Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future: June 2010

24 June 2010

"Daylighting" Live EP Release & Excision/Papadosio Painting


[Join the party & leave your feedback at the Facebook event page!]

I'm delighted to present you my newest EP of cybernetic sound sculpture, recorded live at the MAPS Psychedelic Science Conference (San Jose, CA) and the Fantastic Hullaballoo (New Orleans, LA) this April. Everything you hear on this EP is improvised solo acoustic guitar and eBow routed through hardware FX and live looping, edited only for time. No software manipulation, multitracking, or post-production gimmickry. One more step down the road on my journey to completely reimagine the acoustic guitar.

In civil engineering language, "daylighting" is the uncovering of natural waterways that were once forced underground by construction. I learned the term from ethnobotanist Kathleen Harrison, who stretched this definition to include the process of reacquainting ourselves with our own rejected dimensions – bringing the buried back into the light, where it can breathe and nourish us.

This album is dedicated to Jeremy Jensen of Critical Beats, without whom there would not have been a concert to record.

Thanks for listening!


Gateway To Blue Truth
2010 06 11 & 12 Cervantes & Quixotes
(Excision, Liquid Stranger, RumbleJunkie, Sub.mission Residents,
Papadosio, Juno What?, Fresh2Death)
18"x24" – paint marker on cradled gesso board

Night one: The craziest dubstep show I have ever attended. At the end of the night, a sea of jagged broken pilsner glasses around the humble riser keeping me above the fray. It's nights like these that a few good souls volunteer themselves to keep the less-aware/respectful from pitching headlong into my entire set-up (as almost happened a few times). But wild, messy shows like that one are equally full of bright, beautiful, loving expression, sincere interest, and honest-to-God P.L.U.R. It's why I keep coming back.

Night two: A delightful mini-festival held by my favorite contenders for "Next Über-Famous Electronic Jam Ensemble," my boys Papadosio. I got to play the evening's opening set (clips coming soon...er or later...), and we saw lovely showings from my friends Anthony Fugate, Fresh2Death, and The Floozies, as well as numerous other excellent acts. A way less intimidating, way more heartfelt evening, all told. Less polarized, anyway.

According to David Deida, "blue truth" is like the blue part of a flame – so subtle you might miss it, even though it's the hottest part. Blue truth is the kind you can't grasp unless you've really sat with it, until you can feel it so deeply that it lives and acts as you. It can't be "understood" intellectually. Or, as he puts it: "Knowing the truth is fairly useless; feeling it is profound; living it makes all the difference."

I dedicate this one to Jason Takahashi, globetrotting trickster, exemplary passionate intellect, and the poor fool who has to take credit for introducing me to the 'Dosio family – and to Jeremy Goldstein, consummate band manager, who knows how to look out for his artists.

• Upcoming Gigs (full calendar here)


15 June 2010

Wakarusa Festival = Art Explosion!

First the "bad" news: Editing this next timelapse video from my Whole Earth Festival painting is taking longer than I thought. I have abhorrently high standards and want it to be at least as good as the last multimedia blitzkrieg, so thanks for your patience as I work to make it (and my new live album of cyberballadry from the spring Love Without End Tour) as awesome as possible. Can't rush the kiln...

Now, the "good" news: My second year as Wakarusa Festival's resident live painter was a spectacle of awesomeness and here's the proof: one new concert poster; three new live paintings; and my sweetest gallery of body art so far (including some pics of my first foray into live body painting on stage with the Nadis Warriors)...


Click the images for a better view...

Interstellar Meltdown 2010 Poster
2010 05 21, 22 & 06 01 Art Party!, Evolution Party, & Studio
(Stardust Output & many other Arkansas sound wizards)
16"x20" - paint markers on canvas panel
series of 100 - some poster prints still available

It only seemed appropriate that this painting, which started live at some deliciously underground Arkansas art parties, end up rep'ing the now-in-Arkansas Wakarusa Festival and its quasi-guerrilla party-within-a-party, Interstellar Meltdown. I dedicate it to Johnny Gallup and Jason Sterling, who are responsible for the still-burning flame of electronic music in Lawrence KS and Fayetteville AR, respectively – and without whom I would probably still be sending unrequited emails to Wakarusa's mainstage production team.

Time Spiral
2010 06 03 Wakarusa Festival
(Somasphere, The Heavy Pets, Earl Greyhound,
Resident Anti-Hero, Lotus, Kraak & Smaak, Mimosa)
24"x36" - paint markers on masonite
original painting, poster prints, and full-size giclees available

Don't tell anyone who thinks I'm cool that I named this painting after a Magic: The Gathering card. One of my friends remarked that he sees several of my previous paintings in this one – that it "transcends and includes" my prior work, enveloping it into a new and higher order. Well, alright! Subsuming the old by putting it to work in richer and more intricate structures is "what I'm all about."

Other people pointed out it looks like a top-down view of everyone's favorite medicinal angiosperm. What can I say? Good ideas like the logarithmic spiral show up everywhere.

This painting is dedicated to Richard J. Bird, ex-president of The Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology & The Life Sciences, and author of one of my favorite books.

Reverence
2010 06 04, 05, 06 Wakarusa Festival
(Spoonfed Tribe, Big Gigantic, Future Rock, EOTO, Sub Swara,
Nadis Warriors, BoomBox, Two Fresh DJ set)
24"x36" - paint markers on stretched canvas
original painting, poster prints, and full-size giclees available

I found an old canvas at Goodwill last year, painted with a crude mountainscape that its original owner clearly didn't care much for. This is the best way to pick up cheap canvases that I've found so far – FYI to all you other thrifty artists. Not quite painting on driftwood, but equally attentive to reclamation and re-use. The canvas sat in a closet until I had a gig epic enough to warrant something of this size, so here we are.

SOOOOO much gold on this one – perhaps due to the intense shininess of working inside the Outpost Stage's ludicrous lightshow of a tent. The last night of the festival, working at the unofficial stage set up on the vending avenue, the waning crescent rose behind the painting and begged for inclusion. This one is dedicated to Polly Babcock, whose finger pointed to that moon, and who gave me the most awesome little piece of hematite (which has been riding around in my pocket ever since).

That's What's Up
2010 06 05 Wakarusa Festival
(BoomBox, James Zabiela, Dub Tribe Soundsystem,
Ott, Mark Farina, Bluetech)
16"x20" - paint markers on canvas panel
poster prints and full-size giclees available

A tiny custom piece for a friend of mine...it oscillates between wings, hands, and whales, in that order (a personal perception confirmed by strangers, which is always equal parts cool and weird). Named by a random fellow near dawn; when it comes to nomenclature, I frequently go with fun suggestions. This one's dedicated to Nikita Kern, whom I suspect is an alien from the same planet I am.

Wakarusa 2010 Body Art Gallery @ Facebook

• Upcoming (full calendar here)

Click event titles for more info...

I'm reprising my live art residency at Colorado's premier electronic music festival, presented by unified-field-theory-preachin', hammer-dulcimer-shreddin' mad genius Jamie Janover. This year, I'll be painting alongside visionary art legends Robert Venosa & Martina Hoffmann, who on their own are worth the price of the ticket.

I'll be playing an afternoon set of my unique cyberacoustic balladry before painting for a full day and night of amazing music from the likes of Whitewater Ramble, Holden Young Trio, and many other Colorado legends including members of The Motet and the Kyle Hollingsworth Band...fifty cents of every ticket sold go to support the Larimer County Food Bank.

Another guaranteed rage-a-thon with my homies in Denver's Mile High Sound Movement, at which I'll be dropping improvised cyberacoustic setbreaks and rocking easel in rapid succession all night. Come on out if you want a taste of some of the finest emerging electronic music and hip-hop in the Denver scene...

An amazing ongoing exhibit from both locally- and nationally-renowned performance painters, organized by movement leader Scramble Campbell – to my knowledge, the first of its kind in the United States. This exhibit is paired with a retrospective on the late great Denny Dent, who with multiple brushes in each hand showed us all what it means to paint as a performance. If you're in Colorado at all this summer, don't miss this free exhibit!

I'm headed down to New Mexico this weekend to play, paint, and sermonize at a summer solstice party at one of the most beautiful, sacred places I've ever seen, so plenty more soon. In the meantime...love you all, stay in touch, and have a beautiful day!

02 June 2010

A New Landscape From The Whole Earth Festival

Regarding my inborn tendency to overwhelm with gifts (karma/dharma that manifests throughout life in different ways: dominating conversations, pushing my little brother, smothering with kisses, recounting unified field theories): some things are poisonous unless ingested in homeopathically-small doses.

Like this newsletter: now weekly, and bite-sized. No more, "Oh God, time to turn off the phone and lock the door for an hour" posts if I can help it. Following the natural flow of things, because time after all is speeding up and we all need permission to ask for one another's attention. Short, sweet, and to the point...but every instant of time can open to a flash of eternity.

This week:
- Learning how to freeze eternity in paint to the end of expressing an indomitable innocence.

Next week:
- Promised new live recordings from the Love Without End Tour's Spring 2010 adventures;
- Timelapse video of the below painting during its twenty-four hour creation.
- Wakarusa paintings, OMG.

Thanks for looking and listening closer to your own whole wild lives, everyone – and of course, for exploring this particular newsletter when it sidles into your mindspace...

Any questions, remarks, or possibly-misguided attempts to give me money for my art and music – you know where I am.

• Imagery (full gallery here)

Finally, Release
2010 05 07 & 08 Whole Earth Festival
(Lynx & Janover, Faun Fables, Seven Sisters, Taarka, Boca Do Rio, Locura, Z-1 Project, Aaron Ableman, Makosa, Nada Brahma)
paint markers on masonite - 24"x40"
original painting available - make an offer
signed full-size giclees & poster prints - inquire

You'll have to click and enlarge this image to get a sense for just how much detail I put into each of the major elements in this painting. (Check out those double rows of gold along each petal of that sun...the multiple purples and myriad white speckles on each of the bufferfly's wings...) Its forthcoming timelapse video, two days handily condensed into about twelve minutes, gives a few minutes each to the grass and ferns, the butterfly, and the blossoming sun. There's an invisible breeze. Distance is distorted; the simple perspective forces viewers to acknowledge that our minds are responsible for sizing and placing everything, appropriate to our experience.

That's the thing about Davis, California's Whole Earth Festival – which, by the way is free, has been around for forty-one years, is held on Mother's Day, and used to be hosted by Wavy Gravy. There's an almost pornographic explication of interconnectedness at this event. We are wearing flowers in our hair and walking barefoot in the grass. We are crying for the Earth and holding hands and singing. How could I not paint something like this – simple, honest, straightforward, and green and gold and growing. Love is on parade.

I painted a lot of bodies at this festival. So many radiant people. You can find them in my facebook galleries...