Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future: June 2018

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