Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future: Owl Painting from Rootwire/AO | Gratifly 2013 Live Set | MG on Google Glass at Burning Man

05 November 2013

Owl Painting from Rootwire/AO | Gratifly 2013 Live Set | MG on Google Glass at Burning Man

"The next time you get really angry about the evils of the system, notice how good it feels, and understand how that feeling takes power away from the better angels of your nature and turns it over to something that longs for destruction, conflict and brutality as goods unto themselves. Understand that the best practice is the cultivation of your own consciousness."

In this issue, I'm proud to share some of my finest work to date – new art, music, and ideas! An illustration from my imaginary field guide to hyperspace creatures; my first-ever full concert recording, from Gratifly Festival; and the talk I gave at Burning Man on the social and philosophical implications of wearable computing.

While I continue my search for an appropriate booking agent and record label, I'm still doing the occasional gig and soaking up inspiration for the next round of cool offerings.  As always, your comments and suggestions are encouraged.  Enjoy, and thank you for your support!

20"x30" – oil & acrylic paint markers on canvas – painted live at:
• Little Tree Art Studios - 2013 08 08 (Atlanta, GA) for Kynara, Feverkin, The Fresh French
• Rootwire Music & Arts Festival 2013 08 15 - 18 for Papadosio Live PA, Evan Marc, Aligning Minds, Open Source, Hundred Waters, Dirtwire, ESKMO, The Malah, Bluetech, Welder
• Be:Tribe Gathering - 2013 09 12 (Dallas, TX) for Kaminanda, The Nadis Warriors
• Art Outside Festival 2013 10 20, 21 for Rena Jones, Bluetech, Psymbionic, Nit Grit, Happy Happy James, Brede, Somatoast, Bird of Prey, Kyle Hollingsworth Band, ISHI, The Nadis Warriors

My latest live painting is the consequence of a collision between hyperspace and the owl fetish that's haunted me since moving to Austin two years ago. Shout out to Augustin Lesage and Louis Wain, two men who went famously mad and became awesome (entirely sober) psychedelic artists.  This piece is inspired by their work,  as well as a few positively strange experiences that got me wondering about the origins of owl medicine.  Basically:  do hyperdimensional intelligences appear to us in the form of cartoon animals, as an interface that helps manage the overwhelming ineffability of higher realms?  Do our folk stories and animal archetypes point to a totally nuts "self-transforming" world beyond mundane appearances?  My vote is yes.

I had this piece scanned, so if you'd like a full-size stretched canvas giclee (practically indistinguishable from the original, and maybe even a little more durable) – email me for pricing.

Click below for a detailed look at the process:

A record of the most ambitious, visionary concert I have ever performed.  Listen to this loud on big speakers...preferably during a storm.

Improvised on guitar, voice, and effects at Gratifly Music & Arts Festival on the LostInSound.org Synergy Stage, 26 July 2013 (Carl Jung & Aldous Huxley's birthday). This chronicles, in its entirety, the first concert ever streamed through Google Glass over video chat and projected back on stage, creating an artist-audience feedback loop!

Lyrics are from poems turned into song on the spot. All instrumental sounds are from live guitar and hardware processing (no computers). The Glass was ceremonially consecrated that evening to ensure its use as an instrument of good.

Special thanks to my Indiegogo campaign supporters:
Adam Scott Miller, Alan Wood, Allan Badiner, Asa Henderson, Austin W. Lucas, Ben Gordon, Billy Mays III, Brett Bonnist, Brett Thomas, Brian Hampton, Candy Hogrefe, Carl Jacobson, Chelsea Schulz, Christopher Ergen, Cody Westerlund, Connor Wood, Dan Sockrider, David Hyde, David Swirsky, Diana Martinez, Douglas Tataryn, Eliza R. Williams, Erin O'Brien, Evan Snyder, George Crosby, Harlan Emil Gruber, Isabella Melo, Jason White, Jessica Nielson, Joey Walter, John Harrison, Jonathan Zap, Jordan Allen, Jordan Sadler, Joseph Chang, Josh Audiss, Kevin Seagraves, Kristen Wood, Kylie stein, Lawrence Wang, Lindsey Wilkinson, Marcello Herreshoff, Marya Stark, Michael William Benton, Molly Gardner, Nick Kampe, Patrick Gomez, Phil Osophical, Philip Heath, Richard Guerra, Robin Arnott, Ryan Meredith, Sandra Lam, Sebastian Siegel, Simon Haiduk, Stephen C. Drena, Steven Sampson, Sven Jorgensen, Tara Fahmie, Taylor Steelman, Thomas Stokes, Tristan Gulliford, Tyler Kimbro, Ursula Anderson, Vance Feldman
...we did it!

Dedicated to Donna Merrill.

"Glass’s success isn’t predicated on how it looks. Rather, it’s all about how Glass invites us to lookand how it makes us more aware of when and where we’re looking. The ecstasy-inducing capacity of Google Glass lies in the pleasure of watching: watching others, being watched, and watching for the meaning of the technocultural moment heralded by Google’s evocative new product. Glass promises a new way to get out of our own bodies and to enter those of others. And we like it."
John Garrison, "How Glass Magnifies Desire"

My provocative talk on Google Glass as the emblem of a new era – in which democratized surveillance and the "individual" self have become the medium of avant social art, and we have a responsibility to reprogram them for the greater good of an emerging planetary consciousness.  Recorded for the Psychedelic Salon podcast, as part of the Palenque Norte lecture series at Burning Man, 30 August 2013.

If this talk inspires you and you'd like to stay abreast of my tech news and commentary, join the conversation about art, technology, and consciousness in my new facebook group, Life in the Glass Age.