Michael Garfield's Love Without End Tour Newsletter

19 June 2021

Life Finds A Way • Hyperstition • Freak Flag Mailbox • Psychedelic Book Club • Post-Covid Festivals • Art & Science • The Future Is Disgusting

"We're in a freefall into future. We don't know where we're going. Things are changing so fast, and always when you're going through a long tunnel, anxiety comes along. And all you have to do to transform your hell into a paradise is to turn your fall into a voluntary act. It's a very interesting shift of perspective and that's all it is...joyful participation in the sorrows and everything changes."
– Joseph Campbell

Consummations and conversations: I've been very busy lately in the Future Fossils Facebook group and Discord server but have nonetheless brought these works — some very long in the incubator — to completion. The relief is real, the resolution deep! Here are my latest psychoactive brain treats to augment your navigation of the weirdness that is 2021:

NEW MUSIC 65 MILLION YEARS IN THE MAKING




"Life Finds A Way" (and the one-minute instrumental coda "Hyperstition") have been in the works since my dorm room days in 2002 — so not exactly the Cretaceous, but might as well be.


This latest addition to my ongoing album-in-progress The Age of Reunion (which you can scope out and pre-order here) brings acoustic guitar, synthesizer, Chapman Stick, organ, electronic drums, and four-part vocal harmonies together into something appropriately bombastic, groovy, operatic, and apocalyptic to serve as the vehicle for proggy epic pop adventures into the pre-and-post-historic.


Here are a few different ways to engage.  Get out your headphones and hold onto your butts:


 Soundcloud (for time-stamped commenting) 

Bandcamp (for lossless audio downloads)
 Spotify (for saving to playlists) 


Patreon supporters get some sweet exegesis with an extra half-hour of my Ian Malcolm-esque ranting on the inspiration behind this song: technological evolution, complex systems, accidental magic, reality ruptures, and the end of the world. If you're "like me...a digger," then dig into all that here:




UPCOMING BOOK CLUB CALLS


Speaking of awesome science fiction and general weirdness, we're discussing two amazing books in the Future Fossils Book Club this summer.  I hope you can join us!



I PROMISED YOU I WOULDN'T STOP PAINTING


And now that I have a place I can customize however I like (the pressure!), I started small by upcycling our trashy old mailbox into something that screams "weirdos live here."  Next up: my closet doors...




NEW FUTURE FOSSILS EPISODES


Lastly, while I'm not toiling away at my admittedly-excellent (4.8 stars on 147 Apple Podcast reviews) day job show, Complexity Podcast, I've been knocking out some wonderful conversations and solo casts for Future Fossils. And here they are:


I talk with Mikey Lion, music producer and co-founder of Desert Hearts, and Malena Grosz, creator of The Party Pro Toolkit and director of Stargate Reunion, about the pandemic’s distortions of time and community, flow states and festival time, gatherings in the No New Normal, the impact of stage design and architecture on how community events shape individual experience, the tension between intimacy and scale, DMT and other life-changing experiences, the good parts of tribalism, psychedelic integration, and the future of festival economics…


On 23 May 2021 as part of the latest Complexity Weekend hackathon, I hosted a live panel discussion with four unique and fascinating minds: 

Michaela Emch is a communication and marketing specialist, translator, cultural mediator, biomimicry practitioner, safari guide, keen naturalist and biology enthusiast. Andr矇a Naccache is a psychoanalyst and a doctoral student in philosophy of law at the University of S瓊o Paulo, with an MBA in finance. Meredith Tromble is an artist and writer who makes installations, drawings, and performances. Timothy Clancy work ranges from sophisticated simulations of violence & instability to systems thinking for business.

We discussed the relationship between the arts and sciences, conflicts of interest between systems and individual people, and many more interesting threads at the intersection of complex systems research and creative innovation.


The first in a new biweekly, patrons-only sidestream for author-read essays, commentary on current events, mailbag replies, and experimental format episodes. First up is a reading of and commentary on my Part Six of my book-forever-in-progress, How To Live in The Future: "The Future Is Disgusting."

Here's a teaser:

The future that I want, the only future I believe worth living in, is full of love — and love is all about relaxing boundaries. Erupting into our Italian gardens, smashing manicured taxonomies, and popping our extropian illusions of a better life beyond constraints, love is the greatest trickster that reveals distinctions in imagined unity and unifies apparent opposites, to hell with definitions; it is time for you to learn.

And that ensures the future will be positively gross, because as every set of paired antitheses resolves within the immanent-transcendent whole appearing as the herald of another era, nemeses are written into myth together; warring faiths combine their efforts to create economies; and everything you loathe today is indispensably a part of who you are, in truth, and who you could become if you survive and live receptive to the gnarly lessons of reflection offered up to you by love.

Someday all you hate will lose its charge within a greater truth — which, in a way, is even worse than knowing it will just persist. No: it becomes a part of you, and therefore worthy of your love; you learn to dig the things you feared; your brain adapts to shifting norms; we really are remarkable in our plasticity, and you’ll regard you-reading-now as hopelessly na簿ve, and small, and understandable, for all your ignorances are enshrined and glow within as relics of the origin of that more terrible and beautiful, awake and all-embracing thing you are.

MISCELLANY



19 May 2021

There is no path. The path is made by walking.

Traveller, there is no path
The path is made by walking.
Traveller, there is no road
Only wakes in the sea.
– Antonio Machado

Hey, everyone (weary smile). It's Spring, finally, and beautifully so. Some things are starting to feel like The Old Ways again and some never will. I hope this new work finds you well. I talk so much these days, I'll let the work speak for itself this time.

You can watch the time-lapse of my latest digital art explorations on Instagram, where I have also been playing the wonderful Chapman Stick almost every day, writing new short pieces that will fit the narrow format. It's an amazing instrument. It's kind of saving my sanity, lately. Speaking of which:


My most recent article to share with you, the first stabs at an essay for a compilation on the topic:

As artists, our improvisation with the dehumanizing algorithms of predatory surveillance capitalism is a kind of tango — an exploratory, open-ended, provisional, context-dependent, time-bound, blindspot-defined process of mutual adaptation. The economy — and the ecology of which it is a subset of dynamic interwoven agencies — is an evolutionary system, and evolution is improvisation via the appropriation of existing forms. The algorithms we design are just the visible tip of the algorithms we enact unwittingly, the action of distributed intelligence in a long, complex arms race with itself. The only way to win is to refuse the rules and act from true and nameless spontaneity.

Read the whole thing here.


My first concert in months! Freestyle explorations from within a tangled bank of musical electronics, far-out ideas, and intertwingled subjectivity, for your journeying pleasure. Live streamed on 2021.04.18 as part of the Mt. Tam Psychedelic Integration Jam, hosted and organized by Daniel Shankin, with a special live painting appearance by visionary artist Amanda Sage.

Download it for for free (or for tips) on Bandcamp or Patreon. Watch it on YouTube:


Also on YouTube: the full recordings from our recent Future Fossils Book Club discussions on Sand Talk by Tyson Yunkaporta and Distress by Greg Egan, two of the coolest books I've ever read. We went deep!  I love the scrappy and profound community that has clustered around the conversations we have on the podcast. 

Subscribe to my YouTube channel to watch future book club recordings or become a Patreon supporter to participate in them yourself! Our next call will be on May 30th to talk about Dark Constellations by Pola Olaixarac, and then in June we're getting the author on the call to talk about Eric Wargo's Precognitive Dreamwork and The Long Self (!).

Meanwhile, excellent Future Fossils episodes continue to trickle out every two weeks:


That's "all" for now. Thank you for reading and for being. Reach out any time. Be well...

Until we meet again, here is where I put all of the cool new music I discover:


And where I sell art prints and original paintings — proceeds go directly to feeding children:




14 March 2021

New Painting + Digital Reworkings • Re: NFTS • Skytree @ Long Now Blog • Sand Talk Book Club • New Future Fossils

"Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime; therefore, we must be
saved by hope. Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in
any immediate context of history; therefore, we must be saved by faith.
Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore,
we are saved by love."
—Reinhold Niebuhr

Hello, dear friends (and long-running fond almost-strangers)! Life has been especially full this year so far and I apologize for taking 400% longer than advertised to get this update to you...hopefully it finds you well, and lands precisely where it nourishes you best.

I have A LOT of projects in the pipeline right now but here are some finished works worth sharing:

New Painting: "Party Time" + Digital Reworkings


As usual, I may be getting ahead of myself...but it just felt right to celebrate the end of 2020. Here's a fun, light-hearted moment of color in the weirdest, longest, most ominously-warm-and-dry winter I can remember — created the week of the Capitol riot, which feels humorously apropos.

Available — interested collectors, find more details in my shrinking master list of unsold paintings.

For several reasons, I've decided to slow down and stop offering open-series prints of every new piece...instead, I want to use the original paintings as starting points for remixes and reimaginings, letting them be the raw material for novel digital compositions in the same way my recent music has reworked live recordings into vastly deeper and more ambitious sound collages.

Here's a glimpse at how that works. I haven't decided how, precisely, I want to bring these to market yet, but here are some pieces that grew out of the painting above — really, just snapshots along a kind of improvisational random walk across an evolutionary landscape (see Future Fossils Podcast #161 below):


But digital work didn't used to hold much appeal for me, because you're kind of just "singing into the wind" until you impose some artificial scarcity (printing onto clothing, etc.). Which brings me to:

Yes, I Too Am Minting NFTs



 
Like nearly every other artist you know, I've started minting Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), a blockchain-enabled new medium that (as just one promising example among many) allows creators to take control of their own digital rights management back from exploitative corporations.

(There's been a swirl of controversy around this extremely-hyped new technology, so if you're skeptical about this I invite you to dig into the thoughtful discussion I've been kindling on the issue on my Facebook profile here and here.)

I'm planning some really fun collaborative multimedia NFT projects with friends, but for the time being you can scope and bid on my first few 1-of-1 digital art tokens, each an animated version of one of my most popular paintings, at rarible.com/michaelgarfield.  I am very pleased to see these pieces transform with new flowing movement into works more perfectly representational of the psychedelic hyperspace from which they descended into my brain and down my arm onto the canvas.  Go check 'em out!





Long Now Feature on Skytree's Deep-Time Electronica


I was and am so pleased to interview my old friend 
Evan "Skytree" Snyder for The Long Now Foundation blog about how his meditations on deep have have inspired his electronic music and recent "geosonification" (using mineral specimens to drive modular synths).

Future Fossils Book Club on Tyson Yunkaporta's Sand Talk


Our last Future Fossils book club call, for Sand Talk by Tyson Yunkaporta, was so good! Thanks especially to Naomi Most & Karja Cygni for contributing such wise reflections to our yarn on how the complex, embodied, relational, context-dependent Indigenous wisdom Yunkaporta performs for us in this work makes sense of violence, paradox, identity, time, nomadic versus sedentary living, and much more.

The video recording and our extensive collection of relevant external links are now up on Patreon.

Please share with anyone you think will benefit.

Hard-Hitting New Episodes of Future Fossils Podcast

I talk with an intensely-scientific ecumenical preacher about how to face radical climate change with grace and dignity; with two friends and fellow fantasy nerds about the profundity of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials; with Third Eye Drops host Michael Phillip about the mythology and biology of creativity; and with an evolutionary biologist and a Bitcoin entrepreneur about the analogy between digital currencies and mycelial networks.

I also published my first "mailbag" solo episode, in which I had immense fun answering listeners' questions about aliens, death, and making art:

And as far as other podcasts are concerned, I had a blast joining Chris Curran of the Podcast Engineering School for this conversation about the philosophical AND technical aspects of hosting and producing both my podcasts, Future Fossils and Complexity.


Follow My Spotify Playlist (Recommendations)


This is where I share all of the cool new music I discover. Chillout, electro-folk, acoustic instrumentals, avant-pop, film scores, and more — it is as everywhere as I am, but I hope that you agree it all coheres.

If you have tracks you'd like to add, please share them in the Future Fossils Discord Server!

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