Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future: Keeping The Portal Open // New Legendary Babe Live Painting // My Talk From Firefly 2015 // Four New T-Shirt Designs // Stuff You May Have Missed

16 November 2015

Keeping The Portal Open // New Legendary Babe Live Painting // My Talk From Firefly 2015 // Four New T-Shirt Designs // Stuff You May Have Missed

Aloha, everyone! I hope that you're enjoying autumn – and that you don't mind me starting out this latest update with a lengthy but amazing quote. It's worth it.

“Inhabiting your body – reuniting with its intelligence – is one of the most potent political statements you can make. Disembodiment is tacitly modeled and promoted by every institutional hierarchy in our society – whether corporate, political or religious. Each of them is shaped around a top-down ‘command and control’ power structure run by the head of the organization, with executive power consolidated at headquarters – which might lie with the CEO (‘chief’ derives from the Latin word for ‘head’) in head office, or with the head of a political party in the nation’s capital (‘capital comes from a Latin word for ‘head’), or with the head of the church. The implicit message embedded in these hierarchies is that the head should rule. That message remains acceptable to us only because it expresses, even as it further consolidates, our relationship with ourselves."
– Philip Shepherd, "The Embodiment Manifesto"

“Oh, would that my mind could let fall its dead ideas, as the tree does its withered leaves!”
– Andre Gide

Wouldn't that be something. ;) And now...

New Live Painting: "Navel Gazer"

24"x36" - oil & acrylic paint pens on canvas
Painted live at the following spacetime coordinates:
2015-10-17 Austin String Band Festival
2015-10-23 Art Outside Festival*
2015-10-28, 11-02 Studio
* to the music of Liberation Movement, GAUDI, DJ Happy Happy James World, Bonus Junk, Nightmares On Wax, Invisible Allies, & KiloWatts

My first portrait – sort of. Based originally on the legendary beauty of Renee Somerfield (@reneesomerfield), but – just like they always do – it took on a life of its own. In accordance with my tireless and inane quest for personal firsts, this is also the first black and white painting I've ever done. There's a lot of subtle detail and transparency that even I can scarcely believe was accomplished with paint markers...but hey, it's in the limitations of the medium that both adventure and discovery reveal themselves.

Check it out in more depth and detail on my art site.

Four New T-Shirt Designs
Just in Time for the Holidays

Yay, finally, I got some new art on all-over printed tees!  (Still sorting out where to get more leggings, yoga pants, etc. printed after learning that my last manufacturers weren't delivering up to my standards.  But hold on tight!  I care about helping you ornament your lower half, as well.)

Clockwise from the upper left, we have: "Pura Vida," "New Age Cleopatra," "Purple Haze," and "21st Century Romance."  Three of these are based on sketchbook pen and ink work that I took into new dimensions digitally, blending human and machine, you know, like I like to do.

Speaking of which:

My Talk from Firefly Gathering 2015,
"Human Meta-Organisms: Endosymbiosis 
& Emergent Planetary Culture"

Recorded in the Light Lab Creations Dome at Firefly Gathering 2015, here is my deepest and most complete rap yet – mashing up nondual eastern mysticism with western psychology with evolutionary biology with psychedelic transhumanism with your standard MG standup goofery.  And thanks again to David Titterington for his amazing cover art!  Some juicy nuggets from the talk:

Love does not require a relationship between separate selves in order to exist.

The self is something that the world is doing. And the self is an adaptation to a specific set of ecological circumstances. It’s not a fixed point.

To talk about this time in the life of the Earth as the human age is not anthropocentric. It’s not arrogant. It’s an act of our growing humility in recognition that we are a phenomenon of the planet’s automatic processes. That a city is something that the planet is doing.

Listen to it and let me know if it stirs up any big ideas!

Keeping The Portal Open:
MG interviews Erik Davis on the
Blurring of "Real" & "Virtual"

Erik Davis is the author of TechGnosis: Myth, Magic, & Mysticism in the Age of Information (recently reissued by North Atlantic Books with a new afterword). An investigation into how our transcendental urges play out in the realm of high technology, it is a rare treat – both an exemplary work of scholarship and also a delightful read – a florid, fun, and virtuosic play of language. Even more impressive is that in our metamorphic times, this book has aged considerably well. TechGnosis is in ways more relevant today than it was in the rosy dawn of 1998, before The Matrix and the iPhone, Facebook, and Edward Snowden. We’re living in the future. Read this book and learn the territory.

Over a glitchy Google Hangout (you can watch both parts on YouTube), Erik and I discussed our culture’s highest hopes and darkest dreams for our collective future, and how they’ve both become more complicated since the turn of the Millennium.

If you imagine browser windows as a kind of portal in between dimensions – if you wonder when the apes and whales will open social media accounts – if you believe that we can find a way to surf the turbulence of our connected century with grace and humor – then read on

Stuff You Might Have Missed

Free download of my definitive "cyberacoustic guitar" live PA set from Firefly Gathering 2015.  Improvised to a yoga class and thus well-suited for movement, but I hear the music's also good for straight-up chillout sessions, painting, writing, driving – anything where you would like to set a deep and atmospheric mood.  Download it here.


I found this cleaning out my hard drive and found it interesting and worthwhile, reflecting on how little and how much my life has changed in two short years. I’ve released more virtuosic and accomplished music since the EP we discuss here, City of Jewels – but it remains one of my favorites, and is still as free as ever on my Bandcamp page. Enjoy...

para bien de todos,