Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future: 2017

24 November 2017

Mermaids, Kittens, Cyberpunk Guitar, The Black Madonna

“All things are inherently pure and it’s more like our projection onto that that is less than pure.  The Christ saw the Magdalene in her essential purity."
– Jake Kobrin on Future Fossils Podcast

Happy holidays everyone!  This is a stressful time of year, but also rich with opportunity for spiritual growth and lovingkindness.  May your days be full of light and nights be full of loving...

Here is my latest work, of which I'm very proud.  I hope it makes your life a little sweeter, smarter, more inspired and optimistic.  Enjoy and have a lovely week!


:: Compulsory Holiday Discount Announcement ::

I'm doing some fairly epic discounts for your holiday shopping this year.

Through 11/29 you can take 40% off all of my prints, pins, and stickers by using this link or using coupon code "GIFTING" in checkout.  

And until I decide otherwise, you can take 20% off your ENTIRE order by using this link or using coupon code "MEOWMEOW" at checkout.

I'll honor similar discounts for my original paintings – and even more (60% or more) for trades in cryptocurrency.  I cannot overstate how empowering the boom of interest in cryptoassets has been for me and my fellow artists and I'll be exploring the social implications of Bitcoin, Ethereum, IOTA, and others in the weeks and months to come.  Email me back if you're intrigued.

New Paintings!
Daughter of Neptune
(48"x24" - acrylic and oil paint on canvas)

Painted live at Convergence at Arcosanti (check out their promo trailer with my music here) and the grand opening of Austin's new visionary art mecca, Gallery Lucid.

Read the story of this piece and check out fine art reproductions here.

Cats on the Brain 
(16"x20" - acrylic and oil paint on canvas)

Painted at home as a commissioned pet portrait for my friend, voice actor Elizabeth Maxwell.

Read more about this piece and check out fine art reproductions here.

New Music!

Produced in the collision of guitar and electronics, these compositions (including three brand new pieces and one re-imagination) form a soundtrack for our anxious age of forcibly transparent lives online – a dark-bright hour of atmospheres for our drone-shadowed landscapes and spook-haunted social media existences – a heralding of something more beyond the paranoia, some new self and sense emerging...

Stream or buy Life in the Glass Age on Bandcamp and 50% of the profit supports the Electronic Frontier Foundation.  Patreon supporters at the $5 level get this album (and ALL of my new music) for free – you can dive in here.

(And you can see the promo trailer for P3M5's production at The Vortex in Austin here.)

New Podcast Episodes!

This week’s guest is my friend Lindsay Loftin, a professional mermaid who uses her performances to raise awareness of marine conservation issues.  She also boasts 60 pushups in two minutes and the ability to transform phone-addicted schoolchildren into avid gardeners. Listen here.

This week’s guest is visionary artist Jake Kobrin, whose digital paintings explore a gorgeous, dark, evocative terrain of non-ordinary human experience and twist religious iconography into a metamorphic form well-suited to our psychedelic modern era.

We discuss his painting “Black Madonna” and the return and healing of the repressed feminine – not just women, but the body, the psychological shadow, marginalized peoples, death, and transformation…  Listen here.

Oh!  And I appeared on my friend Matt Belair's podcast, Mind & Spirit.  We talk about fractal time, futurism, and adapting to accelerated change.  Enjoy!

30 October 2017

Happy Halloween! | Playing at Arcosanti | Alien Queen & Cello | Velociraptor & Embellishments | Magenta Ceiba on FF

“Abandon all hope of fruition but do not fail to strive.”
– Willow Pearson

Happy Halloween, everyone!  Not a lot to report just yet – except next month's gig at Arcosanti, the oasis of visionary architecture just north of Phoenix – but big things (new music, science fiction, essays, coloring book pages, and more) on the way.  For now, here is some bite-sized news.  It is my honor to do my part in the Great Work of using art to make this world a better place.  

Enjoy, and thanks for reading!


New Paintings
"Queen of Swords"
24"x48" – oil, acrylic, and aerosol paint on masonite

"Velociraptor & Embellishments"
2017 – acrylic and oil paint on two 18"x9" canvases

Magenta Ceiba on Future Fossils Podcast

This week’s guest is master community builder, singer, and human spirit animal Magenta Ceiba of the Bloom Network.  We discuss a sweeping suite of topics, such as the adoption of regenerative culture practices, cultivating planetwide resiliency, communicating across HUGE political gaps, and the perennial question:  "How can we be good ancestors?"

Upcoming Appearances

2 November – Austin, TX – Vortex Repository Theater
Original Music & Sound Design for P3M5: Plurality of Privacy Project in 5-Minute Plays

3 November – Austin, TX – Guan Yin Tea House
Cyberacoustic Guitar Instrumental Tea Set

10 - 11 November – Mayer, AZ – Arcosanti Convergence
Cyberacoustic Guitar + Live Painting
You Might Have Missed

12 October 2017

The Evolution of Time (My Talk From Oregon Eclipse) // MG + Singularity Bros // Future Fossils Galore // Apocalyptic Painting Sale

“I’m just some squawking monkey standing on a wooden box. I’m not going to pretend I have a handle on the situation.”
Tony Vigorito 
(Happy Birthday, Tony!)

The Evolution of Time: Biology, Mythology, and Consciousness
- My talk from Oregon Eclipse -

Hey friends! As I settle in for a season of writing and patient, introspective work – and grapple with travel withdrawal - I'm looking forward to unpacking several of this year's best live recordings for you.

This one from the Global Eclipse Gathering in Big Summit Prairie, Oregon was for the biggest audience I've ever had. I feel like everybody's awesome energy gave me some extra focus and enthusiasm for a very all-encompassing riff, on how we can navigate time as a landscape, using our attention...

I mention plenty of this year's pet topics: flowers as a planet-wide catastrophe; how everything's a remix (and has always been a remix); how mastery is not enough and we can set our sights beyond, on transformation.

But some really marvelous NEW stuff came up in this one, also – just a testament to how inspiring it can be to share some space-time with you, up there, and how I'm convinced original ideas emerge through GROUPS of people (even if one person does most of the talking).

Anyway, here is the whole thing in a 360º video playlist I shot from stage, or the unedited audio from that video for listening while operating heavy machinery or performing surgery or what-have-you.

If you get something out of this talk, share it with a friend!  I'd love to help as many people as I can with navigating these insane-o rushing waters in between one age and the next...

- Apocalyptic Painting Sale -

Speaking of transitioning from one age to the next:

I'm selling all of my original artwork! It's time for me to write my debut book on evolution and psychedelic futurism, "How To Live In The Future" – and to do that I need to take a long break from painting and hustling my art.

(Not a FOREVER break...I'm still taking commissions for new work, I just won't be painting live at shows for some time.)

Here are some of the paintings still available – head over to this page for a complete list and ignore the listed prices!  Discounts of 50% are totally fair game and I'll be willing to consider more. We can set up monthly payments if you like, and I'll still ship the piece to you before it's fully paid.

I also accept cryptocurrency payments, if that's your thing.  Thanks for taking the time to check out my work and I hope your next adventure is a good one!

- New Podcast Episodes -

Future Fossils is on a roll right now!  Starting with a special two-part interview with one of my greatest inspirations, the historian and mythographer William Irwin Thompson – and then moving on to explore the relationship of time, art, and the body with tattoo artist Christopher Sheehan – and then indulging in an electric dialogue with astrologer Adam Sommer about the dance of Mars and Venus, masculine and feminine, iron and copper, over history and through our lives...

Subscribe on iTunes (iOS) or Stitcher or Google Play (Android)

I also recently appeared on The Singularity Bros Podcast, which I assure you is as cheekily self-aware and wonderful as the name might have you think.  We talked about how technology is empowering us all to become superheroes – OR supervillains – and what it's going to take from each of us to level up responsibly and enter this intense new world with grace, humility, and love.

That means a frank discussion about the dark side of decentralization, the critiques of Universal Basic Income, and other, sillier topics glimmering on the horizon of "the Broosphere" (yes, we went there.)

- Stuff You Might Have Missed -

This “masterclass” I taught at Moogfest 2016 covers my occult philosophy of loop-based music, walks listeners through the construction of layered live compositions, and drills into some tech specifics for performance.  Dig it here.

Something magical occurred that night. A portal opened. Call it what you will. All this music's just an overture to what came next. We never saw it coming. Now it's all that I can do to not grab onto what remains of that extraordinary mystery...

Unfold into the atmospheric grooves on Bandcamp or Spotify.


Cosmic Americana & Cyberballadry Singer-Songwriter Set
Free All Ages Show

Original Music & Sound Design for P3M5:
Plurality of Privacy Project in 5-Minute Plays

Cyberacoustic Guitar Instrumental Set
2 1/2 hours of live music for Gong Fu Tea Service

21 September 2017

Breaking The Narrative Barrier // Applied Technoshamanism // Keyhistoric Life // Apocalyptic Art Sale

“Human culture has broken the narrative barrier as change driven by technological transformation creates conditions that change faster than our ability to narrate them. There is an essential mismatch between our stories about the world and the world, the ideas we have of ourselves and ourselves – this mismatch is now unavoidable. Good News: This evolutionary shift will be easy to survive and flourish through. Quite simply, we must cease depending upon something that isn’t there: a coherent narrative that stitches together our social world.”

Hi friends.  :)  It's been a crazy summer, full of revelations and initiations, difficult as hell, and dotted with surprise reprieves and glorious fulfillments.  Hopefully it's been as powerfully good for you as it has been for me...I think...shit's still in motion.  Hard to say for sure.  Uncertainty's the lesson, maybe.

Anyway, I'm sure about SOME things – foremost among them that I am "supposed to" help relieve our species of narrative and share techniques I've learned to play more fully in the magical rotating gem of all perspectives.  To navigate time-as-a-landscape with attention poured into the outcomes we agree we want.  To ease the pain of everybody growing up too fast at once.

And urgency abounds: we're in the process of transforming evolution, from a thing we didn't even know we do, to a technology we'll use to totally reshape the planet.  Kind of a big deal.  It's time for all of us to level up as wizards, witches, or whatever so we're IN IT and engaged with, not resistant to, a world in which ideas become shared (virtual) realities more rapidly than ever.  We must rise to the occasion so that we don't accidentally create more monsters than we absolutely must.  We must raise whatever comes next right.


I'm writing a collection of short pieces (some of which are here on Medium) that ties science fiction and creative non-fiction together, then sets them on fire with mystic poetry.  I'm selling all the paintings that I've kept around to fund the writing of this book.  It's time.  It's going to TAKE time – time that I will take away from travel and commissions, limiting what little "flow" I've surfed on for the last few years.

If you would like a 50% discount on my art, it's yours.  Here is the link to all of my available originals.  Here is the event page with more info.


(And since of course we're mostly skating by, perhaps the sacred economics of our mutualist gifting might appeal to you more, anyway.  That's why I use Patreon: for people who GET what I'm trying to say on everyone's behalf, and want to help me weave more people into it, ground and expand it, make it relevant and real.)

So anyway.  I love you.  Thank you.  Here are things.

This masterclass I taught at Moogfest 2016 covers my occult philosophy of loop-based music and drills into my tech specifics for performance. Drawing from twelve years of looping at festivals and concerts worldwide, there's plenty here to fascinate you – whether you're a looping artist or just interested in the intersection between the esoteric and technology.

FREE to my silver-level Patreon supporters or available for a one-time donation of $5 (which also grants you access to extensive archives of my music).

Also included in the download is a transcript of my full pedalboard teardown and looping process.  As Reggie Watts said, "Don't 'tech-no' from a shaman for an answer..."

Topics covered include:
• How to be your own whole "Citadel of Ricks"
• Recursion, reiteration, and live looping as the Crucifixion of what is and what could be
• The emergence of order from chaos – inviting randomness into the matrix
• An alchemy of elemental energies in improvised live composition
• Technical considerations and gear suggestions
• Hacking the audience’s attention
• Multichannel live production as the blending of different sonic spaces
• Pedalboard vs. Ableton Live for Looping - opinions

For more direct and personal instruction, I’m available for private lessons over Skype – just write me if you’re interested!

New Future Fossils Episodes!

Hunter Maats – host of the Mixed Mental Arts Podcast and co-author of The Straight-A Conspiracy. We talk about the future of education and human collaboration – moving past a world of routine factory-worker indoctrination and the “insane cargo cult” of the academic system, and into a new model for the transmission of knowledge that suits a truly planetary culture.

Andrew J. O’Keefe II – documentarian, archivist for Singularity University, devoted recordist of the emergent planetary culture, and a dear old friend I met back in the Dawn of Time when he was working as the personal assistant to Android Jones. We talk about the motivations for preserving and reliving the significant (AND insignificant) moments of our lives.

Hannah Yata – visionary painter whose riotous, ecstatic work explores and celebrates natural biodiversity, and exalts the repressed feminine – the beautiful and the grotesque, death and life in vivid color all at once.

Sketchbook:  "Keyhistoric Life"

Just for fun.  This is how my brain works.  Get a better look on Instagram.

Coming Up: UTOPiAfest!

I'm playing the festival's first-ever sunrise set (and last ever at Four Sisters Ranch, where it has been held for the last nine years).  Come if you're in Texas – I hear that it's the best-in-class!

Just a reminder that I have a ton of work on Spotify for all your playlist pleasures – and also on Bandcamp for free download (or paid, if you are feeling frisky).  Go listen to it now and reap the sweetness!

"Yes, this planet is a terrible mess. But it has always been a mess. 
 There have never been any 'Good Old Days,' there have just been days."
– Kurt Vonnegut

15 August 2017

New Art & Conversations From The Road To The Eclipse & Burning Man

Hey friends!  I'm on the road to the Global Eclipse Gathering in Oregon this week, then Burning Man, to speak and play music at both events – so I'm keeping this short and sweet.  If you'll be at either of those, check my full performance schedule here and come say hi!  I have both hugs and stickers for you.  :)

And now onto some fun things:

News & Interviews

I just gave an exclusive interview about my music, art, life, mission, work, etc. to Keyframe Entertainment on Reality Sandwich.  It's a solid piece, especially if you're new to my work:

"...perhaps the world’s only paleontologist-futurist, a psychedelic poet-artist whose work in every medium communicates a vision of emergent planetary renaissance, and celebrates the curiosity and play required of us if we are to make it through this age of transformation."

And a very different, short-form podcast interview on Austin's WizWarp Artist Spotlight about the intersection of my songwriting and my motivation for creating an archive of vital conversations with Future Fossils Podcast.

Those of you who like some meat on the bones of their conversations will dig my second guest appearance on Cory Allen's The Astral Hustle Podcast, in which we discuss how meditation's only growing more relevant as we walk half-blind into a world of AI-assisted forgeries and automated economies.  Cory's smart as hell, hilarious, and full of liberating insights.  Highly recommended.

Lastly, two art projects deserving of attention:

I donated 20 prints of my frog painting, Zabka, to help fund the conservation of the Sonoran River Toad, threatened by overharvesting for its potent toxins, which contain the so-called "God Molecule" 5-MeO DMT.  A beautiful and sacred creature.  Help out if you can at the Terra Incognita Project.

And my work will be joining the art of dozens of other visionary painters from around the world in a massive group show this winter, Seeds of the Anaconda in Sierra Nevada, Colombia.  It's a celebration of the prophesied reunion of the five indigenous tribes of the Sierra, and a gathering in the name and spirit of global peace and unity.  Learn more about it here.

New Paintings
"Space Pastry"
18"x24" – available
painted live at Cherry Cola Dog (Austin) & at home

"Martian Arts"
collaboration with William Allan Ross
16"x20" – taken
painted live by Will during my set at Martian Arts Festival & finished at home by me

FOUR New Future Fossils Episodes

Newly Exhumed Short Writing

Pieces from my old gig as the editor of Globalish – where we investigated timeless spiritual themes as they arise in modern culture – these pieces have been unavailable to anyone for two years, until recently republished on my Steemit profile.  

See You Out There...

Parting Thoughts...

"If there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us it’s that life will not be contained. Life breaks free, it expands to new territories and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously, but, uh…well, there it is. Life finds a way."
– Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park

Saddhu: “Master, I can walk across the water.”
Buddha: “But the ferry’s only a nickel!”

28 July 2017

Dispatch from A One-Man Singularity / Entirely Too Many Pretty Things

Hey friends!  Quick Note:  

I know most of you signed on for art, but chances are that means you're smart and curious and have one eye and ear turned toward the transcendental – and lately, it feels like my art is mostly here to get you to stay still for long enough so we can have a deeper exchange.

I know that we're all overwhelmed and it's impossible for us to catch up on it all, but hopefully the work I do beyond the easel can inspire you in the moments when you're driving, working, listening to podcasts, looking for new things to read...the new podcasts and live solo acoustic sets I published this month are better than anything I was making a few years ago and I hope that they creep into whatever part of your life is lame right now and improve it for you suddenly and radically. 

Last thing:  I'm writing science fiction now.  Here is a preview of the piece I'm working on: a dispatch from the world in which AI has made it hard to tell what's real, and what's a forgery.  I made this sample audio recording in part as the first of a series of micro-casts as this story writes itself, and in part as an audition to be an Audible audiobook reader.  (Maybe I'm trolling Audible by sending them sci-fi about the day in which we can't be sure of anything we hear...?)

And now, the new stuff!  Consider supporting me on Patreon if you appreciate these emails – I'll be putting out more special work exclusive to subscribers, soon.  I love you and I'm grateful for you always!


Music Video for "VALIS" with Dance Artist Donna Zakura

Here's my first music video since dinosaurs, featuring amazing dancer Donna Zakura and her equally amazing videographer Anthony Dempsey.  They weren't the only great discoveries I made while in Australia last (Southern) summer – here for you are new recordings of my talks & singer-songwriter performances at Mycelium Studios in Melbourne and Backyard Network in Sydney.  The storyteller/fireside chat format was a delightful change of pace and drew new insights and stories out of me – plus, you get to hear some new songs.  :)

"My Dark Companion"
48"x30" – acrylic & oil paint pen on canvas

Labradorite peacock demiurge unfolding limbs in interstellar darkness, iridescent living music stirring from its slumber, wave on wave of scintillating eyeless self-awareness, blossoming serrated rainbows spooling out from glistening wet froth of possibility, potential into actual, a lucid dream that eats your waking life...

Original piece painted with oil and acrylic paint on canvas – begun at Llano Earth Arts Fest (Llano, Texas) on 11 March 2017, continued at Euphoria Fest (Austin, Texas) in April 2017, and completed over countless late nights in the studio through 18 July 2017.

My most successful instagram post ever and, perhaps for the same reason, maybe the most time-intensive painting I have ever made.  Dedicated to Ali McGhee.

"Beija Flor III"
18"x24" – oil and acrylic paint on canvas

Beija Flor (Portuguese for "flower kisser") visits some San Pedro cacti on a flight through the imagination. The hummingbird brings joy and love...but it's also a fiercely territorial relative of the Velociraptor!  Never Forget.

Australia Tour Live Recordings Now Online!

Two of the better shows I've ever played, now yours for free or what you can afford to offer.  Each of these recordings captured a full hour-long talk and a full singer-songwriter performance in an intimate live setting with attentive audiences, and you definitely hear and feel the difference.  I am glad I finally had the time to mix these down and share them with you!  (If you're reading this on my blog instead of email, here are some preview tracks:)

New Future Fossils Podcast Episodes

Three episodes of Future Fossils with three awesome people, covering the bases of art, science, and spirituality with stories about the early days of the World Wide Web, the first life on Earth, and the future of art as a tool of political provocation.

More Writing at Steemit

Exhumed from the ruins of my old writing job and made available again for the first time in years:

Upcoming Events

28 July – Austin, TX – Cherrywood Studios
Decentralized Art Shows – Cryptocurrency Art Opening

30 July – San Marcos, TX – KIVA Bar & Lounge
Cyberguitar set with Hello Crescendo, Bull Moose & Bonnie, laissez faire cassette

1 August – Austin, TX – Sidewinder Bar
Cyberguitar set with HoneySon, AlexAlco, Mode Dodeca

17 - 23 August – Big Summit Prairie, OR – Oregon Eclipse Festival
Speaking & Playing live music for yoga (with Emelie Rose)

27 August - 4 September – Black Rock City, NV – Burning Man Festival
Speaking & Playing Cyberguitar at Palenque Norte & Burners Without Borders
Details TBA

7 September – Austin, TX – Crux Climbing Gym
Cyberguitar (Floating Islands) set with Funkotron, The Mismatch, Gasoline Boots, Skymomma, DJ Lefty

22 - 24 September – Utopia, TX – UtopiaFest
The festival's first-ever sunrise set!