the dreariness of its current existence. 12seconds for Peace intend to exploit this artistic potential which, as with most other social networking platforms, has been largely unexplored.

The challenge for all artists is, to a degree, to take a material – whether it be a lump of stone or a social networking environment and create something new in the world that has never existed before. To see within it a potency that no one else has seen. Michelangelo was a master at this, so was Henry Moore and Robert Smithson and Andy Goldsworthy. Artists who, when faced with the seduction of creation, could feel the life-force, the chi of the raw materials that they had available.

12seconds TV offers the possibility of making something meaningful with the constraints of a 12-second time frame. It is a huge challenge but not if approached from a collaborative perspective. By pulling on the artistic predispositions of an array of contributors, 12seconds TV can be expanded into a kaleidoscopic video-collage of immense proportions. More than this, however, it can be built an incredibly powerful energetic matrix of focused intent, when the contributions of the many are singularly framed around one common theme.

12seconds for Peace was created to give structural definition to one particular concept and to integrate the many disparate contributory elements into one powerful energetic thought-form. A thought-form for peace.

Peace is an elusive and fragmentary concept. For some, it is a state of mind and a way of being. For others, it is the cessation of violence and the ending of war. Others would add that perhaps peace is not just the end of violence and warfare but also the cultivation of positive qualities such as friendliness, compassion, goodwill and social justice. However it is defined, we all want it and we all have our own roads to it.

Whatever peace means to the individual, 12seconds for Peace wants a video about it. It doesn’t matter if the video is of someone standing in front of a camera stating their desire for peace or a collage of photographs, or maybe some footage of a serene natural environment. Perhaps some form of abstraction would also convey the appropriate sense. It doesn’t matter, as long as the video expresses a personal interpretation of and desire for peace.

As the contributions come in, they are being collected together to form one powerfully energetic video-collage to raise the energy of manifestation around the collective desire for peace. This in itself is immensely powerful, but on its own is of no lasting value. We live in a physical world and action must follow desire. 12seconds for Peace is committed to the twin strands of human engagement with the world: creating thought-forms of powerful intention-driven energy and then using this to fuel activities that will create a lasting peace in the world.

To this end 12seconds for Peace has partnered with Humanity Healing to raise money for a number of good causes. It is early days in the life of 12seconds for Peace and the videos that we are collecting are still rolling in. However, the longer term aim is to pass these video vignettes as raw material on too a contemporary artist of international standing to do with as they will. To make a lasting artistic statement from the combined efforts of the many to create one voice – one message – one intention for peace. To raise the energy of manifestation like a tidal wave, and then to unleash it onto the world.

This video-based artwork will be used as widely as possible, exhibited as much as possible, shown wherever there is an opportunity and for a fee. Perhaps the resultant piece will appear on stage behind a rock band. Maybe it will be exhibited around the world in a variety of art spaces – national and local. Art can motivate. Art makes a difference.

As a species, our primal desire is to create, to explore, to understand, and art in its many forms is the first and last expression of this. It is the hand of God, the energy of the universe transmuted into tangible form in the here and now. There is no better way to bring peace than through tapping into the life force of all that is and using it powerfully and creatively for the betterment of humankind.

Now is your chance to get involved. Be a part of this global phenomenon. Add your voice. Add your intention. Become a part of the peace collective and shout your intention to the world that you want peace and you want it now! Your voice, your work, your video will become a part of a major statement from the world to the world and shown as widely as possible in the name of peace and in helping to raise funds for those sorely in need of it right now. How far away is peace? Maybe only 12seconds away…

You can find out more about 12seconds for Peace and how you can contribute your own short video statement by going to:



About Steve Gooch

Steve Gooch was born in March 1962 in Rugby, Warwickshire in England and grew up there with his two brothers and sister. He moved to Corsham in Wiltshire and attended Bath Academy of Art, where he studied sculpture and printmaking, before going on to work on projects for the artists Joe Tilson and Nick Pope. He also helped with the publication of a limited edition folio of Paul Eluard’s poetry. Steve moved to London to study for a postgraduate teaching certificate and then worked as a teacher of art in the UK. He gained his MA in Education with the Open University and also studied the discipline of Reiki with his Reiki teachers in Newcastle upon Tyne. His daughter Marianne was born in 1994. For a period of time, Steve devoted himself to teaching Reiki in his hometown of Rugby, before moving to Egypt, where he resumed his career as an art teacher, becoming the Head of Art in a prestigious British International School in Cairo. He continued to teach Reiki, introducing the discipline for the first time to Egypt. He also wrote extensively on the subject for various Egyptian English-language magazines. Returning to the UK, Steve’s son Sam was born in 2004. Not wanting to go back into the teaching profession, Steve took a job as a chef in a vegetarian restaurant and wrote his first book ‘Reiki Jin Kei Do: The Way of Compassion & Wisdom’. It was the world’s first book on that particular tradition of Reiki and is still considered to be the standard reference work on the subject. Steve them moved to Sudan, where he was again Head of Art at the prestigious Unity High School, and built an online living history for the school, called 'The Unity High School Archive'. It was in the process of building this archive that Steve uncovered a major scandal involving senior members of the Anglican Church, local dignitaries, and members of the faith communities. As a consequence, he got to know the head of the Secret Police in Khartoum quite well and then promptly left the country. Steve moved back to Egypt and took up a post as Head of Art in a school in Alexandria. Very much involved in the Reiki community in the UK, however, he founded the national organisation ‘Reiki Jin Kei Do UK’ and became the editor of ‘Focus: The Journal of Reiki Jin Kei Do UK’, and then set up the global ‘Reiki Jin Kei Do International’. He also set up the global video-arts project '12seconds for Peace'. The concept grabbed the attention of a number of big names in the peace movement, including Nobel Peace Prize nominees, and threatened to go viral. Circumstances (revolutions and social unrest) put it on the back-burner. Likewise, a major peace initiative called the 'Global Concert for Peace', scheduled for the summer of 2013, which would have been the world's biggest musical event, also went on the back-burner. Steve moved to Saudi Arabia for a little over a year in 2014, before returning to Egypt to take up a senior management position in another British International School in Cairo. Finally, after a year of professional purgatory in which he realised that there is no such thing as a good British International School in Egypt, he decided ‘enough is enough’ and quit the teaching profession for good to focus on his writing, art and Reiki classes. He is currently living in Cairo and writing ‘The Temple of the Djinn’, which is loosely based on the events that he uncovered during his time in Sudan. He is also teaching Reiki and working freelance for a variety of Egyptian magazines. He misses the UK and is looking forward to spending more time in his home country with his children. He'd also like to find time to paint and make sculpture.
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