Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future: New Tour Video, Rootwire Paintings, & Four More Hats

15 August 2011

New Tour Video, Rootwire Paintings, & Four More Hats

“Buy stout shoes, climb the mountains, search the valleys, the deserts, the sea shores, and the deep recesses of the earth…for in this way and in no other will you arrive at a knowledge of the nature and the properties of things.”
– Severinus 

"And so it was I entered the broken world / To trace the visionary company of love."
– Hart Crane

In this few quiet weeks of respite between the bulk of summer festival season and my whirlwind adventure with FractalNation Village at Burning Man (our camp's last all-star fundraiser party is this Friday at Temple Nightclub in San Francisco), I've been musing on why it is I keep throwing myself into these things.  Living on the road on some fool's crusade to inspire the world is definitely not thankless work – in fact, I am deeply nourished by everyone's appreciation and heartfelt criticism – but sometimes I'm almost overwhelmed with the appeal of getting a weekly gig playing music in some hotel and just laying low.  Getting a studio somewhere and letting my car rust in the parking lot.

Then I remember the travel.  The sacred and secret openness that comes from the chronic shock of constant exposure to new places.  The incredible blessing it is to share these journeys with a global web of friends whose lives don't throw them quite so far as mine does...

Made from highway footage taken on last year's Love Without End Tour, this latest video from A Million Anniversaries is an homage to the sense of wonder that simply moving can instill in you.  Life in fast forward is a lot like death in slow motion, incidentally – as my friend David Titterington puts it, we're moving through tunnels of gates:

While you're listening, here's a recap of the art explosion on my end of Papadosio's Rootwire Music & Arts Festival in Logan, Ohio.  Definitely click on each painting to get a full sense of the detail:

2011 07 03 Electric Forest (Papadosio, SCI, Pretty Lights)
& 2011 08 04, 05 Rootwire Festival
(Govinda, Papadosio Live PA, Octopus Nebula, The Werks, RoeVy, Emancipator)
24"x36" – paint markers on stretched canvas

11"x17" prints – $20/1, $30/2 + $5 s/h – email me to order

Starting with the first layer of improvised (some might say channeled) script during Papadosio's set at Electric Forest Festival, this painting just drilled deeper and deeper into scaly, flowing detail until looking at it made my head twist.  Look closely and you can see the reticello pupil and doily iris; look long enough, and it might actually move.  After completing this piece I started wondering how the rest of this entity's face must look...expect richer, more intricate scapes in this style.

2011 07 22 Jazzhaus (Future Shock)
& 2011 08 06, 07 Rootwire Festival
(Third Nature, Papadosio, The Malah, Damn Right, Invisible Allies, Bluetech, Kilowatts)
18"x24" – paint markers on stretched canvas

11"x17" prints – $20/1, $30/2 + $5 s/h – email me to order

Something about this one just screams microscopy to me.  Maybe it's the vaguely photosynthetic critters living in the middle of each larger object, or the way everything drifts into each other...an attempt to combine the sensation of earth, fire, air, and water in a single nonrepresentational piece.  A haiku about the elements as they combine in living systems.  Unlike Patience with its strong central locus, Symbiotes doesn't give the eye any obvious place to rest.  Angular, electrical energy leads to the same quivering vitality you get looking into a slide of pond water. 

So yeah, Rootwire was a barnstormer...amazing art, music, and presentations all around.  Huge thanks to Papadosio for inviting me back out there.  In addition to completing those paintings, giving a talk on the future of science, and jamming out a boiler of an afternoon cyber-acoustic set, I somehow found the time to tag a few people and nail out some more custom caps:

For Robbie

For Nate

For Jason & Emma

I have some exciting updates aging in an sherry cask for next week's newsletter...in the meantime, here's an in-depth interview I gave to international design collective Arts Projekt a while back.  They ask me how my training as a scientific illustrator informs my live art; about the evolutionary themes I'm expressing through my work; and about my five year plan (hint: solar-flare induced telepathy).

Many thanks for your continued interest and support.  Have a wonderful day!