Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future: February 2011

24 February 2011

New Sketchbook Gallery & MG Philosophizing on the Radio

"The greater one's science, the deeper the sense of mystery."
"The job of an artist is always to deepen the mystery."

And that is why I live where I do, on the borderlands between inquiry and expression, a transducer of whatever ineffable cosmic mind in which I play a part. This week I have less to show and more to say, including two interviews from recent radio appearances (one focused more on my music, and one focused more on my assumed calling as reconnaissance and mapmaker for the evolution of human consciousness). It's all very thought-provoking stuff and I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed getting some time on the air to electrocute the worldviews of unsuspecting audiences...

(Nothing new for sale this week, although I still have plenty of available live paintings and am happy to negotiate on the listed prices, if you're feeling the onrush of spring and need some more color in your home...)

New Sketchbook Gallery!


I've finally started to archive my favorite pages from years of classroom & airplane doodling, dating back to the prehistoric, misty recesses when I was still in school to study dinosaurs and live painting was not yet even a glimmer on my brain scan. Some of these images will end up recycled on apparel, album art, or concert posters...in the meantime, you can take a peek "under the hood" and leave your remarks in my newly-germinated online sketchbook. You might recognize the seeds of some of my live paintings in there...both past and future.

MG on Expanding Mind with Erik Davis


I frequently quote author Erik Davis in this newsletter, because his perceptive and highly literate view of our species' fringier realms of consciousness - everything from the technospiritual evolution of culture to the art of stage magic - makes him one of my greatest living inspirations. His show Expanding Mind "explored the culture of consciousness: magic, spirituality, psychology, technology," and is my favorite talk radio program. Recently I was lucky enough to be the weekly featured guest:

Liminal science, electro-acoustic guitar, and humanizing the hive mind: a wide-ranging chat with Michael Garfield, live painter, writer, and avant-guitarist/songwriter.

You can download our awesome discussion (not nearly long enough!) from the link above and hear the geekboy excitement in my voice as I discuss UFOs, the philosophy of science, and becoming a guitar cyborg. Once you've had a taste, I highly recommend digging into the archives for some truly mind-expanding conversations...

MG on Live @ Lunch (KRFC FM 88.9)


I was just honored to be the guest for the Fort Collins NPR member station's daily lunch-hour interview and instudio musical performance...if you're curious about the mind behind the music this loose and easy hour of songs and weirdo air banter afforded me a platform to talk about things I normally don't – like my favorite concerts ever, my time travel dinosaur fantasies, and how I understand live painting as the symptom of a sociocultural revolution. It was a fun hour and I'd like to once again express my thanks to everyone who tuned in and caught it live!

Coming Soon

...And now, I'm off to Peru for a couple of weeks with my friends Papadosio. Hold tight and when I get back I'll have an epic new live painting to share, as well as the final audio recordings from my provocative talks on the Light & Shadow Tour, and a few clips of my continuously-evolving acoustic-electronic looping project. As usual, feel free to drop me a line at any point with questions, comments, or commissions...just be aware it might take me a little longer than usual to get back to you.

Thanks for your time and have a marvelous day!

07 February 2011

New Video, Upcoming Radio Appearances, & Art Show This Week!

"Michael Garfield has some absolutely amazing chops...the
musicianship on this album is truly wonderful."
- Marquee Magazine

So said the first official review for Alive With You, my album of highlights from the 30,000 miles of touring I did last year. Of course, they also said that "just when you start to get lost in Garfield's abilities" my rants about aliens, lucid dreaming, and sex in space break the flow, and that "without the stage banter, this album would be a definite winner." Apparently they didn't much care for the storyteller format - and plenty of people probably agree - so I've uploaded an alternate playlist without the talking for everyone who just wants the music. You can listen to it here:


Before I go any further, I want you all to know that this newsletter is an experiment and I'm thankful to you all for following along with me as it unfolds. Some of you came to me through my music, some through my art, and so I cannot possibly hope to please everyone all the time when one or the other of those strands temporarily takes over my life. (To put it another way, I'm like the Obama of Art...only without international banking family connections.)

This week is heavy on the tunes and light on the views, but it's only because I've been working on an epic new live painting (some of you have seen it in progress at the Praang and Invisible Allies shows...my friend Danny Litin took some amazing pics of me at work on it, which you can find on my facebook profile). I have also started curating a new gallery of my sketchbooks from over the years. Both of those things will show up very soon, so thanks for holding tight! In the meantime...

- "Offering Hands" (Unplugged Across America) -

It's finally online: the last of five unplugged, spontaneous road-side music videos I filmed while on tour last fall. Out of the five, I think it's the finest performance...in no small part due to the ludicrous natural beauty that surrounded me and the relief that two months of touring had finally come to a close. Here's my percussive anthem to finding our common ground in the shared joy and suffering of human experience:

Download This Song Free: http://bit.ly/mgunplugged

- This Week! -

• 8 Feb, Everywhere - Live@Lunch on KRFC FM 88.9 (Fort Collins)
12 - 1 pm MST, instudio performance/interview

My first instudio radio performance...you can listen via the dial anywhere on the Front Range, or online anywhere on the planet (and in space, although you might have to wait). I'll have a recording up soon for anyone who can't hear it live.

• 10 Feb, Everywhere - Progressive Radio Network
2 pm EST, guest on Expanding Mind with Erik Davis

Expanding Mind is, without question, my favorite radio talk show - a fearless exploration of the fringes of human understanding, guided by author Erik Davis' encyclopedic literacy of the occult and innumerable esoteric subcultures. I was half-joking when I asked him if I could be a guest...and now it's happening! I'm not sure where the conversation will take us, but it's guaranteed to be both profound and bizarre. I highly recommend you tune in if just for Erik's end of the discussion...

• 11 Feb, Boulder CO - 1111 Wellness (on The Hill)
7 - 9 pm, Time Spiral: A Live Art Reception

Oh, you live in Boulder? Well, awesome! Come out to my first legitimate art show and meet some kindred spirits in the suffuse glow of fourteen of my live paintings. Live music and snacks will be served unmercifully as you bathe in the delightful aroma of one of Boulder's finest medicinal dispensaries. And Lord only knows when you'll get to see this much of my work in one place again.

- Recent Publications -

• My friends at LostInSound.org recently republished "Live Art Is Nonsense," part five in my ongoing series of essays about performance painting. Here's a preview:

Most art forms are kept hidden in the studio until some dramatic Moment Of Unveiling. Instead, the transparency of performance makes this strange behavior distinct enough to deserve a name that will set it apart in people’s minds from the rituals and religions of conventional studio art. Process becomes an obvious, living part of the piece. Journey and destination take on new meanings. Since music, dance, and theater evolved in context as public entertainment or ritual, they belong in a separate category (especially those composed beforehand). In fact, it is the very change of context that makes something like performance painting strange in the first place.

People have taken to calling this kind of thing “live art.” It is probably better than nothing; but insofar as it is used to realistically distinguish one kind of creative expression from the rest, “live art” is nonsense.

• Thanks to Jonathan "Seymor" Sandberg, who has joined The Field Guide To Live Artists with his recent interview about how he got into live painting and what inspires him to keep rocking out for his friends & family in Detroit...

"I see live painting as a turning point in live entertainment that will offshoot into other new ways and combinations of perception. I see actors, comics, light-operators, photographers, writers, musicians, the unnamed and the not-yet-invented sculpting a new media for an awaiting audience."

Thank you, everyone, for your time and attention. I'm a lucky guy to get to share myself for a living like I do, and I'm always happy to hear from you (be it questions, or comments, heckling, commissions, or whatever) so drop me a line any time...and have a wonderful day!