Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future: A Grip of New Hats & Burning Man Music Videos

29 October 2011

A Grip of New Hats & Burning Man Music Videos

"Sometimes, as a result of people leaving their original intended career and going into something else where their creativity could make a difference, depressions and all kinds of other unfortunate events can have a paradoxically stimulating effect. We are living in a time of unexpected possibilities...many important creative things can happen when people learn from disasters."
– Historian Edward Tenner

"Not worrying about rent allowed me to spend my time doing what I love. Living a nomadic existence has been hard at times, but it's allowed me to live in beautiful places and keep a balance in my life that I'm happy with."
– Physicist Garret Lisi

Life's most creative moments seem to have something in common:  they all involve taking an old idea and putting it in a new context (eg, genre crossovers, biomimicry, invasive species, and doing something you never expected with your education).  It's a formula heavy on my mind as I say farewell (for now) to the gorgeous Colorado Front Range and get ready to make my way down to Austin, Texas to find a new angle and hopefully a new grasp of my usefulness to this age of transition...

In the meantime, I encourage you to take these riotous autumn energies and use them to fuel some checkpoint life inquiry.  I recognize that my life so far is a comedy of errors and that none of my dearest friends, proudest achievements, and awe-inspiring experiences would have happened if everything had gone as planned...and that I also need to kick myself off the rails every once in a while to keep my life challenging and fresh, infused with new perspectives.  Can't be an example to anyone else without first taking the leap of faith, myself.  Maybe I can use this momentum to encourage the same in you.

If I'm doing this right, all of this is subliminally encoded in these trippy hats and guitar music...

~ Custom Hats ~

There is something so appealing about hand-painting custom hats for people – a combination of the affordability of small-scale original artwork, the notion of wearable paintings, and the opportunity for soul-reading I get to do when coming up with something that'll really suit someone.  If you'd like one, take a gander at the gallery on my facebook art page, where you can find the info on how to order your own unique and memorable lid.

Here are the latest – both custom designs and a few I have available for sale.  Click on the images to view them in full detail:

Custom design for Whomp, Austin TX

Custom design for Ricky Elm

Consigned design for Whomp, Austin TX

Consigned design for Whomp, Austin TX

Custom design for The420Spot, Austin TX

~ New Music Videos ~

One of the most memorable shows of my musical life so far was at this year's Burning Man Festival, where I helped test-run The Music Box, a new portable music stage and studio in a shipping container, designed to be dropped into disaster areas as a way for survivors to enjoy and share their musical culture.  Burning Man is often discussed as a kind of test bed for post-apocalyptic society, and it was a real honor to contribute in my small way to this wonderful project. 

Rites of Passage: Live at Burning Man – recorded at The Music Box, as well as Saraswati Tea House and the legendary Center Camp Café, will be available for free on 11/11/11 at michaelgarfield.net.  In the meantime, I invite you to enjoy these videos from an exceptionally raw, vulnerable, and energetic performance:


"Underground River" (passionate loop-based electro-ballad)


"You Don't Have To Move" (extended guitar technique showcase anthem)


"Die Before Dying" (improvised thematic loopscape with nylon brushes)

More art, music, and philosophy from the other side of the Boulder/Austin divide very soon.  In the meantime, please go get connected with my facebook art and music pages, enjoy the numerous free talks and live albums I have up online, introduce me to your friends...and don't despair, because we are all stepping forward into an era of celebratory collaborative culture, and each of us has something special to give.  If there's any way we can help each other, please let me know.