Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future: November 2013

20 November 2013

Annual Art Sale | Featured Artist on Integral Life | New Collab Painting | New Article on High Existence | Frank Heiss Remix | Sonic Bloom 2013 Panel | ISO Booking Agent

"Human beings must have an epic, a sublime account of how the world was created and how humanity became part of it.  Religious epics satisfy another primal need. They confirm we are part of something greater than ourselves.  The way to achieve our epic that unites human spirituality, instead of cleave it, it is to compose it from the best empirical knowledge that science and history can provide."
– E.O. Wilson

I have so much to tell you.  I'm sure you have so much to say.  I don't even know where to start having that kind of authentic exchange via this newsletter.  Feel free to write to me – I'd love to know what Great Work consumes you, these days, and if I could contribute to it.  And of course, more goes on in my life than I have space for in this newsletter – so feel free to follow my thoughts and recommended reading over twitter, instagram, facebook, tumblr, or youtube.

For now:

Annual Live Art Sale

Last week I lost a shoulder bag containing about 150 of my prints and a nice presentation book, as well as electrical cords for live painting. In other words, it's Holiday Art Sale time! Take 30% off the listed price on all original paintings, and pieces priced on my (seven-year-old) hourly wage are now stupidly cheap (like the only live painting ever made at NASA, for example).  I'll accept monthly payments as low as $100 if you want a piece but have to pay for it gradually.

This isn't just good news for high rollin' gangstas who want to line their cribs with original art - you're also in luck if you want inexpensive prints, pins, merch, etc. for your loved ones (or enemies - good for you!) this year. More details on the FB event page.

Featured Artist on IntegralLife.com!

Big thanks to Integral Life for featuring my art this month! Here is a community that really knows how to THINK about stuff...it's an honor.  I've been an admirer of Ken Wilber's integral philosophy for a whole decade, and am delighted to give back by sharing my art and ideas.

Check out the great gallery they put together with academic commentary and a new artist's statement...

The Encroaching Tides
(a collab with Tourmaline Todd)

My friend "Tourmaline" Todd Shepherd is a fixture in the Austin, Texas live art scene and familiar to admirers all over the country for his cool work on hat racks, vinyl figurines, and all kinds of other unusual media.  I think his futuristic, spacey style and mine dovetailed together quite nicely on our first-ever studio collaboration...

New Article on HighExistence.com

We humans have a bad habit of assuming we're special.  But science teaches us over and over that we're not.  Here is my latest morsel of food for thought, on High Existence, about how to strike a balance between grandeur and humility.  A teaser:

The accepted story of physics right now is that we live on a miraculous, impossible planet where solar eclipses can happen because the Moon is the same apparent size in the sky as the Sun, and where our orbital wobble, the Precession of the Equinoxes, takes exactly as many years as we are light years from the center of the galaxy – which just so happens to be a cozy intermediate zone where core radiation won’t melt DNA and the frigid depths of space don’t render chemistry a moot point. (And all chemistry is biochemistry, it seems .) Above it all, we live at a special moment in the life cycle of our star, a narrow window before it swells to consume the entire Earth. Statistically, life is impossible, but if it’s possible anywhere, it’s here – in this impossibly convenient place.

This is the Goldilocks Hypothesis, and it’s junk. If we’re going to take the Copernican Revolution all the way, let’s go there: we are perfectly adapted for this place because life is always adapted to its surroundings. All that hawking radiation from the supermassive black hole at the galactic center might boil carbon-based life, but as NASA’s astrobiologists are quick to remind us there’s no reason to suppose that heavier elements haven’t grown metal minds, evolving at breakneck pace in the roiling creation, linked through the instantaneous communication of frictionless superfluid field dynamics, vortices within vortices.

Sonic Bloom 2013 Panel Discussion

The third annual Sonic Bloom Festival all-star panel discussion was our most diverse and impassioned yet. In a conversation moderated by Solpurpose.com editor-in-chief Michael Garfield, festival director Jamie Janover, community builder Mark Heley, bass producer Lux Moderna, astrologer Ver Dar Luz, dream interpreter Jonathan Zap, healer Alaya Love, video blogger Jordan Pearce, and his friend Ray all gave real talk on life, death, and categories beyond and between. This hour is the fruit of a truly transformational festival - potent, raw, and deep...

Remixed by Frank Heiss

I recently uploaded an archive of my guitar loops for producers to play with – little did I know that living legend Frank Heiss would take advantage of it for his next album!  But he did.  Now you can listen to his strange and beautiful remix, "The Good, The True and the Beautiful," the closer for his awesome full-length release.  You might recognize some of it from various instrumental improvisations on last year's Love Scenes & Field Recordings – as well as the artwork, by my homie Michael Divine.

In Search Of A Booking Agent

This week in the Ask-And-Ye-Shall-Receive Department:  I've been booking my own gigs for the last six years (full history here) and as successful as it may seem I've been with that, I can't keep making all of this art, music, and writing AND book 70+ shows a year.  It's hard work that I have to outsource if I'm going to take my career to the next level...and I'm ready to make friends in some different scenes.

So if you know people who represent musicians or performing artists, please introduce us!  Anyone who can hook me up with a good booking agent gets my eternal gratitude and a bunch of sweet art.  (Here is my full EPK, to make things a little easier.)

Thanks again for reading, enjoy the art and ideas, and have a beautiful day!

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."
KMO

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.