Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future: Two Paintings-In-Progress, Going Away Concerts, & More Cyborg Philosophy

14 October 2011

Two Paintings-In-Progress, Going Away Concerts, & More Cyborg Philosophy

"As if snapping out of a trance, I found myself not out of my mind, in the sense that I was crazy, but rather, inside of my mind, which was now discovered to be everywhere, in that I was beginning to realize that I was dreaming."

"Everything is funny as long as it is happening to Somebody Else."

As summer turns to autumn and my impending move from Boulder to Austin looms ever-nearer, change is in the air.  Appropriate to the season, it's a time of closing accounts and kisses goodbye.  But I won't wear black to my own funeral – so the next couple of weeks are going to be full of parties!

Beyond hosting a flexible-price sale on all of my original paintings to raise money for the move, here is how I'm celebrating the end of four years in Colorado and the leap into a new adventure:

8 pm - 2 am: live painting & body art by donation at SONIC BLOSSOM
with Ott, Random Rab, Kraddy, Janover & Karsh Kale, Octopus Nebula, Project Aspect,
Phadroid, Govinda, The Human Experience, Bird of Prey, and more
- last scheduled live art gig in CO -

8 - 11 pm: three full songbird & cyberacoustic guitar sets (FREE)

9 - 10 pm: cyberacoustic songbird set w/ Three-Legged Fox ($7)

6:30 - 9 pm: balladry & cyberacoustic guitar sets (FREE)
- last scheduled concert in CO -

...and now on to the juice.  We got new artwork, new writing, and new music in this one.  But first, here are pictures from last weekend's live painting fiesta at Art Outside – an absolute gem of a festival, positively overflowing with amazing undiscovered artists and musicians.  Click through to the gallery, and feel free to comment!

Photos: Art Outside 2011

As part of my emphasis on process, I've always tried to find ways to make this blog more immediate and immersive – to bring the people who can't be at every show into the experience of live art and music.  (Hence the photo album above.)

But I'm spending more time on each piece these days, which means a longer lag between when you saw me at the show working on the painting and when it finally spreads its feathers and does a mating dance for your brain.  So here are snapshots of two paintings-in-progress that I started over the last month, caught in their awkward pimply adolescence.  Click to view full-size:

Many Worlds (tentative)
2011 09 01, 02 Burning Man Festival - Fractal Nation Village
(Left Coast, Heyoka, Mimosa, Dov, FreQ Nasty, Ill Gates, An-Ten-Nae)
& 2011 09 10 Red Rocks Amphitheatre (STS9, Savoy)
paint markers on stretched canvas - 24"x36"

A minor homage to the worlds-within-worlds paintings of my friend Melissa Leigh...minus the worlds, of course!  So that's where this piece is headed:  a unique terrarium ecology for each of those floating orbs.  If something goes horribly wrong, I might just paint a big Brontosaurus on top.


Mobius Brain (tentative)
2011 10 07, 08, 09 Art Outside Festival
(Psymbionic, David Starfire, Bird of Prey, Riders Against The Storm, Sorne, Ricochet, Dolomites, Soundfounder, Butcher Bear, Kinder Lo Phi, Ntropy, Nicoluminous, Happy Happy James)
paint markers on canvas panel - 24"x30"

As many paradoxes as I can fit into a single painting...it's like the Impossible Fork times a million.  Painted myself into a corner with this one, and eager to see how I paint myself out of it.


Recent Philosophy Riffs

For those of you who enjoy heady ideas (and that's hopefully all of you), here are two recent articles I wrote for transhumanism website Acceler8or about 1) our evolving relationship with emotional machines, and 2) the implications of CERN's recent superluminal neutrino research...some of the more interesting topics, I think, here at the edge of the future:

"Coevolution & The Technology of Desire"
A few years ago, the first emotional robot pet hit the market. Designed by the co-inventor of Furby, Pleo the Dinosaur is an adorable little beast, big eyes and feet, curious and playful and a little awkward...just like a baby dinosaur, except it comes in a box and is full of electronic innards.  Pleo — as well as earlier incarnations like Furby, Teddy Ruxpin, and even the Pet Rock — speak to a deep-seated human desire to relate with the world around us. It only makes sense that as the machine world becomes more and more a part of daily life, our technology’s rocket trajectory out of the spirited and sentient world of our ancestors would plunge right back into an age of cute computers. (read more)

"And Now, Faster-Than-Light Culture"
Last week’s discovery at CERN of neutrinos traveling faster than light has physics forums buzzing about the possibility that this is “solid” evidence of long-hypothesized additional dimensions. This is big news. For the first time in the modern world, the existence of invisible spatial dimensions is in the public discourse. Science is the closest thing much of the literate planet has to religion these days, and this is far closer to the otherworldly transcendent mythos of early cities than the heady, highly existential relativity physics delivered to us from on high by Einstein. (read more)

New Cyber-Acoustic Guitar Videos From Burning Man

I was honored to play the Center Camp 2011 Aerial Dance Showcase at this year's Burning Man.  Unfortunately, dust got into my digital audio recorder and the only surviving record of that performance is here, captured in these two short videos...a glimpse of dust and light, love and survival:





Much more music video on its way as I gear up for the 11/11/11 release of Rites of Passage: Live At Burning Man – in the meantime, all of my music is (as always) free or pay-what-you-like at MichaelGarfield.net.  If you haven't already, take my latest live album, Alive in the Zone of the Rose, for a spin...it's a transporting hour of my signature blend between acoustic songwriter fare and electronic guitar looping psychedelia, the musical version of my visual art.

HUGE thanks to everyone for supporting my tireless efforts by buying music, introducing your friends to my work, offering your thoughtful feedback, and inspiring people with your own creative lives.  Don't hesitate to write if you have something to say, and have a beautiful day!