Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future: Gem & Jam, Entheon Videos, and a Valentine's Day Exclusive Track

15 February 2010

Gem & Jam, Entheon Videos, and a Valentine's Day Exclusive Track

> Imagery

Crystal Eggs
2010 02 04 Plush
(Ana Sia, BLVD)
20"x30" - paint markers on masonite

I can't seem to shake the bad habit of hauling ass on zero sleep from Colorado to Arizona only to leap out of the car and immediately begin painting...which is exactly how it went down at last year's Gem & Jam, and exactly how it went down this year, as well. My friend, globetrotting photographer Megan Illgner, and I made it there with literally five minutes to spare before Ana Sia went on, after burning a fierce downhill highway from Durango to Tucson in one lightning stretch. It was pretty epic to begin with, considering our two-day drive together rang in her first real foray into vagabonding (and snowy mountain driving...ask me to tell you about our near-death experience on an icy road over Durango, one of these days). And no, I'm not just trying to terrify my mother. We were perfectly safe the entire time.

This painting is inspired by the oil pattern on the lenses of a pair of sunglasses I bought that morning (they were so cool I had to buy them, but they bore an MTV logo I had to scratch off with a pair of scissors so as not to infect my vibe), and it is dedicated to Amy Otto the masseuse, who took good care of my hands that night and is a luminous woman. After such a strenuous trip down, painting this in the company of friends I rarely see was a real treat. And I think it shows.

Whomporaptors vs. The Sunrise, or Dubstep Dinos Defeat The Dawn
2010 02 05 Rialto Theatre
(Telepath, Random Rab, EOTO)
20"x30" - paint markers on masonite

After my recent critical review of EOTO's ongoing dubstep obsession, I figured I'd make a point to tell keyboardist/guitarist/looper Michael Travis that whatever they played that night would not be dark enough. Because I'd be painting dinosaurs. Half kidding, but I really was in an unusually grindy mood, and after all my railing on their overwrought fixation I was smitten by irony: their set was, indeed, not dark enough for my tastes. However, Megan and I talked on the way down to Arizona about how we wanted Travis to include bongos in their dubstep, and we had a high five moment when it actually happened at the show...pioneering a new genre she and I have lovingly dubbed "bongstep."

So this painting is dedicated to Megan, and indirectly, to bongstep. Here's to having the first Google hit for something (like I did for the statement, "Imagination is our greatest natural resource"). It's a direct response to my friends who insisted on more dinosaurs, and it was a challenge to myself, since the Maniraptorans were covered in feathers and I knew it'd be a growth opportunity to attempt them. Also, it's difficult to tell from this photograph but the background of this painting has a lot of really intricate dripwork and subtle color layering going on. I had a lot of fun prepping it.

As for the dinosaurs...well, I meant for them to be Velociraptors, originally, but I hadn't looked at any in a while. So we ended up with one likely Velociraptor in the middle, there; one anonymous sickle-clawed beast above; and something that looks like a primitive Tyrannosaurid (perhaps Dilong) in the lower right. I had no choice but to invent a taxon for this bizarre menagerie...genus Whomporaptor. So much for scientific precision. :)

Serpent DNA Love Regeneration
2010 02 06 Rialto Theatre
(Pnuma Trio, Vibesquad, Boombox)

Another painting named courtesy of the lovely Leesah Noble. I need to draw more snakes...after all, they're one of the few subjects with which I have significant professional experience from my time at KUNHM's Department of Herpetology, and it'd be a shame to squander what little official training I have in these things. So I got all Jeremy Narby on the green-and-yellow-and-silver background and delighted in scales for a few hours.

This painting is dedicated to Taylor Lupardo, with whom I stayed (along with about a dozen other people) during Gem & Jam, and whose Facebook profile picture I took at sunset from the roof of the parking complex across the street from his place...one of the most magical moments I had out there, maybe the closest any of us got to soaking up "real" Arizona during the festival. Thanks for the crash space, man.

> Writing & Speech

At Burning Man's Entheon Village in 2009, I participated in a series of lectures and panel discussions on evolution, consciousness, 2012, and the future of our species. And they were videotaped! I am SO excited to share with you the fruits of that project:

In this first (two-part) video, I'm on a panel with authors Daniel Pinchbeck, Tony Vigorito, and Mark Heley, as well as the mysterious Mark Martinez. It was incredibly fun to share the stage and assume the guise of expertise for this conversation about the evolution of consciousness and our current global transition, and except for a few rough spots the discussion was truly inspired and inspiring. It was an honor to participate, and it's an honor now to finally get to share it with you.


Right after the panel, I gave what is doubtlessly the most important speech of my life so far: a half-hour presentation on the emerging science of biogeomagnetics, a discipline that studies the relationship between living creatures and the electromagnetic fiels of our planet and star. By describing how magnetic fields trigger the release of various human biochemicals, and by grounding the presentation in the understanding that mind and matter are two perspectives of the same phenomenon, I suggest that the 2012 prophesies may actually have a legitimate, modern, naturalistic explanation – and that biogeomagnetics may offer us a prescription for how to stay afloat through the tumultuous years to come.


Those are my good friends, visionary artist Adam Scott Miller, activist and hero Taylor Steelman, beacon of joy Tessa Ruttan, and synchromystical faerie goddess Jacqueline North listening rapt in the audience (both pics are courtesy of the magnificent Sergio Lub, founder of favors.org, who moderated many of the panels that week with wisdom and grace). These talks are dedicated to anyone who might benefit from them, but I'll give a special nod to my friends who were actually in attendance that amazing day.

> Music

For my last gig at Quixote's in Denver, my friend M Vincent Miller, virtuoso pianist, sat in on about half of my set. It was messy, unrehearsed, and utterly ridiculous...it was also a dream come true. I've wanted to gig with Vince since we met in the fall of 2007, and I am so, so glad that at least some of the recordings came out well enough to share them with you. As a blog exclusive (except, of course, for the people who were there), here is one of my more intense love ballads – a gift to you all for Valentine's Day.

This unusual recording of "Underground River" captures my first-ever duet performance with Vince, who turned this ordinarily brief-but-trancey number into a sprawling, edgy jazz-scape. Truly strange and beautiful...enjoy!