Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future: A.I., Angels, Mass Extinctions...and Benefit Compilations

17 March 2012

A.I., Angels, Mass Extinctions...and Benefit Compilations

"For the first time in human evolution, the individual life is long enough, and the cultural transformation swift enough, that the individual mind is now a constituent player in the global transformation of human culture."

The new benefit compilation from None Backwards features ALL UNRELEASED TRACKS from Mochipet, Up Until Now, D.V.S*, The Malah, Kappa, Benny Loco, This Is Art, and many more!  Plus, gorgeous cover art by my friend Chaeli Cardenas.

My track's a recent live performance of "Extinct," a crowd favorite from last year's A Million Anniversaries: CyberAcoustic Guitar For Lovemaking, recorded back in January with Austin chanteuse Toni Lane Casserly on vocals.

All proceeds from this album go directly to Rock Against Cancer, a nonprofit organization that supports the emotional needs of young cancer patients with music therapy and special music events.  Next week I'll share the video of this song live in concert – in the meantime, enjoy Spring Forward, Vol. II and put some money toward making a few children's hard situation a little easier.

When I'm not painting at concerts, or playing my own, I spend my time thinking and talking about deep time, radical evolution, and the transformation of humankind – you  know, the crazy science-fiction-level questions playing out in real-time all around us these days.

Recently I had the wild good fortune to speak with one of my philosophical heroes:  William Irwin Thompson, former M.I.T. Cultural Historian, founder of the Lindisfarne Association, friend of Marshall McLuhan's and Buckminster Fuller's, and yogic poet world renowned.

Thompson wrote one of my favorite books, Coming Into Being: Artifacts & Texts in the Evolution of Consciousness – a paradigm-busting exploration of the ancient world and human history from the very different perspectives of the people who lived in it.  And his lectures are just as brilliant and far-ranging – he has a way of "speaking in hypertext," connecting wildly divergent ideas with expansive (yet surgically precise) metaphors.

Using my research position at Hybrid Reality Institute as an excuse, I called up Bill Thompson on Skype back in December and this is what came of it:  an intense, luminous, challenging, wild conversation on the origin and destiny of the human species:

The whole thing is in audio format over at my lecture & interview archive.  So you can follow up on all of Thompson's encyclopedic references, the hyperlinked transcript is bundled in every free download:

"Catastrophes are often stimulated by the failure to feel the emergence of a domain, and so what cannot be felt in the imagination is experienced as embodied sensation in the catastrophe."

The man's a genius.  Even if comparative mythology, cyborg anthropology, evolutionary biology, and science fiction aren't your thing, this is a conversation that will rock your world – possibly forever.  Not for my own sake but for yours, I highly encourage you to set aside the two hours and change the way you think about being human...

More Custom Painted Hats

This is just not getting old for me...I love the blend of challenge, creativity, and intuition involved in making someone a hat that fits their spirit.  If you'd like one of your own, email me with the specifics (budget, hat style, favorite colors, etc.) and we can get right to it!

(Also, I've had a crazy run of preorders for my upcoming fully-embroidered collaboration with Grassroots California – and I'm still taking preorders, so now's your chance if you want one before they're sold out!)

Next week: New paintings and music from my adventures at South By Southwest!  Austin's wildest week a year is still in the throes, but I'll have some of my finest work yet online soon.  In the meantime, thanks for your ongoing support, and have a beautiful day...