Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future: 2018

16 September 2018

New Digital Art & Collaborations, Festival Announcements, HUGE Guests on Future Fossils

Hey friends!  I wanted to save this one until I could update you about my biggest, most intense collaboration yet – but if I wait any longer this update won't fit into your inbox!  

So here's the quick and dirty while I still have the creative winds at my back.  You can see the new monster-in-progress, the mural from Waterloo Music Festival, here.

Quick reminder before the news stuff:  here's the updated list of all of my available paintings at their new discounted prices, and here's days of my electroacoustic guitar music for the healing of your ears and heart.  

Enjoy, be well, and stay in touch!

best
Michael

NEW PAINTINGS

Gonna start sharing more new work made on iPad with Procreate – I'm still learning the ropes with this amazing software but you can expect more and more of my work to be digital, in part because of the automatic time-lapse video feature that lets me share the entire process of every piece.  

Make sure to watch the time-lapse video for this piece, with a profound voiceover from Future Fossils Podcast guest Terry Patten...

"Wholeness Wants To Have Its Say"


Also, five new tiny canvases mark a wave of collaborations with my partner Nicole Taylor – all of these are available and very affordable, and support the best cause you can imagine (loving creation).

You can find these pieces and many others in my full gallery list for collectors here.


 

NEW PODCASTS

In addition to new episodes of Future Fossils Podcast with some of the coolest people I know (!!!) I also appeared on the warm, wise, and funny Ramin Nazer's Rainbow Brainskull podcast recently.  Here are the links to all of those:

 
 
 

FESTIVAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

After a slow festival summer, it's turning into kind of a crazy festival fall!  Here are some of the bigger and juicier events I'll be part of over the next two months – playing music, teaching workshops, and making live art:



"Hemingway once said that the most important preparation for a writer is to have led an interesting life, to have something important to tell the world. If you place yourself in situations where there is no choice but to move forward, no option but success, you create a momentum that in the end propels you to new levels of experience and engagement that would have seemed beyond reach only years before. Creativity is a consequence of action, not its motivation. Do what needs to be done and then ask whether it was possible. Orthodoxy is the enemy of invention, despair an insult to the imagination."
- Wade Davis

23 July 2018

New Digital Art, Time-Lapse Video, & Several Awesome Conversations


Hey everyone!  I'm trying to keep my updates to you shorter lately, and keep pace with the Moore's Law-like miniaturization of attention spans.  Here's your most succinct newsletter yet.  Enjoy!

• I just uploaded all of my fan-favorite musical releases for your free streaming pleasure at Choon, the new blockchain-powered music service that pays playlist curators in cryptocurrency.  Go get yourself signed up and paid for sharing music!  Or just enjoy eleven of my albums, no strings attached.

Third Eye Drops Podcast had me back on recently, along with my friend Andrew O'Keefe, to talk about my super trippy essay, "The Future Is Disgusting" (and about a zillion other tangents).  Listen to it here.  Always a good time!

• A full-length transcript of Future Fossils Episode 75 with Santa Fe Institute's President, David Krakauer, is now available on Medium – along with one of my favorite short essays ever, "Being Every Drone: The Future of XR & Robotic Telepresence."

• I am still offering up to 50% off the list price for all my paintings – as well as taking payment plans and partial trades.  Deep gratitude to everyone who's purchased art from me so far!

• Oh, and THIS happened.  :)

New Digital Painting + Time-Lapse Video



This show just keeps on getting better!  And now there are more places you can tune in – including YouTube, Steemit, and soon Choon (currently adding the entire archive, five a day).  Episode 81 with Arthur Brock resulted in my most-successful tweet of all time.  All three of these episodes are great:

Read the show notes & stream this episode: PatreonSteemit

Read the show notes & stream this episode: PatreonSteemit

Read the show notes & stream this episode: PatreonSteemit

20 June 2018

Notes from InterPlanetary Festival • New Coloring Book Pages & Future Fossils Podcast Episodes

“Nations are Destroy’d or Flourish in proportion as
Their Poetry, Painting and Music are Destroy’d or Flourish:
The primeval state of Man was Wisdom, Art and Science.”
– William Blake

 

Last weekend I participated in one of the coolest festivals I've ever been a part of – InterPlanetary Festival was the starting pistol shot for the Santa Fe Institute's InterPlanetary Project, a new initiative to open up the esteemed complexity science think-tank's research and conversation about the future of our species to...well, the rest of our species.

I interviewed SFI President David Krakauer about it on Future Fossils Podcast Episode 75, and there will be many more interviews from SFI associates to come – and that's just it: this was the juiciest collection of brilliant minds I've ever seen come together for the purposes of celebrating something. And in this case, they were celebrating a new public era in which collective intelligence out-performs the ivory tower and we can start to think and work together on the biggest questions facing civilization – questions like, "How did life begin?" and "How can space exploration and sustainable stewardship of Earth's biosphere be pursued in synergy?"

This event gathered planetologists, science fiction authors, technologists, digital artists, and other genius weirdos together to entertain these questions as an annunciation of this newer, more inclusive phase for SFI.

I played concert of my own sci-fi-inflected songs – as well as offer something I have wanted to do for a while: live notes, projected on a giant LED screen on stage, during three panel discussions and one awesome concert. Inspired by Kelvy Bird's philosophy of "Generative Scribing," I wanted to go beyond merely taking notes on the panels to providing an additional idea channel during the talks to synthesize and surface additional insights.

It was a hit. Here are the results (along with my rapidfire live paintings from Rob Schwimmer's incredibly dope theremin and Haken Continuum sci-fi soundtrack concert):



I've been starting to put in maybe too much time on this coloring book project...making each page maybe too intricate, but naw, that's silly talk.

Patreon supporters get each page in print-friendly .jpg, .psd, and .pdf to suit your tablet/printer pleasure. Right now, $5 gets you access to all twenty pages and staying subscribed means you'll get at least a few more every month in addition to the podcast extras, music, and more. Thanks and enjoy!



04 June 2018

Rainbow Unicorn Xenomorph Painting • New Psych-Futurist Writing • Electric Ballads EP • Unplugged Peter Gabriel Cover • New Future Fossils Podcasts

“If you have a good idea, SAY IT, for God’s Sake!”
– Terence McKenna

Greetings, everyone – I hope your summer's going well!  (And that if you're in Santa Fe this week, you'll join me and a lot of awesome scientists and artists at the Interplanetary Festival...)

Here are the things I've made for you in the last month:


New Painting:
"They Only Come Out At Night, Mostly...Mostly"

36"x24" - paint pens on stretched canvas
painted live at Cosmic Flux Festival (AR) and Tap Iñ 2 (TX)
plus copious studio time over April & May 2018


For anyone who loves HR Giger or Lisa Frank, or both, or unicorns and rainbows and pegasuses and chestbursters and biomechanical horror. Transgressive, suggestive, and downright queer (in the original sense: weird, strange, abnormal). Not intersectional, though – unless by that you mean the intersection of alien parasites and cuddly mammals (of which I will always approve, in fiction).

The title is a pun.  Guess I'm just in a "let your freak flag fly" mood...in addition to being WAY into skirting that edge between light and darkness, the sacred and profane, the happy and the horrible.  As should be evident in my latest piece of writing:


New Essay: 
"The Future Acts Like You"


The latest chapter of my book-in-progress, How To Live in the Future, this twelve-minute read explores our coming age of simulated digital persons and the merged analog-digital identities we may one day possess; the effect of human cloning on the War of the Sexes; and as much deliciously freaky psychedelic futurism as I can squeeze into one wild, jazzy riff.  Enjoy!


New Free EP:
"Electric Cowboy Ballads"


Three new recordings on voice and solo electric guitar (Oh electric guitar, where have you been all my life?), recorded in Austin and San Marcos, 2018.

My life as a singer-songwriter is understated, passionately soulful but not something that I flaunt around. It is, however, closer to my sense of self than being a live painter, or a futurist, or essayist. Playing guitar and writing music are, I think, the best ways I know how to get a point across. These songs say more with less than I seem to be able to in other writing, or in conversation.

I wrote the closest thing I've ever made to outlaw country, "Don't Fret," in 2001; I wrote the tender neuroscience anthem "Always Catching Up" in 2015 as part of the windfall from an ayahuasca mishap; and I never actually wrote "Electric Improvisation in D Major" to begin with, just attuned to its always-already-ness and let it speak through me. So you're hearing a wide swath of my inner life and musical identity in three relatively short movements.


New Video:
Acoustic Cover of Peter Gabriel's "Don't Give Up"


One of my favorite songs by one of my favorite artists. Peter Gabriel said he wrote this piece after seeing a collection of National Geographic's photographs from The Great Depression...since most Americans haven't benefited from economic growth since the 1960s, and my generation in particular got out of school just as the sub-prime mortgage crisis happened, I feel like many of us can resonate with these powerful lyrics.

This is my own arrangement, down 1/2 step from the original version. And yeah, I know I don't sound like Kate Bush, but hopefully you can forgive me. :)


New Episodes of Future Fossils Podcast

If you're not already in on this stream of amazing conversations, now's a great time to dive in.  As far as I'm concerned the guests and topics just keep getting better.  Image links are to the downloads and show notes for each episode, but you can find them on any podcast platform:

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts • Stitcher • Spotify • iHeart Radio

  
 


Stuff You Might Have Missed

 

01 May 2018

Too Many Wonders? You Decide: New Live Albums, Time-Lapse Video, Salamander Painting, Coloring Book, & Podcast Episodes



Whoops – I guess I went a month without updating everyone about the new work...you were probably as busy as I was so let's just call it even.  Hope that this newsletter stays inspiring, not overwhelming.  God forbid that I contribute to the distraction avalanche.

If you'd prefer a bite-sized update every time I make a new thing as opposed to monster digest updates like this one, there's always Patreon (and if you've been enjoying my emails for years, I hope that you'll consider making the migration – subscribers helps immensely and I make a point of showing you I love you).

As an aside, I just republished some of my old fan-favorite essays on Steemit: "Ode To A Paradigm Shift""Transformational Festivals Are A Symptom of Dissociation"; and "A Manifesto For Live Painting".  And I was on my friend's great podcast Third Eye Drops again, this time (Episode 102) discussing the evolutionary biology and mythological dimensions of MONEY.  I say a lot of things I haven't said on record anywhere else, on a topic that is pretty key for all of us.  (Don't know when I will say more on these things, but I really should...)

That's all for now.  Thank you for opening this message and I hope you benefit from what's inside.

love
Michael


New Coloring Book Time-Lapse Video:
"On James P. Carse's Finite and Infinite Games"


I have decided to make the coolest dinosaur coloring book ever – AND the coolest reptiles and amphibians coloring book ever.  At least those two.  As I complete each page I'm giving every Patreon supporter at $5 and up the PDF and PSD files for it, to print out or color on a tablet.

I'd love to make more integrated coloring book time-lapse + music + podcast excerpts videos like this one above a bigger part of what I do – but I'm stretched pretty thin right now. So to that end I've mademore coloring book pages and more videos the object of my current Patreon stretch goal (to make a clean $1000 a month on that platform, which isn't too too far away...)

Here are pictures of the first dinosaur and reptile coloring book pages, both of which have extensive backstories dating back to my childhood that you've been spared, here:


Derp Alert!  
New Barton Springs Salamander Painting
for the Save Our Springs Alliance
24"x18" – acrylic paint on canvas

This spring I took a part-time gig with Save Our Springs Alliance and I'm finally starting to feel like a citizen of Austin. You all know how much I care about the history of place, and it's awesome to sink into the decades-old lineage of conservation work this organization holds and continues. Austin's one of those rare cities that has not yet totally destroyed the natural resources that made it beautiful to live in in the first place...

Austin's Barton Springs is home to a totally unique salamander that exists nowhere else in the world. I painted this to raise awareness of the valiant efforts by Save Our Springs Alliance to preserve the habitat of this beautiful creature, and to alert people to the importance of the Edwards Aquifer in general – which is also the source for clean water for millions of people, and is currently endangered by both deregulated development within city limits and secret fracking about 40 miles west of Austin. This piece is the second I've made of the Barton Springs Salamander, Eurycea sosorum.

Wherever you live, take care of it. Other creatures depend on you. If you live nearby, you can support the Save Our Springs Alliance by donating here.

New Instrumental Album: Live at Flowstorm 2018
Spotify • Bandcamp • Feedbands • Patreon • iTunes

For those of you unfamiliar with my music, you're coming in at a very good time.

This set was improvised live on acoustic guitar, pedalboard, voice, and iPad Pro to an international audience of professional flow artists: hoopers, fire dancers, poi spinners, and many others.

This informal collaboration, as well as the glorious Central Texas wildflower eruption all around us, and the sweet song of the frogpond in the distance, led to what I believe is one of my strongest instrumental freestyle sets of all time.

(It also happened to be on the Eve of Easter and on the third anniversary of my first gig - also at Flowstorm - with my beloved guitar Charlotte, a Taylor 322e.)

All of the tracks are named after local wildflowers. The album art is from one of my greatest inspirations, the legendary Ernst Haeckel, author of Art Forms in Nature.

New Live Double Album: Live at Arcosanti

Recorded live on 11 and 12 November 2017 in the amphitheater of the legendary Arcosanti, Arizona – an historic experiment in ecologically-integrated architecture – for Convergence, a first-of-its-kind collaboration between visionary architects, artists, and permaculturists.

Arcosanti is one of the most inspiring places I've ever been and playing there was the fulfillment of a dream I've had since I first visited in 2005.  The vibe was high, the desert winter beautiful, the crew and venue incomparable. This double album is a landmark record of the sweet, ripe moment when it all came true – if only for a moment.

Most people have no clue that I've been a devoted songwriter since 1999 and that my music matters more to me than almost anything I do...the songs on this live album are the fruit of that long practice and I've polished each of them with love and patience over years.

This really was a magical concert and I'm glad I get to share it with you.

New Future Fossils Podcast Episodes
with Doug Rushkoff, Charles Shaw,
Tim Freke, & Steve Brusatte

Lastly – here are four of the best episodes of this podcast I've ever had the honor of releasing.  The show's on every platform, and you can find links to the show's page on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc. in each episode's show notes:





That's enough for now.  I'm sure that you agree.  ;)

Gratefully Yours,