Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future: Quick Science Rant // New Live Painting // Hummingbird Stickers! // Art Outside Announcement

19 October 2015

Quick Science Rant // New Live Painting // Hummingbird Stickers! // Art Outside Announcement

But First, A Riff on Science & Wonder

"Modern science has been a voyage into the unknown, with a lesson in humility waiting at every stop."
– Carl Sagan

We have personal stories and collective stories.  I think it will probably help to see the work I do as a writer and speaker as addressing and investigating the collective dimension of our stories.  William Irwin Thompson wrote that history is the ego of society and myth is its soul.  So learning our evolutionary history is to establish a much deeper grounding for our collective ego…and then to recognize it as a provisional and ultimately groundless scientific fairytale (even as the best we have) is akin to seeing past our ego story into our essential Mystery.  

One of my main theses over the last few years has been that science in its finest form as endlessly unfolding inquiry is basically a spiritual practice – the humility of wonder in pure curiosity, beginner’s mind as a prerequisite to any good experiment.  Of course, the process always ends by disconfirming or confirming a hypothesis, and then we start again with some assumptions – how we choose to ask a question’s all about the paradigm from which we’re asking – so there’s always going to be a point of ingress for the myth, the story by which observations are explained.  Laboratory breakthroughs are the moment of divine invasion; scientific journals are the holy texts.  Each has its visionary fringe more sensitive to the anomalies, the saints in wilderness encountering uncanny revelations, and orthodoxy that rejects new revolutionary insights as if they are immune cells.  The only difference between the institutions we call science and religion are the speeds at which each culture is reformed; the process is identical.  Organized religion’s like a solid; science is a liquid.

And I think we’re on the cusp of something even quicker – the networks that we’re growing are accelerating our adventures in discovery and peer review – and we are possibly approaching our real biological constraints of how fast we can mentally adapt to seeing things in totally new ways.  (Of course, we’re also learning how to be more flexible.  In my finest moments I can let new worldviews flow through me…though I always settle back into a lower state of order.)

Do any of you think about this stuff?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Endothelial Goo Conveyor

The first piece that I ever got so fed up with halfway through that I actually tried to destroy it, but the spray paint ran out and it ended up looking so cool, I decided to roll with it and finish what I'd started.  Another step closer to the "H.R. Giger takes 2-CB and gets over his natal trauma" aesthetic I started carving out with this year's painting, "New Age Cleopatra Basks Apocalyptically..."

Painted live with oil & acrylic markers and aerosol paint on canvas (36" x 24") at the following events in 2015:

07-25 Quixotes (Cream Cheese Accident), Denver, CO
07-28 Boulder City Park ("painting in the park" with Randal Roberts, Morgan Mandala, Chelsey Crandell, Joshua Wine Morriston, and many others), Boulder, CO
08-01 Taos Mesa Brewing (Treavor Moontribe, Planewalker, Desert Dwellers, Kaminanda, Kannizle, Buno), Taos, NM
09-02 Empire Patio, Create Culture (Zonra, Soundshaman, Sanjiwan, Fractala), Austin, TX
09-23 The Other Side (Spiritual Rez, Red Sage), Denver, CO
10-02 Westbank String Shop, Austin, TX

Original piece still available – email me with inquiries.

New Hummingbird Stickers!

A few years ago, in preparation for Burning Man, I marked up a plain white tee-shirt with the slogan, "Imagination Is Our Greatest Natural Resource."  This motto grew some wings and flew away, just possibly inspiring this book by futurist Ramez Naam.  It's been a while since I had any stickers, and the time felt ripe to resurrect the motto with a kiss from Beija Flor.

If I see you in person, ask me for one – or you can buy them in quantities both small and large at michaelgarfieldart.com.  Help me spread inspiration and encouragement in your town!


A Roadrunner in Progress

One of the reasons I love live painting is to share the entire process with people. To demystify the creative work and invite other people to imagine themselves as empowered creatives (who much have to spend a few years sleeping in their cars, and postpone having kids for a decade, in order to cultivate their dreams into their waking lives). 

This roadrunner kept showing up on my journey through the enchanted American Southwest and, like so many of my other paintings, just asserted itself as the subject of my next piece. Little did I know that I would have to paint through a vicious windstorm, the easel gorilla taped down and still bucking I'm the gusts, to finish this the night it needed to be finished...

You can read more about this piece, and pick up a print, on my art site.

Playing + Painting + Speaking at Art Outside

I'm honored and delighted to share my first singer-songwriter set in years (here and here are some older recordings) with this year's Art Outside family! We've all got to live our passion, and mine is writing songs about psychedelics, making love in zero gravity, the landscape of eternity, and running from the terrifying beauty of our higher selves.

Years of experimental guitar practice will definitely enrich the atmosphere we'll feed and share together in the pecan grove at the Folk It Up Stage on Saturday at 12:30 pm – but this will be a set of finely crafted ballads, odes, and anthems for the dreamers and lovers. I've played this festival each year since 2010 and feel like I'll be coming home – I cannot wait to share an album's worth of new material with you!  (If you're not going, it will be recorded.)

Love and thanks for all of your support!