Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future: Mantis Shrimp Painting | The Future of Art | Merch to Blow Minds | Last Festivals of Summer

04 August 2014

Mantis Shrimp Painting | The Future of Art | Merch to Blow Minds | Last Festivals of Summer

“Above all, I would like to extend the boundaries of what is not regarded as unthinkable, in light of how little we really understand about the world.”

“The only thing that we can be sure of the future is that it will be absolutely fantastic.”

Happy August, everyone!  It's fully summer and I'm fully in it:  Gearing up to record and release my first studio music since the Double-Edged Sword EP – that's six years, far too long.  Shredding a series of animal-themed paintings, satisfying my underfed inner scientific illustrator.  Enjoying this summer's double-feature workshop series on "Entertainment As Social Action" and "Visionary Sobriety," explaining how we are all intoxicated by culture, but can use the instruments of media mind control to liberate rather than oppress.  (On that note, did you see my recent interview with poet-philosopher and legendary badass William Irwin Thompson?)

And more...as usual, too much to share at once.

As soon as I am back from this weekend's Arise Festival, I'll get to work on readying it all to share with you.  But for now, enjoy this relatively lightweight update – and feel free to write if you have anything to share!  I love hearing from you, and with most of y'all it's been too long.

love and blessings 
"King Prawn" (Mantis Shrimp)
20"x20" – paint pens on canvas
Original painting available – Email me with inquiries

Painted live at:
2014.07.01, 04, 07, 14, 20 Studio

"Imagine a color you can't imagine. Now do that nine more times. This is how the mantis shrimp do."

"The mantis shrimp is my new favorite animal, because in the presence of such extraordinary light and beauty it embraces DARKNESS.  It extols DEATH with the luminescent brilliance of a dying star."

I can't say anything about this amazing animal that isn't said at the two links in those quotes above...both of which I highly recommend to you.  This is one of the strangest, most wonderful creatures in the ocean, which is saying a lot, obviously, I mean the ocean is pretty huge.  And this thing is so awesome it got its own section on one of the best episodes of NPR's Radiolab.

Part of a series of charismatic critters, with previous entries including the Red-Tailed Hawk, Western Meadowlark, Barton Springs Salamander, Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, and Common Kingfisher...this is the first invertebrate, though.  And how.

Which animals (or plants) should I paint next?

Interview with Sara Huntley for SolPurpose.com


“No holds barred, I’d describe myself as a pattern hunter in nature – a synesthesia artist seeking to see things normally unwitnessed, translating waveforms of data into different spectrums of perception.”

Oakland-based Sara “Seraphinianus” Huntley is a shining example of a generation of multimedia artists eagerly taking to emerging media – a wave of renaissance people fluidly adapting to the shifting technocultural landscape by anchoring their expressions in a broader and more comprehensive understanding of nature, consciousness, and the human experience. Where art meets science, tribal meets future, and movement meets music, you’ll find Sara, leading her explosively creative intermedia life-as-art existence. I was delighted to catch up with her about what inspires her and the new forms of trans-verbal communication appearing on our cultural horizons…

Various Rent-Paying Items of Note

I'm not a starving artist.  But I do give most of my creative work away in the form of free music, writing, and rhetorical performances.  So I deeply appreciate it when people (such as yourself) step up to show their support (or yours) by purchasing prints of my artwork, or by acquiring some wearable token of cosmic bling like these fine souvenirs below:


Last year I designed my final embroidered hat with Grassroots California for Herbivore Designs – a piece I consider one of my crowning achievements.  The first two less intricate designs sold out almost instantly, but somehow there are still plenty of these left for sale, so if you've ever felt the urge to decorate your head beyond compare, here is your opportunity!


RaveNectar is retiring the men's and women's tees of my painting "Every Day Is A New Year" this Friday, August 8th. Until then, they're 20% off – get yours for $40 while supplies last!

I'm a fan of pushing the envelope – designing stuff that tests the resolution limits of production equipment and the sanity of random passersby.  These pins definitely qualify; the original vectors actually had to be simplified because we aren't living in the future, apparently.  So these are, literally, the most complicated pins possible for their size at this moment in history.  Pretty cheap, considering.

My Natural Habitat Includes These Festivals

This event has something for everyone: jam bands, bluegrass, electronica, spoken word, yoga, reggae, meditation, tribal funk, you name it.  I'm co-headlining the Starwater Bar, an impressive maté bar and festival-within-a-festival that will also feature performances by such luminaries as Anne Waldman (beat poet who founded the Naropa University Creative Writing program), Future Simple Project (the superb DJ tag team whose music inspired many of my early live paintings), and Beth Preston (songstress of wide renown, whose work deserves your listening)...among many others.


Hands down, the best festival in Texas – assuming you like epic art installations, huge teams of live painters, unbeatable eclectic music lineups, strange and beautiful cross-media collaborations, on-site organic kitchens, and gorgeous Texas pecan groves.  For their tenth year and my fifth, I'm cooking up an unprecedented and totally awesome production with special guest appearances by some of my favorite humans.  But there are more reasons to go than I can enumerate here.