Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future

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:



  



20 March 2017

What is the Opposite of Fear? + The Evolution of Beauty + Talk & Music from COSM + JF Martel on Future Fossils

“Ultimately, art does have a function: it’s to help us better navigate the infinite chaos that is reality.”
JF Martel

Yay, it's spring!  Time to navigate the chaos of 2017 with grace, open-mindedness, exuberance, and playfulness.  Here are some things that, hopefully, will help you with that – starting with a few quick videos and one extremely deep and magical discussion...

New Videos


On my recent tour of Oz, I stopped by Uplift Connect to chat with them about what I've learned from studying the fossil record and what it can teach us about the extraordinary times we're living in.

Here's a quick two-minute takeaway insight I hope serves you as well as it serves me.



I think this is the coolest video I've ever made – in which I lay it plain how sex, art, and consciousness all intersect and led to the creation of the world we know.  Bookmark this for when you have seven minutes to appreciate it.

It's a 360º time-lapse live painting video of my first collaboration with my friends Randal Roberts and Morgan Mandala, two of the coolest people I know.  But the real magic sauce is in how the music and narration combine with this video to create a synesthetic, synergetic and emergent something-greater-than-its-parts.

I literally spooked myself with the synchronicities of the end result.  Enjoy!

New Podcast

My latest inspiring conversation about the cosmos is with JF Martel, film-maker and author of Reclaiming Art in the Age of Artifice – as well as the three-part essay "Reality is Analog," about the philosophical themes lurking behind Netflix's series Stranger Things.

You can download it here or subscribe to the show on iTunes or Stitcher Radio.

New Music & Talk from COSM

Stream or Download it here.  

Recorded live on 12 November 2016 at COSM, Alex & Allyson Grey's Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, in Wappingers Falls, New York.  Performed on acoustic guitar, voice, and hardware effects pedals (no computers, no prerecorded samples, entirely live and improvised).

This music is an invocation of creative spirit for the benefit of all beings. Recommended listening environments: painting parties, cuddle puddles, chillout sessions, game night, long daylight drives, and making love...

33% of sales go to supporting the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors and their project to build Entheon, a museum of visionary art.


Stream or Download here.

Delivered at the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors (Wappingers Falls, New York) on 12 November 2016, this talk – my first at COSM – was truly epic (three hours, minus the half-hour of pauses and throat-clearing I edited out for your benefit). Based on the work of Penn State professor Richard Doyle – especially his book, Darwin's Pharmacy: Sex, Plants, and the Evolution of the Noösphere – this is a talk about art as magic, and awareness as the medium of all creative work.

It's about how we got here and what we're doing and how the cosmic table's tilted in favor of evermore creative and intelligent ideas and organisms. It's about your purpose in the world and where this ride is taking us and how you can embrace the change and chaos for a more creative and rewarding life...

New Merch

I've been slacking on my society6 merchandise shop for a while, so I just fixed that with dozens of new items featuring some of my favorite recent pieces.  If you have a new device or space, consider fancying it up with some of these new decals, cases, pillows, notebooks, tapestries, etc.  ...

That's all for now.  Thank you for reading and have a magnificent week!

love
Michael