Michael Garfield Visionary Art & Music

01 June 2016

Launching Future Fossils Podcast | New Collaboration Paintings with John Speaker, Tourmaline Todd, and The Deer | Interview in Knew Revolution #1

"I just want to inspire curiosity in people, more than any specific question. 
Curiosity is the cure for depression and despair."

Future Fossils is the new podcast I cohost with Evan "Skytree" Snyder, a masterful electronic music producer and industrial engineer with whom I've collaborated regularly since we first met in 2012 as performers at the South By Southwest party for the documentary film, DMT: The Spirit Molecule.

It's about time!  All kinds of time.  Our first two episodes explore Chronos & Cairos – the measurement and felt experience of time, respectively – the quantity and quality – the numbers and the feelings.  Does time REALLY have a direction or a shape?  Maybe the Big Bang and the Black Hole are the same object seen from two different "angles" and time's actually a double helix.  We go deep and deliciously weird.  

Enjoy episodes 1 & 2 on Bandcamp while we get our iTunes/Stitcher syndication going, and weigh in with your thoughts in our discussion group.

New Collaborations with John Speaker & Tourmaline Todd
And New Live Painting for The Deer

Speaking of time, one of its consequences is new art!  Click on each image for the story of the piece, close-up magnifier view, and how you can order prints:

Feature Interview in Knew Revolution, Issue 1

From the feature interview in KnewRevolution Issue 1, in which I offer my best definition of "visionary art," discuss identity beyond names, and say more with less:

"You and I emerge from genius, like legged fish from oceans. We may think we're separate but nonetheless we're still made of genius. It’s the vast intelligence that guides our actions and transcends the subject-object language that we’re stuck employing to describe it."

"Festivals are supremely valuable as an opportunity to create spaces between spaces, places for people to meet in uniquely vulnerable ways and learn and share with one another in the discovery and creation of new forms of social interaction and identity. But too many of them are weaponized consumer pit traps, and even the ones that try their best to be conscious still have to play by the broken system in which they take place. So they’re not, as I once thought, a way to make a living, nor are they sustainable as a way of life. But neither are desserts or holidays, and they enrich our lives immeasurably. All in right proportion."

"The more popular something gets, the more easy it is to sell, and so the real fringe keeps on moving. The molten frontier of human evolution isn’t standing still waiting to be mainstreamed, and as a rule of physics it never will be, because it keeps moving. What’s normal today was revolutionary a generation ago."

Read the first issue of Knew Revolution.

Upcoming Adventures

10 May 2016

MG on Third Eye Drops Podcast / Oodles of New Original Art / New Tunes from Paint Jam, Loopers' Night, and Austin Airport

This newsletter is already too long, as usual – so thanks for reading, and away we go!

––––––––––––––––––––– New Words –––––––––––––––––––––

I just love sitting in on Third Eye Drops – one of my favorite podcasts (and I listen to a lot of them).  Shane Mauss, you may already know, is a superb comedian, and host Michael Phillip does a great job of steering every conversation into splendidly bizarre directions.  Click the image for a listen:

Also worth a mention that my Third Eye Drops appearance with Erik Davis is now up on YouTube, in case you want to see the funny faces we were making while we spoke.  :)

––––––––––––––––– New Visual Artwork –––––––––––––––––

"Leviathan (or, Technocore in Love)"
oil and acrylic paint on masonite panel (48"x24")

(There are also plenty of pictures and videos of this piece in progress on my instagram profile.)

"Kaiju (or, This Time The Turtle Wins)"
oil and acrylic paint on canvas (36"x24")

This spring has been a total spree of small new canvases and other tiny pieces.  Lots of new collaborations, sketchbook pages, custom painted items – most of which are still available and very inexpensive.  This is the best way to grab original art from me right now, for less than a lot of you spend on your monthly internet bills:

- available, make an offer -

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- available, make an offer -

- available, make an offer -

- available, make an offer -

- sold -

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- NFS -

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––––––––––––––––––––– New Music –––––––––––––––––––––

Please accept this windfall of ripe fruit, raw and full of juice. By no means are these polished studio recordings; these are artists who have not all played together like this, diving headlong into mystery, elaborating silence, weaving light and color into music.

This free recording of the highlights from our second Paint Jam features a rare Chapman Stick appearance by yours truly; Math Judson (drums); Andrew Noble (violin); Noah Peterson (saxophone); Shane Dooley (acoustic guitar); Matt Belluomini (electric guitar); and Caitlin Callas (viola).  

(For fans of Cinematic Orchestra and Godspeed You! Black Emperor, because that’s what this reminds me of.)

And then there is this...

Sometimes I have a show on the other side of a security perimeter, no guests allowed.  This bugs the hell out of me, so I'm glad that Facebook now allows you to stream video from anywhere.  Although I've streamed a few live events on my YouTube channel (including my "historic first" Google Glass POV footage while performing at Gratifly Festival, as well as various podcast-format conversations), it was super fun to stream the second set from my recent solo acoustic gig at Waterloo Records in the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.  

If you like acoustic music, percussive guitar and fretboard tapping, songbird baritone-tenor warbling, and deep-as-space songs, you will enjoy this set.

But for those of you who like a more carefully curated package, not the raw live feeds with network latency disasters and potentially embarrassing stage banter, I've just added one more song (my favorite performance yet of "Let It All Get Out," with a slow-burning apocalyptic outro) to Live at Strange Brew Loungeside.  Strange Brew is a fantastic listening room, and these recordings really sound "alive" – it gives these songs, for which I've usually spent years in composition and rehearsal, something special.

Also new this month: three new (and fantastic) free recordings in the Loopers' Night musical archive with yours truly alongside Jen Mulhern (cello); Shane Dooley (guitar); Sarah Jane Hargis (flute); Ana Barajas (voice); Jason McKenzie (percussion); Math Judson (drums); Andrew Noble (violin); Art Pinsof (iPad synth); and Todd Sloan (flute).

Follow us on Facebook if you like live looping music – there will be more, oh yes!

––––––––––––––––––– Upcoming Events –––––––––––––––––––

Full calendar here with many more events.  Let me know if you'd like for me to visit your town and we can get started scheming it to life!

Giving two talks at this amazing event in just one week!  Moogfest is "The Synthesis of Music, Art & Technology" and devotes a very awesome daytime program to the future of creativity and the human experience in an era of technological empowerment.  Thanks to a referral from polymath-wizard Bruce Damer, I'll be speaking on the festival's "Technoshamanism" theme,  getting into a bunch of the issues I discussed with Erik Davis in our last YouTube chat – as well as providing my first interactive live looping playshop.  Read on for more info:


I'm back at Sonic Bloom Festival this year, on an incredible live painting lineup as well as presenting my new talk (tongue-in-cheek title: "How to Live in the Future") alongside some real wizards and witches.  No live music this year on any stage, although I may plan some late-night psy-ambient sets in the SolPurpose Gallery...

Is anybody else attending Boom Festival this year?  My first trip to Europe and I'm super honored that I get to play and speak amidst the international community of visionaries that converge there.

A dream come true!  I'm teaching my first workshop – and playing my first concert – at Alex & Allyson Grey's Chapel of Sacred Mirrors this fall.  I'll have more to say about this later.  Details here.

And that is "all" for now.  Thank you so much for reading, looking, listening, and all of your support!

“Polar flip-flops are the engines of conversions and suicides.  Preferred is the witnessing of the infinite polarities without sinking into the conflict.”

– Alex Grey

05 April 2016

My Most Prolific Month to Date! New Full-Band Recordings, Solo & Collaboration Paintings, Mural, Podcast, & New Show Announcements

Hello from Santa Fe, New Mexico!  I'm here at Synergia Ranch this week to join in an historic moment with some of the psychedelic revolution's luminaries – folks like Ralph Metzner, Rick Doblin, Dennis McKenna, Allan Badiner, Gay Dillingham, and more (this place is such a trove of first-wave genius, I am soaking up as much as possible).

More on that soon.  But in the meantime, can I suggest you keep this open in a separate tab and graze on it occasionally?  I promise never to finish this many projects in one month ever again.

Love you for even reading this.

May all this crazy season's life and movement be a great adventure for us all.

And now...


Enjoy these tunes!  They are the kind that happen when a big band magically emerges from the intersection of a motley crew of hand-selected instrumental talent and jams together in conjunction with a dozen painters – this is raw, immediate, spontaneous, lush, textured, driving, spacious, beautiful material, and I'm honored that I got to be a part of it.  

Paint Jam ATX is a new monthly in Austin I just started to address this culture's need for places where live music and live art can get together and inspire each other.  Bring your own art supplies and soak in all the creativity.  It's our little prayer to the continued thriving of this city's Red River and the cultural district on its banks, now threatened by a meteoric rise in rent that could destroy the vibe that makes this place so great.

This is the kind of party Austin needs, perhaps the kind of party all of these United States could use, real medicine for those of us who need more substance and participation in our revelry.

I hope that you can join us for the next one! RSVP for our May 1st event here.


Paint Jam #1 Collaboration 
w/ Omar Chow & Tourmaline Todd

oil, acrylic, and aerosol paints
on 40"x30" stretched canvas

The residue in pigment of our first Paint Jam ATX event.  I am on a new collaboration bender – there is no better way to manifest real magic and accelerate the learning of all those involved.

Binary System

oil & acrylic paint pens
on 48"x24" stretched canvas

Another window into what I think the future of humanity might be – a world in which the made and born, machine and biological, the other and the self, are all so intimately intertwined that all these basic categories lose their meaning.

Painted live at Gem and Jam Festival and The Music Run, as well as during plenty of intense late nights at home and in my friends' apartments.  May I recommend you click to view this piece as large as possible?  There is so much detail and delicacy here, such intricate biomechanics...

Particle Accelerator

oil, acrylic, and aerosol paints
on 48"x24" stretched canvas

Another piece that is so damn detailed you won't appreciate the time I put into it if you don't zoom in a little...once I made the leap to disciplined and regular studio work, I've noticed major changes in my sense of daily rhythm and experience of being something called an "artist."

This piece – reminiscent of and dedicated to the submicroscopic realm and those cathedrals of modern science that explore it – was a commissioned album cover for Mystical Sun's new LP of live in-studio analog modular synthesis – a deeply psychedelic ambient endeavor that I resonate with as a fellow wizard working in the great Electrical Imaginary.

(On that note, if anyone you know would like to buy a VIP pass to this year's incredible Moogfest, I'm speaking on technoshamanism and leading a workshop on live looping...and I'm glad to part with either of the two I have for less than their face value.)

Cretaceous Texas

My largest piece as of March 2016 is this mural of the prehistoric ocean that was where this water tank now sits in Johnson City, Texas. Once upon a time – that time is 70 million years ago – there was a vast (but shallow) Intercontinental Seaway that is now the Midwest USA and Canada.

This region was the source of life for much of the ancient world, and the hardest hit when something (comet, asteroid, or meteor) collided with the Yucatan Peninsula to end the Mesozoic Era, punctuating the 5th Mass Extinction. But for much longer than we can imagine, this was paradise: a warm and shallow sea, inhabited by giant marine lizards like Mosasaurus and flying reptiles like Pteranodon, as well as giant sea turtles like Archelon and many species of now-extinct shelled Ammonites.

I'm always eager to portray the natural world as I imagine it must be to those whose brains do not use language – the vivid and immediate intensity of raw sensation, not papered over with our words. The Texas of the Late Cretaceous, violent though it must have been, was truly beautiful. I love to think about it as I walk this land today.

Sea Horse Lovers

collaboration with Chaeli Cardenas
oil and acrylic paints and Copic pen
on 10"x8" stretched canvas

Oh, and since I picked up this delicious 12-string guitar in Arizona after Gem and Jam, I had another case to paint.  Above are the results of me + one paint marker + an evening in the golden light...

Email me if you would like for me to ornament your [anything] with art.  
No project is too big or small!


As the host of Third Eye Drops put it on his page:

Welcome back friends and thank you for once again plugging your consciousness into our nest for catma-filled novelty nuggets!

Erik Davis is an author, scholar and lecturer. His tremendous book, Techgnosis Myth Magic and Mysticism In the Age of Information draws novel, fascinating correlations between technology and mysticism.

Michael Garfield is an all-around silver tongue-tipped spear of information. He also writes for websites like Big Think, creates art and music and is just generally bordering on star child territory.

This conversation is all about evading the awe-sucking tentacles of society’s deeply-entrenched dogma dealers. It’s not easy, but to do it, we need to expand, reconsider and diversify the types of knowledge we’re willing to explore. We’ve got to be active wonder-seekers. We have establish our subjective inner-worlds as frontiers worth exploring, developing and celebrating.

We’ve also got to be careful not to take our catma (I’m in love with this word) quest too far, for if we do, we’re sure to end up deep in the realm of woo, a place where few are taken seriously.


These are just some of the amazing things I get to do this year, while I'm not grinding at the noble goal of making a living selling paintings, starting conversations, and playing and teaching music (I give lessons now, online and in person, if you're interested).

You can find my full calendar here.  If you don't see your town, please let me know you'd like to have me pay a visit!  Maybe we can figure something out.  :)

Lo, soul, seest thou not God's purpose from the first?
The earth to be spann'd, connected by network,
The races, neighbors, to marry and be given in marriage,
The oceans to be cross'd, the distant brought near,
The lands to be welded together.

A worship new I sing,
You captains, voyagers, explorers, yours,
You engineers, you architects, machinists, yours,
You, not for trade or transportation only,
But in God's name, and for thy sake O soul.

- Walt Whitman, Passage To India