Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future: 2018

28 March 2018

Rock Out! New Art & Merch, Music for MDMA Therapy, and Robot Love

It's almost April!  Subscribe to me on Patreon before this Sunday and you're on the list to get my first psychedelic coloring book PDF when it comes out next week.  You'll also get 27 other patrons-only posts, early and exclusive episodes of Future Fossils Podcast, my uncut (deeply psychedelic) interview with Visionary Art Australia, and an increasing share of the time I used to spend on Facebook, shouting into an abyss.

If, like me, you're kind of underwater with your money right now – I still hope that I can welcome you into some awesome conversations that inspire and enlighten.  If you are still using Facebook, join the Future Fossils Facebook group – there are 1100 of us in there sharing links about the future, awesome art, amazing science, deep thoughts, and hilarious asides.  It's where I share most of the cool news that I find, these days...

Thank you so much for staying with me as we grow and change.  And now on to the show!

Rock Out!  (Fighting Rooster)
18"x24" – 2018 – paint pens on canvas

A memorial from 2018 (Year of the Earth Dog in the Chinese calendar) looking back on 2017 (Year of the Fire Rooster) and last year's massive rooster painting, this piece sums up how it feels to me like creativity and raw belligerence so often go together – passion, fire, spirit, drive – to make is to destroy what was. Sometimes you just can't tell the difference between a fight and making love...

Also available for streaming on:

Last month I played a benefit for Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) at the home of Aubrey Marcus to help raise funds for the Phase 3 FDA-approved clinical trials for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy.

These new clinical protocols are the most successful PTSD intervention known to science, more than four times as effective as antidepressants, and they don't require a lifetime of medication. These are CURES, not treatments.  And in our anxious age of overstimulation and emotional bombardment, this is more necessary than it's ever been.

I'm honored to have music in the therapeutic playlists for these trials, thanks to the endorsement of my friend and MAPS clinician Saj Razvi.  I'm also working on MAPS to release these playlists to the public. But for now, here is an half-hour excerpt from the instrumental set I played last month...

Enjoy, and let me know if any of this makes it into your own therapeutic playlists!

This week’s guest is independent culture critic John David Ebert – mythologist, philosopher, art historian, and author of twenty-six books.  We talk about the rich mythological references of Blade Runner 2049 in light of the larger – and very urgent – matter of mechanizing human reproduction and the (actually rather ancient) male quest to appropriate the mysteries of the goddess…

This week we chat with the philosopher and sociologist John Danaher about the book Robot Sex: Social & Ethical Implications, a fascinating collection of academic articles on our sexbot future he just co-edited with Neil McArthur. Chances are good you’ve seen the “Don’t Date Robots!” public service announcement from the cartoon Futurama, and probably Björk’s “All Is Full of Love” music video. Maybe you’ve seen Heror Ex Machina or Spielberg’s AI. And let’s not forget the Femmebots in Austin Powers. But does any of this media, for or against, paint a realistic portrait of the impact of machines on human intimacy?

That's 50% OR MORE off any of the pieces you see here.  I'm taking an indefinite hiatus from live painting, so the picking's only getting slimmer...but I'm happy to take far less than the asking price if something speaks to you.  Check out the pieces I have left here, then just send an email with an offer, and I'll let you know within a day.

And last, here are a couple things I'm doing soon that you might like to know about:

Thanks again for reading and have a most blessed couple weeks!

“I think it is misplaced to argue for doing fundamental research just because of its technological spinoffs. Our current standard of living vitally depends on the curiosity-driven research that was done a generation or two before…the most important things that we know fifty years from now will be things we have no idea about right now.” 
– Lawrence Krauss

13 March 2018

Arkansas & Iceland • Psychedelic Komodo Dragon • Dippin Dots Singularity • New Instrumental Works for Guitar • Four Awesome Future Fossils Episodes

Greetings, friends!  I hope this update finds you well...

Before we get into it, I just want to let you know this weekend's romp at Cosmic Flux in Arkansas is going to be my last live painting gig for quite some time.  

Live art has been awesomely inspiring, adventurous, and brought me friendships that will last a lifetime...but it's not sustainable.  Time and experience invested do not translate into job security or better pay, and the systems aren't in place to support painters without regular collectors.  Ten years is long enough to know I'm not going to get a raise, and that I could be serving better in some other way.  

Not going to give up art entirely – just going to sink my roots in deeper, travel less, get more done, and align to the most valuable work I can be doing.  

Right now that is Future Fossils Podcast (huge thanks to all 101 of you supporting me on Patreon!); my work as resident philosopher for the Crypto Crew cryptocurrency web learning community; writing How To Live in the Future; and finally delivering that studio LP of psych-futurist acoustic-electronic love-songs I've been promising for years.

But in the meantime, see you in Arkansas this weekend!

I'm also totally excited to attend this seminar in Iceland with my graduate advisor, integralist Sean Esbjörn-Hargens, where I'll learn how to expand our ideas of "capital" and "impact" to perform magical and meaningful tweaks to organizations and their cultures.  

Tuning companies and governments to the accelerating transformations of our century feels like The Good Work and I'm honored that I have this chance to forge ahead and bring back vital insights to you from this seminar:

The overall mood this spring is "immense transition" – and hopefully I can inspire you by letting go of some of who I used to be to make more room for who I can be.  As always, I'm committed to a constant process of growth, learning, and discovery so I can bring it back to you...

I'm selling a handful of paintings at unprecedented discounts to afford this trip.  If you've wanted a piece from me but didn't think you had the funds, let's pleasantly surprise each other!  Drop me a line and I'll send you a list of what I still have.

That's all for now.  I love you.  Thank you and may all your work this week go smoothly...


"Living Fossil"
2018 • acrylic/canvas • 40"x30"
(Available – make me an offer! I'm raising money for to participate in this.)

Around this time last year I painted a giant rooster in the southern hemisphere to commemorate the "year of the fire rooster". I feel like I don't really control what comes through when - because I had it in my mind that I was going to paint a monitor lizard when I got to Australia and that so did not happen. So last summer, visiting my painter friends in Colorado, I thought I would double back and catch up with that lizard...and then I hated the painting I'd started and left it in the garage for 6 months.

Never one to simply walk away from something, though, I figured I might shine some love on this one at the Llano Earth Art Festival, an awesome little yearly gathering in Central Texas. It's gone on for the last 4 years but this year I got to invite four other painter friends to join the team. Live art is a team sport. Their warmth and friendship made it easier for me to love this piece again.

Shortly after I had the thought that a Komodo dragon, while not technically an Australian animal, is sort of like "the dog of lizards' and therefore may be appropriate as a "year of the earth dog" painting, someone came up to me and said it looked like a dog. So: vindicated.

Thanks to every one of my artist friends whose friendship made it into this lizard: Randal Roberts, Morgan Manley, Andrew Thompson, Martin Cash, Will Ross, Chance Roberts, Elliot Rogers, Dixon Stovall, y'all alright. :)

"Crystalline Rows (aka Dippin Dot Singularity)"
2018 • acrylic/canvas • 18"x24"
(Available – make me an offer! I'm raising money for to participate in this.)

Fact: In the future, ice cream will be revolutionized by the handicraft of mad inventor Charles Dippin, whose nanotechnological breakthrough will enable us to miniaturize ice cream scoops to the size of tiny "dots." These "Dippin Dots" then self organize into a quasicrystalline fluid lattice that adapts and learns by shifting frozen nodule matrices. This painting is a photorealistic depiction of the last image taken by the security camera at the lab desk of Charles Dippin on September 22nd, 2049 - the moment just before the core mass of streaming, undulating, flowing-but-faceted "Dots" all disappeared in a white flash, presumably into the past and who knows what fate...

The dots were organizing along invisible manifolds of influence, gathering at nodes and junctures of a gauzy floral sculpture that sang as it flowed together and apart, harmonics of the network chatter and evolving anatomy of a billion streaming balls of cream-based computronium. Dippin knew his work was then complete, and he surrendered his flesh into the vanilla-and-chocolate goo to be reborn as a submodule of the new metamorphic god-mind as it grew - so long as the time travel didn't damage its internal architecture somehow, so long as its impulses wouldn't be scrambled in the risky transit, rendering the baby god just senseless, mindless ice cream on the other side of time...

Garden Underground: Live at SquareRüt Kava Bar, 13 Jan 2018

My friend and frequent collaborator Will Ross called this the best set he's ever heard me play.  It's definitely chill and spacious, atmospheric and emotional, just how I like them.

I've been exploring the acoustic guitar as an electronic instrument for ten years...this is some of what's grown out of that.  (Some other fan favorite releases are here, here, here, and here.)

Patreon and Bandcamp subscribers get it free.  Everyone else can have it for the price of a latte.

13 February 2018

3 New Paintings + 8 Yoga Mats + 7 Awesome Conversations

Thank you for opening this!  Art is a way for me to organize my life to best receive my deep intelligence and guidance and then share it with the world...so this dumb little newsletter that I've been keeping since 2009 is like an altar where I place my prayers for world peace and the ongoing evolution of our loving cosmos.  As Alex Grey adapted from the Mahayana Buddhists, "May the merit generated by this act benefit all sentient beings."

You know where to find me if you'd like to pass a message through the grate.


PS – I'm opening for Random Rab in Austin on March 30th.  Hope you can make it!

New Paintings

(I now offer discounts or free prints, as well as extensive backstories for every new painting, to Patreon supporters.  Here's the link if you'd like to learn more.)

"Dying To Know"
collaboration with Elliot Rogers & William Allan Ross
2017 • 36"x48" • acrylic paint on gallery-wrapped canvas

"Going Home"
2018 • 24"x36" • acrylic paint on gallery-wrapped canvas
painted live at Gem & Jam Festival 2018 (Tucson, AZ)
to the music of Earthcry (onstage), Emancipator, Big Wild, & STS9 (2x)

"Rainbow Worm"
2017 • 20"x20" • acrylic and oil paint on canvas

New Conversations

At last week's Body Hacking Conference, I joined somatic therapist Saj Razvi for a group discussion on MDMA-assisted and psychedelic psychotherapies, drawing on his successful clinical work with MAPS and the FDA to reschedule MDMA as a legal treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  We had an awesome chat about the protocols used in this study, the miraculous successes that they've seen with this new mode of healing, and why it is time for our society to make these medicines available to all of us.  Read more and download the audio recording here.

For fellow nerds:  I've posted THREE new conversations about Blade Runner 2049 and the future of humanity with acclaimed film scholars John David Ebert, Barry Vacker, and JF Martel.  These will eventually be made available to everyone as Future Fossils Podcast episodes, but for now you can find them all on Patreon for $5.  

We go deep on ancient myths and symbolism in the films, on whether love can make an android "real," on whether this film helps or hurts our cultural imagination of the future, and a lot more.  It has been an honor to sit down with these three thinkers and I know that any sci-fi fan will dig these...

One of my favorite comedians, Shane Mauss, explains how we went so deep with psychedelics that he had to check himself into a mental ward.  We talk about time travel, God discovering humanity,  and more.  One of the funniest and weirdest episodes of Future Fossils yet!

My old friend and badass truth warrior gonzo journalist Charles Shaw maps out the trauma engine that is modern civilization – and why it's so important that we fight for the right to heal ourselves.

This is the first of THREE HOURS of the show with Charles – if you would like to hear the rest of it before it's published, it's available to Patreon supporters at all levels here.

Easily in the top five sharpest people I have ever met, my graduate advisor and meta-disciplinary wizard Sean Esbjörn-Hargens talks about how to train multiple perspectives on the natural world as well as economics and the development of human organizations.  If that sounds dry, prepare to be surprised by one of the most psychoactive knowledge paradigms you've ever met...

New Yoga Mats & More

I finally have yoga mats for eight of my paintings (one of which is not shown here), with more to come soon!  This is now the cheapest way to get high-quality, large reproductions of my work – larger and less costly than the giclée canvas prints – good enough to hang on walls but durable enough to take whatever you can throw at them while kicking ass in yoga class.

Grab yours here.  I make a rather small percentage of each sale but I'm just glad to have my art available like this.  If you get one, please send me pictures of you rocking out with your new mat and I'll respond with something small and special for you...!

This will be the new destination for all of my digital art merchandise.  More soon, but now there are already tons of items up for my most popular designs, on items you cannot get anywhere else.

I have more than 16 hours of my music available for your enjoyment up on Spotify...and nearly five times as much music, spanning more than ten years' of recordings, up on Bandcamp.  It's all available for anything you care to spare, because my music is a gift and I would like for it to stay that way.  

(You can, of course, subscribe:  Bandcamp subscribers also get all of the audio that I release in any format you desire, including many many private press releases, and some heavy discounts on my paper prints, and public cred for being part of my small crew of badass fans.)

Select Upcoming Events

Here are some of the things I'm most excited about this spring.  For my full schedule, visit my webpage – and if you want me in your neighborhood this year, give me a shout!

“True solitude is found in the wild places, where one is without human obligation. One’s inner voices become audible… In consequence, one responds more clearly to other lives.

23 January 2018

New Music + Yoga Mats + Digital Art Time-Lapse + Future Fossils Episodes

Hello friends!  I've got a lot to share this time so I will keep the introduction brief.  

Before I shower you with new creations, let me recommend this episode (304) of the Mixed Mental Arts Podcast – in which we chat about the silver lining of epochal change and how we're going to organize our knowledge into wisdom in the years to come.

I had their host Hunter Maats on Future Fossils Podcast last year and we hit it off.  My episode on his show is some of the best two hours of conversation I've had in a while.

At any rate – I hope all's well with you, and shine my love like sunlight to you through that void across the screen.  Say hi if we haven't spoken in a while!  I'd love to hear from you and how it's going.  


New Music

Hi-Fi Downloads at BandcampPatreon
Streaming at SpotifyApple Music

I just put out one of my favorite sets of all time and invite you into its gritty, luminous realms...

Recorded live at 3 AM at the Tenth Annual Utopiafest's Guan Yin Tea House tipi, this renegade set was made possible by my friend's questionable Chinese mobile PA system.  (I found out later everyone could hear me play outside the tipi as they walked by, which provided a surreal soundtrack to the nearby silent disco.)

This downtempo quadrupedal trip from the cockpit of my acoustic-electronic starship is a celebration of the sacred hours and an invocation of the magic of a place and time, drawn down into the cozy weirdness of a psychedelic Sunday decompression on a gorgeous autumn evening...

(Cover art by my friend, the amazing Todd Norman Guess.)

New Digital Painting & Time-Lapse

Watch in HD at YouTube or Vimeo

Like with almost everything in life, fate dragged my lazy and protesting ass into the digital painting world eventually.  And lo!  It's wonderful.  I'm still just learning basic skills in Procreate for iPad, but here's an early piece adapting my technique to tablet stylings.  

Because the app will automatically time-lapse whatever you do in it, I can guarantee you you'll see more of these here, soon...

And because it's 2018, you can buy this piece on damn near anything:

 Art Yoga Mats Are Here!

I can't tell you how long I've been waiting for this.  Hop on over to Live Sankalpa and grab one!  
(I mulled this over for a while before deciding on this company.  They're serious about their quality; these are some awesome yoga mats.)

All Prints Permanently Cheaper

Exactly what it sounds like.  I used to sell my prints for $15 each and then it felt like time to give myself a raise...but nobody else in my generation got a raise, because of the recession.  If I had a dollar for every time someone told me they wished they could afford my art, I'd be a rich man. 

I want my art to be there for you no matter what you make, so I've returned the prices on my paper prints to what they were back in 2008, when I was truly awful but it didn't matter.

Also I've dropped prices on ALL canvas prints and ALL original paintings.  
Merry belated/early Christmas.

New Future Fossils Episodes

If you haven't listened to my podcast yet, now is a great time to dig in.  I have the next 12 weeks' of episodes recorded and post-dated and from here it seems the show just keeps improving on its mission to inspire great conversations on our place in the Big Story...

(Also, I am looking for new sponsors for the show.  Can you recommend someone who believes in the importance of the podcast as a medium for doing Good Work in the world, and wants to put their money where my mouth is?)

Upcoming Fun Stuff

Returning for my fifth year since 2009 to paint, speak about futures, and play cyberguitar.

Moderating a Sunday panel discussion on psychedelic therapy and consciousness hacking.

Playing cyberguitar, painting, and giving a talk at my friends' award-winning mini-festival.

01 January 2018

We Begin 2018 with 1 Huge Collab + 14 Tiny Paintings + 3 Podcasts + 7 Digital Time-Lapses + 1 New Crypto Newsletter

Happy New Year, everyone!  I hope your 2017 wrapped up with beauty, warmth, and generosity, and that your 2018 launched with peace and inspiration.

Updates For People Who Like To Read

I've spent the last month going hard on mostly-secret upgrades, just grinding on a bunch of overdue developments – including daily painting, learning how to paint digitally on a tablet, teaching myself to use a laser cutter, taping awesome conversations for Future Fossils Podcast, and immersing myself in the flood of news on distributed ledger technology (including Bitcoin and over 1000 other projects) and its potential to transform society.  

Now that we're watching evolution in real-time as it transforms society, it feels like time to put my evolutionary insights into practice and help make some sense of where we're headed.  Mapmaking's an art, and art has always felt like mapmaking to me.  (I hope the maps I make and share with you are useful and empowering!  What else would you like mapped?)

I'm also tinkering away at my first studio recordings in too long...the first new tunes will be on Patreon and Bandcamp before you know it.

So!  Some quick links – and then tons of new art and recommended listening:

ALL Poster Prints & Original Paintings PERMANENTLY Discounted

From now on, all of my 11"x17" posters are $15 instead of $20.  I've also permanently lowered prices on all original work.  I'm doing well enough and know that my art could be more affordable and easier to share.  I hope this helps you out!  Browse years of paintings here.

Crypto Reader Weekly Emails

Starting a weekly new email list to share digests of the most interesting links I find on cryptocurrencies and the future of a planetary digital society powered by distributed ledgers and other decentralized technologies.  Sign up here if that sounds interesting to you!

Coloring Book Pages & Digital Painting Time-Lapses

Posting numerous new time-lapse videos of my experiments in iPad's Procreate art app on Instagram.  Watch me discover a new way to render hyperspace!

New Paintings!
Codex/Gnosis (or, The Magic of Reading)
36"x48" – oil and acrylic paint on gallery-wrapped canvas

Just polished off this new collab with Elliot RogersWilliam Allan Ross, two of the coolest dudes I know in Austin.  This piece has been an epic journey, and to our surprise and wonder was given props on social media by Raja Ram of Shpongle AND the Dead & Company tour page.  

(We'll have canvas prints soon, signed and numbered in a couple different sizes.  Let me know if you would like me to send details on that, when they're ready.)

Check out my feed on Instagram for plenty of close-ups and shots of it in progress...

Here are a bunch of tiny paintings that I made – the first six 9"x12"s, the last eight 8"x10"s.  I plan to make a ton of these if you would like to order one ($120, s/h included).  Some of these are still available; some have already found new homes as gifts.  Click any of them for a closer look:


New Podcast Episodes!

This week I sit down with Jennifer Sodini (EvolveAndAscend.com) and Michael Phillip (Third Eye Drops Podcast) to cut through the technical jargon and discuss the economic, cultural, and even spiritual implications of blockchain technology.

Everything we took for granted is about to change…beyond Bitcoin and quick riches, there’s a new planetary culture based on the scalability of trust. This podcast explores what that means for you – and why so many of your friends think that this new evolution of digital money and contracts is one of the most important events of our lives.

This week – in a brazen display of anachronism – original Future Fossils cohost, electronic music producer, and sci fi aficionado Evan Snyder and I go deep on what we liked and disliked about Alien: Covenant, and speculate on how this film fits into the still-murky larger mythos of Ridley Scott’s expanded Alien universe. We get into atheist Scott’s weird fixation with the Bible; how the Alien films represent and handle philosophical questions about the relationship between humanity and technology; and why people from the science-fictional future ARE SO DAMN STUPID.

This week’s guest is my friend from college, painter David Titterington. He introduced me to Buddhism AND Gender Studies; paints extraordinary, sometimes-macabre landscapes you might call “trans-realist”; and teaches at Haskell Indian University in Lawrence, Kansas (thus has some interesting angles on the intersection of white and indigenous culture).


Parting Thoughts

“I’ve heard that the dirtiest place in a Catholic Church is the holy water, because all these people are putting their hands in it. The new paradigm is that bacteria’s good and that strong immune systems are built by eating dirt. And maybe, the people that went to church survive, not because they’re in touch with some deity that’s protecting them, but because they’re in touch with each other’s a**holes! Even if it’s a church that doesn’t use holy water, you’re still in the same small room, breathing the same air, sharing bacteria that way.”