Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future

02 May 2017

Spotify Playlist: Music for MDMA Therapy + "How to Live in the Future" at Boom Festival + Bless The Water + Daniel Zen & Australian Psychedelic Society on Future Fossils

“The important thing is that each man possess...a wilderness and that he consider
what marvels are to be observed there.”
– Loren Eiseley, The Incredible Journey, p.9

April...what a crazy month!  I hope you gave permission to the permanently permutating purring purpose at the transcendental core of Spring and trusted it, and it transported us across the boundary from Known to Unknown/Better...if, like me, you're still a Jacob wrestling angels as they make long-overdue improvements, here's to exercising your strategic patience, feminine compassion, sacred space, and curious delight in letting all this novelty adapt you to a better world and life.

I just got back from the MAPS Psychedelic Science Conference in Oakland, California – hanging a gallery of my art, playing music on their donors' cruise, and recording interviews for Future Fossils Podcast.  It was clear to everyone how much the counterculture has grown up...much more to say about that soon.

But for now, here's all the good new stuff I'm honored I can share with you:

Spotify Playlist: Music For MDMA Therapy

Here's a Spotify playlist of the songs I've confirmed they used in the clinical trials.  I'll continue to add songs as I learn more...and if you know anyone doing work like this, feel free to pass it on.  It is one of the greatest honors of my life to know my music's helping people heal.  Enjoy!:



If you like what you hear, you can subscribe to my new music at Patreon or Bandcamp, where I have my entire catalog available as pay-what-you-can downloads.  Thanks for listening!

"How to Live in the Future"
(Professional Boom Festival Staff Shoot!)


Last year I gave my most well-received talk yet to the Liminal Village at Boom Festival – a small contribution to what is easily the most literate, cosmopolitan, visionary, impressive lineup of presenters I have ever seen at what is essentially a "dance party."  (In fact I'm pretty sure that some people go to Boom JUST for the talks.)

It's about psychedelics as training wheels for transhuman existence, and how we can adapt to the dizzying changes we will live through in our lifetimes.  It's a mashup of the scientific, philosophical, contemplative, poetic, and playful, and I hope it helps you feel like all this transformation's going somewhere good.

I recorded my own take in 360º video (part 1, part 2) but their edited multiple camera recording is WAY better.  If you can't sit still for an hour to watch this video, here is a link to the audio only.

This talk became the seed of a book by the same name, which I'm writing in public.  You can read all of the chapters I have finished so far on my page at Medium.

Cameo in Water Is Life by Uplift Connect


A film about one of the most important issues of our time – water access, scarcity, and health.

I give a short riff in this video (at 14:00) about embracing change, honoring our evolutionary origins as fish and moving with courage and curiosity into the flow of our transformational age (instead of clinging to the familiar like clams, and losing our wits in the process).

It's a potent 20 minutes that also features clips from some of the brightest luminaries that I know of – people like Vandana Shiva, Jamaica Stevens, Charles Eisenstein, Dan Schreiber, and Stephan Harding.  Watch the full thing here on Uplift Connect and improve your day.

New Future Fossils Episodes!

We’re switching it up this week to present my recent talk on psychedelic futurism at the first weekly meeting of the Australian Psychedelic Society (Fitzroy Beer Garden, Melbourne, Victoria).

The Chinese have a curse: “May you live in interesting times.” The Irish have a toast: “May you be alive at the end of the world” I’m more Irish than Chinese, and I know this because even though we’re living through total chaos these days, that means unprecedented opportunity for wonder, creativity, discovery, and growth.  (Episode art by Adam Scott Miller.)

Listen to it here.


This week we chat with Daniel Zen, former Google engineer, technology instructor at zen.digital, NYC Regional Coordinator for Burning Man, coordinator for the Angular NYC (spelling?) Meetup, and general high-tech wizard.  We discuss the intersections of surveillance technology, festival culture, virtual reality, class conflict, dreams of the Technological Singularity, and more...

Listen to it here.



18 April 2017

Two New Paintings + 360 Video: Symbols of Transformation + Future Fossils Podcast with Aunia Kahn & Simon Yugler

“I think there’s something almost archetypal and profound about leaving your home, country of origin, about leaving your comfort zone and traveling OUT into the world…let’s just start there. Initiation 101.”

On the road to the MAPS Psychedelic Science Conference in Oakland this week! I'll be there to show art in the gallery, record live podcasts on the Psymposia Stage (free to the public), and play music on the Beckley Foundation Bay Cruise, Friday night. All of the recordings I make will be made available to everyone as soon as I can – there's still a ton of music, videos, and more to share from Australia!

And now, the new stuff.  Big projects on the way – enjoy, and stay in touch!

360º Video: What Inspires My Art?
YouTube Permalink

Here's a quickie (12 minute) talk I gave in Byron Bay, New South Wales back in February for Harmonic Temple, an Earth Frequency Festival pre-party.  It was the first time I've ever been asked to speak publicly about the thoughts behind my art – along with my friends, the talented artists Randal RobertsMorgan Mandala, and Collin Elder, who are admittedly all better painters than I am, but a little less enthusiastic about jumping up there and letting fly with freestyle riffs on evolution, science, technology, the power of symbols, and so on.

This rant earned me the title "Terence McKenna 2.0" from Collin...decide for yourself.

"Submicroscopic Blacklight Party"
48"x36"– acrylic on canvas – studio
Reproductions available here:

A collaboration with two of my favorite artists in Austin, Greg Pettit & Elliot Rogers.  This painting evolved over a week of intense studio work in preparation for our trio show together at the ALTernate Reality Gallery​ in Austin, Texas. All three of us have what you could call "an obsession" with the microcosms of the body – immune cells attacking pathogens, molecular conveyor belts transporting nutrients within the cytoplasm, DNA's translation into RNA – it's truly alien and wonderful "down there," as psychedelic as it possibly could be.

(In fact, in his book The Cosmic Serpent, anthropologist Jeremy Narby argues that the content of the DMT experience, and consequently all the art of medicine traditions worldwide, is of molecular biology – that ayahuasca and its sister visionary plants are showing us what modern humans need a microscope to see. Who knows?)

"Xenoscaping II"

36"x24" – acrylic and oil on two canvases – studio
This one is the second in a series dedicated to Randal Roberts, Kaliptus, and Jack Shure - three fantastic painters whose influence is clearly felt in this alien still life, second "xenoscape" in the series, inspired by the ineffable neither-alive-nor-dead extraterrestrial "Hypotheticals" from Robert Charles Wilson's Spin/Axis/Vortex science fiction trilogy. I spend a lot of time thinking about how people are also places are also things and around we go, each one of us a location, an ecosystem, a mostly vegetative bio-intelligence more ancient and bizarre than we let on...

New Future Fossils Podcast Episodes 
with Aunia Kahn & Simon Yugler


This week’s guest is the artist, gallery owner, podcaster, web designer, and musician Aunia Kahn! Among her many notable achievements, she curates Alexi Era Gallery in Oregon, hosted the Create & Inspire Podcast, and survived eleven years housebound with disability to emerge more creative, passionate, and powerful than before.  Listen here.


This week’s guest is travel guide Simon Yugler – named one of Open World Magazine’s “Top 30 Adventurers Under 30,” Simon facilitates initiatory experiences as the leader of experiential education journeys for young adults. We talk the alchemy of travel and how to practice right relationship as a stranger in a strange land.  Listen here.




04 April 2017

The Oddest Chicken + Psychedelic Yoga + Tech Ethics + The Future is Exapted/Remixed + Future Fossils with Susan Molnar & Joanna Harcourt-Smith

“Instead of choosing your work, I would highly recommend that you choose your play...The play, at the end of the day, is a lot more important than the work.”
Joanna Harcourt-Smith

Thanks for checking out this update!  Lots of new work in the cooker for you (you can see some of my many new paintings in progress on Instagram) – but a lot of the work lately has been in reorganizing and reimagining my life from the top down and inside out.  Every moment is an opportunity for our renewal, for a fresh start, and in spring especially.  My hope is that by getting straight at home and in my heart, that change will ripple out and grow and help us all move lovingly into a more coherent, generous, and optimistic future.

Hopefully my reinvigorated dedication to a life of love and play inspires the same in you:  release from all the fear-based narratives of both the mainstream and the "counterculture" media; enthusiasm and appreciation for the minor victories and humble private graces; the time and space to notice that which doesn't serve you, and the calm to walk away from it and into something beautiful and good and true without resentment or regret, but simple joy and gratitude for second chances.

Change is in the air.  Let's make the most of it, friends.

Here's my latest work.  More soon – 

love
Michael

"The Oddest Chicken"
48"x36" – acrylic on canvas
Original painting available (email me)

I present to you "The Oddest Chicken" (Australian for "The Artist Check-In.") Painted live at Rainbow Serpent Festival (Victoria, Australia) during and after the Chinese New Year's celebrations. I had an amazing time in Australia and a big part of it was finding the confidence to stride boldly into this bold year.  I hope this piece does something similar for you.

Here's a 360 time-lapse video of this painting in progress (as well as fuzzy cameos by Randal Roberts, Morgan Mandala, and Luke Brown) with an excerpt from my talk at the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors on how psychedelics prepare us for an age of accelerating technology:


You can also check out my gallery of 360 photos from the making of this painting, and the rest of the tour, here. Enjoy...

...and while we're on the subject of Australia, psychedelics, and technology – here's a video of the talk I gave at The Commonwealth Bank of Australia's Innovation Lab (where they've had people like Richard Dawkins and Guy Kawasaki come to speak):


Click here for the slideshow that accompanies this presentation.

Click here to stream the audio of the full talk plus the spicy 90-minute discussion that it led to – these bank employees CHOSE to stay at work until 6 pm on a Friday to keep this conversation going...

And if that's not enough evolution talk for you, here's the latest chapter of my book, How to Live in the Future.  In this section I explain how everything's a remix, including you, and how "exaptation" (a little-known concept from evolutionary science) can improve your creativity:


An excerpt:

"Long before the first amphibian crawled out to lay our modern mythological foundation, our ancestor – some lobe-finned fish – had stubby little feet it used to cling to rocks in shallow water. The good idea of what we now call “hands” lay there unnoticed, latent, till the moment that the pool dried up and (we are told) fate benefited fish with feet, fish that could waddle back into their brackish lakes (which as a site for Epic Moments in Life History are far more likely than the sea, since estuaries offer such a trove of coves as evolutionary testbeds). All the pieces were already there, just waiting for sufficiently large waves to roll up and away, remixing them."


And we have two new episodes of Future Fossils Podcast!  Click the images for download links to awesome chats with coder and tech educator Susan Molnar and podcasting psychedelic socialite Joanna Harcourt-Smith: