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

24 December 2010

"Glass Chrysanthemum," My New (Free) Cyber-Acoustic LP...AND Three New Paintings

“It is the function of art to carry us beyond speech to experience.”
"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music."

"If you develop an ear for sounds that are musical it is like developing an ego. You begin to refuse sounds that are not musical and that way cut yourself off from a good deal of experience."

A few days ago, my friends and I climbed out on the roof of our place in Boulder to catch an exceedingly rare cosmic occurrence: a full moon lunar eclipse during the winter solstice. If you're like me, you're probably marveling at how all of the super-unlikely planetary ballet moves seem to be going on at once, these days – as if the stars grind along with business as usual for a few thousand years and then bust out in a flashmob musical. The more I read about this (and there are good articles here and here if you're interested), the more amazing it is.

There are already plenty of people reminding you why this time of year is important, so I'd rather celebrate this special transit, which hasn't happened in about two thousand years. Now is a perfect time to contemplate the spiraling elastic bounce between darkness and light...but perhaps, especially, the darkness within the light, suffusing us even in our sleep.

And so I'm delighted to bring you Glass Chrysanthemum, my first full-length album of cyber-acoustic adventures on the live-looped guitar – forty minutes of the deepest forays into my experimentations in improvised hybrid electronica. It's free to you to commemorate our time here together at the precipice of the Singularity, one more lovely winter before we dive off the deep end of 2011...



The glass chrysanthemum is the mandala people see before leaving their bodies during a near-death experience or intense entheogenic experience – a kind of portal between the personal and transpersonal realms – the gateway to the soul. And so it's only appropriate that I dedicate this album to my dear friend Robert Roy Smith, whose recent brush with three heart attacks proved to him that life is a universal principle, that there is life even in the abyss.

Send him your prayers, people...and grab a copy of this while it's still free – I have about 1400 free downloads to offer my friends, and there are 3700 of you on this newsletter. (Wow!)

And now on to the paintings. :)

Jelly Chrysanthemum
2010 12 01, 02, 03, Freebird Live, The House, The House of Time
(Perpetual Groove, Vibesquad, KiloWatts, High Top Kicks, The Polish Ambassador, Dojo, Miles
18"x36" - paint markers on artboard - check price/availability
11"x17" prints (1/$25, 2/$40, 3/$50 incl s/h) - email me

Dedicated to Tourmaline Todd & Adam Fu Reed of Austin TX, whose intense commitment to the creative lifestyle is an inspiration to me. Also dedicated to Aaron Holstein (aka Vibesquad), for whom I've been painting seemingly since the rosy mists of the Cretaceous Period, and whose infectious good spirits make people's hearts blossom wherever he goes.

(click for a closer view)

Five, Six, Seven, Eight
2010 12 11 City Hall
(The Fantastic Hosts)
24"x30" - paint markers on masonite - check price/availability
11"x17" prints (1/$25, 2/$40, 3/$50 incl s/h) - email me

Dedicated to Gracia Wenzel, whose birthday just so happened to coincide with one of the most awesome parties I've ever attended in Denver, and who I believe to be on the same Earth-based team of reincarnated extra-terrestrials (wink). And to The Fantastic Hosts, for throwing that party.

(click for a closer view)

Crystal Eyes
2010 12 18 The Majestic Theater
(Ana Sia, DJ K@dog, Freddy Todd, Angela OohLaLa, Popsh!t)
18"x24" - paint markers on masonite - check price/availability
11"x17" prints (1/$25, 2/$40, 3/$50 incl s/h) - email me

Where can I even begin to demonstrate my appreciation for my newfound friends in Detroit? Last week I flew out there to be the featured visual artist and setbreak live looping weirdo for the latest Cirque du Womp event – a sold-out plaster-rattling blacklight freakfest at the 1,000 person Majestic Theatre in downtown Womp City. In spite of hilarious mix-ups with airline reservations, prehistoric-Volkswagon engine trouble, and the bitter cold of the Detroit "tundra," my time there couldn't have been more exciting, beautiful, and strange. Major love, and painting dedication, to Scott, Grant, and Angela...I'll be back up in Michigan soon, fingers crossed.

(In the meantime, my soundcheck from Circus 8 is available for your listening pleasure on Glass Chrysanthemum – or you can find it on my new soundcloud page, where I'll be regularly posting live clips and exclusive releases...)

(click for a closer view)

More treats for everyone next week...in the meantime, enjoy the paradoxical anxious abundance of the holidays, get some good sleep, and feel welcome to write me for any reason. Thank you so much for your precious time and attention...

13 December 2010

New Live Painting, Custom Violin Case, & 2011 Calendar!

"The basic thing to remember about the electric media is that they inexorably transform every sense ratio and thus recondition and restructure all our values and institutions...We must understand that a totally new society is coming into being, one that rejects all our old values, conditioned responses, attitudes and institutions. If you have difficulty envisioning something as trivial as the imminent end of elections, you’ll be totally unprepared to cope with the prospect of the forthcoming demise of spoken language and its replacement by a global consciousness."

The above quotation is from one of the most amazing, inspiring, and somewhat terrifying interviews I have ever read, with media theorist Marshall McLuhan.  McLuhan's work has informed everything from CIA info-warfare to the invention of virtual reality, and it's uncanny how clearly he saw the tribulations of today's society through the mists of over forty years.


I do my best to keep everyone informed about these changing times by sharing cutting-edge news with Twitter and Facebook, but every once in a while I find something so awesome I have to shout it from the proverbial mountain tops...this interview is one of those.


And now on to your regularly scheduled program...

Anniversary Kelp
2010 11 14 Bear Creek, 11 28 Club TSI, 12 01 Freebird Live
(DJ Logic, Dumpstaphunk, Dirtay Sundays, Perpetual Groove)
24"x30" - paint markers on masonite
11"x17" prints for sale (1/$25, 2/$40, 3/$50) - email me

This one is a harmonic return to themes established in my first-ever live illustration (not technically a "painting," as this was before I discovered paint markers) way back in the misty recesses of November 2007...

Dedicated to Jarred Michael Trantham (aka Papa Smash), who is almost single-handedly responsible for putting the Jacksonville, Florida art scene on my map (and the maps of innumerable Jacksonville residents, who were once starving for culture and are now well-fed).

Also dedicated to Perpetual Groove, because they covered Peter Gabriel's "Digging in the Dirt" – a KILLER tune, both funky and heartfelt, and about shadow work, no less! – from the 1992 LP Us, possibly my favorite album of all time.


(click for a closer look)

Custom Hand-Painted Violin Case
2010 11 29 Jacksonville, Florida Studio Commission
Approx. 24" in length - paint markers on molded plastic
11"x17" prints for sale (1/$25, 2/$40, 3/$50) - email me

I love doing custom pieces for the opportunities they provide to explore new surfaces, themes, and textures.  I've done custom instrument cases before (like this one and this one) but this was the first on molded plastic – which is extremely high-fidelity and preserved the marker's full glossy shine.  Mmmm.

Dedicated to Jessica Burris, who trusted me with her violin case and made me some excellent cookies.  I hope this case inspires you to get out there with that fiddle and show the world what you've got...


(click for a closer look)

2011 Painting While Dancing Calendar
(click for a closer look)

I'm excited to share this season's featured item from my design shop:  a new twelve-month calendar with one of my favorite paintings from 2010 gracing each month.  Each 11"x17" page marks the passage of not merely our mundane seasons, but also the flow of cosmic forces through which we Earthlings travel...

These full-bleed calendars are only $30 each.  Given that my normal prints sell for not much less than that, this is the best possible deal currently available for my work!

Order yours (or purchase them as gifts) at my Arts Projekt design shop...and thanks for taking the time to check it out!  I'm always open to new ideas if you would like to see my artwork on an item you don't already see.

Next Week...

• A new live painting from Vibesquad & KiloWatts in Baton Rouge and my guest appearance at one of Tourmaline Todd's Austin, Texas art parties...
• New live paintings from the Fantastic Hosts holiday party in Denver and Cirque du Womp in Detroit...
• The last of five spontaneous unplugged music videos from the Light & Shadow Tour...
• Another entry in my interview series, The Field Guide To Live Artists...

In the meantime, get ahold of me if you have any art- or evolution-related questions, drink plenty of water (space heaters dehydrate you), and enjoy your holiday madness like you signed up for it! 

...cuz you did.  :)