Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future: December 2015

25 December 2015

New Leggings & Cases // Three New Paintings // New Unplugged Music Video // Custom Violins & Flatbills // Essays on the Microbiome, Necromancy // Another Guest Spot on the Midwest Real Podcast

"Sharing, not secrecy, is the means by which we create infinite wealth. The wealth of networks, the wealth of knowledge, revolutionary wealth - all can create a nonzero win-win Earth that works for one hundred percent of humanity."
– Robert David Steele (former CIA agent)

“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.”
– Anatole France (Nobel Prize-winning poet)

Merry Christmas, everyone!  After six months of experimentation, I've decided to make this a weekly (shorter, easier, more digestible) newsletter starting in 2016.  That way you won't be overwhelmed with an absurd abundance of new music, art, and writing (like you'll see below).  Here's to a smarter generosity, a less demanding way to stay in touch.  

That said, I hope you reap the full rewards of this last monster update.  Thank you so much for letting me give of myself to you in this way – some of you for eight years, now!  We'll keep learning and growing together.

For those of you with less time, here're highlights:  I finally have a complete on-demand merchandise store setup at Society6; I just quietly made all 71 of my musical recordings at Bandcamp entirely free (including several previously unreleased live albums); my sweetest and most poignant song so far is up on Youtube; and three new paintings showing off a more refined technique are now live at my online print store.  All of that and more, below.

I hope you have the greatest Christmas ever, and that you get laid by angels right as everyone is cheering and the clock rolls over to a New Year.  Much love and many blessings!



New Words (Writing Archive)

My second appearance on the Midwest Real Podcast, in which host Michael Phillip and I discuss the shifting nature of "reality" in the Internet Age, and I outline for the first time ever my belief that the 21st Century is best understood as a species-wide collective psychedelic experience.

My second article for the Body Hacking Conference Blog, in which I playfully undermine the idea that our bodies are computers with a visionary jaunt into the future of "hacking" the microbiological ecosystems in our guts.

My latest short blog for Reality Sandwich, in which I introduce you to the awesome artistry of my friend Void Denizen, whose work brilliantly confuses comedy, rap, and necromancy.

New Song (Music Archive)


A ballad for my friend, fellow songwriter Luke Redfield, in his style, about the silver lining to be found in getting stuck, in losing something beautiful, in having to sit still and wait for life to change:

Heard that you were unwound
know you have found your inspiration
closer to the ground
than you prefer to glide.
But all your pretty sounds
come from a place of desperation
the space between the howl
and the Moon inside...

All that open road is only a reflection
of the freedom that you know is in your mind.
Hard to go there when you know it's a projection.
So much easier to play it out...

I'm sorry about your car.
Sorry about your sweet Australian.
Glad to know that you can play guitar again.

It seems to all come down
at once, confounding explanation.
Feet and wings both bound
right when you need to fly.
But when you're not allowed
to get around, the revelations
come through clear and loud
and the soul grows wide.

All that time out turns you inward for reflection
and confinement makes a diamond in your eye.
You won't find it chasing highway for the legend
so I'm glad you had to sit one out.

I'm sorry about your car.
Sorry about your sweet Australian.
Glad to know that you can play guitar again.

The story of all your scars
deserve the songs you've earned by failing.
Glad to know that you can play guitar again.


"Diaspora"
24"x32" - oil and acrylic pens on masonite
original painting available – email me with inquiries
Buy 11"x17" signed poster prints for $20 each

Painted at:
2015-12-19 at The Gatsby (Austin, TX) to

The Lagoons, Kindaheart, Muddy Flowers, Caterwaulrus, 365colours

I used to paint one piece a night, back when I started making art at concerts. I enjoyed the looseness, dynamism, energy, and flow of pieces that I knew I had to finish then and there. But somewhere in the last few years, I started hanging out with "real" visionary painters, folks who painted all day every day and logged 150 hours in their average works. How am I supposed to look legit next to these people if I don't start putting way more work into each new live painting? So, I left the "start-and-finish-in-one-evening" pieces on the ground behind me (metaphorically).

Flash forward to this year, and I'm nostalgic for the rapid failure and success that comes with cranking out new pieces fast-as-possible. Plus, I happen to be reading some far-future, totally insane posthuman sci-fi by the great John C. Wright at the moment, and his books have a way of focusing on loooooong-term visionary space migration projects, building spherical space stations around stars, "sophotransmogrifying" all rocks and ice in a solar system into thinking matter...that kind of thing. It really tickles me in the part obsessed with what comes after our imaginary line between machines and living things has been erased once and for all: a minded, living, and responsive world where weapons have opinions, people are technology, the ships that carry us between the stars are ecosystems, more like gods than rockets, and each new invention glorifies what we call "nature" now, instead of being held against it.

Linked thematically to many earlier pieces, this one is another love song to the emptiness of space, which life would fill (indeed, it probably already has) if given any chance to do so. Think of the lusty yearning to explore the vast frontier...now lay that feeling over images of coral spawning under the Full Moon...

"Carnotaurus Wakes Up In A Very Unfamiliar Place"
36"x24" - oil and acrylic pens on canvas
original painting available – email me with inquiries
Buy 11"x17" signed poster prints for $20 each

Painted at:
2015-11-04 Empire Control Room (Austin, TX) to Hullabaloo, Detox Unit, Gaddy, and Fractālà
2015-11-07 Calavera Corazon, 2 GypsyZ Art (Kerrville, TX)
2015-11-11 Home Studio (Austin, TX)
2015-12-02 Empire Control Room to Digital Rust, Somatoast, InertG, Twips
2015-12-11 Empire Control Room to Blockhead, Botany, Bonus Junk, Lefty

The premise: is there is a "bardo" realm between lives for human beings, why not for dinosaurs? The Tibetan Book of the Dead talks about how when your body fades away at the moment of death, you are plunged into a bizarre and turbulent world of mental reactions. I can only imagine the surprise our protagonist must be feeling to discover herself in the whirling kaleidoscopic hyperspace of the after-and-before-life...

"Cosmic Giggle"
24"x24" - oil and acrylic paint pens on four canvases
original painting available – email me with inquiries

A studio painting of what I imagine God's crystalline internal organs must jiggle like when humans do our ordinary silly human things like fall in love and kill each other...

In addition to this month's live paintings, I also painted violins #003 & #004, and hats #180 and #181:



Apparently it is my lot in life to craft or reimagine magic sigils people use to shield and ornament their withered-but-recuperating pineal glands.  If you would like my help re-framing this time-honored gangsta tradition as the PC alternative to wearing indigenous head-dresses to music festivals (or the politically incorrect alternative for anyone attending a funeral), just let me know what's crying to express itself through you...



New Designs (Full Collection)

You asked, I answered: here are seven spankin' new leggings for all of your cyborg Shakti cosplay shenanigans!  Make a memorable exit in these lovely all-over printed, six panel polyester leggings, which will let you move and keep you warm and wick the sweat and turn heads.  If you order a pair, tag me in a Facebook or Instagram post about them and I'll share your picture!

But that's only one facet of the many-sided jewel that is my new Society6 design collection.  You'll also find phone cases, clocks, travel mugs, fleece blankets, t-shirts, and innumerable other made-on-demand items upon which you can blow your lottery winnings, legal settlements, and 401K.  I get 10% of what you spend.  Yay!


Upcoming Events (Full Calendar)

A few of my first major dates in 2016, with plenty more in store!  I hope to see you out there...