Michael Garfield's Love Without End Tour Newsletter

05 April 2023

✨๐ŸŽธ๐Ÿฆ– Leaving SFI for Even Bigger Projects...

I'm building a new website! This is my last blog post at Blogger.
Please follow my updates and new work at MichaelGarfield.Substack.com
and stay tuned for the launch of FutureFossils.org. ๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ––๐Ÿผ✨


Announcing A New Book + Book Club on Jurassic Park • Guest Appearances on KMO.show + Rainbow Brainskull • New Live LP + Music Videos + Concert Dates


✨ Saying Goodbye to The Santa Fe Institute


Last Friday was the end of an era. Leaving SFI was not an easy choice, but it is time to synthesize what I have learned from years of complex systems science study and communication in some “grown-up” projects.

Here is my announcement (also pinned to Facebook and to LinkedIn):

๐Ÿงต Today is my last day at @sfiscience! It's been an honor and a pleasure to oversee SFI's social media for the last 4.5 years, to launch and grow #ComplexityPodcast into an internationally-charting show, and to work amidst such a thriving and inspiring intellectual community...

๐Ÿฆ– Join My Book Club for Jurassic Park!


What's next? Here is an update on the HUGE undertaking I'm already working on — a new book, book club, and podcast project exploring how the science and philosophy of the Jurassic Park franchise (books, films, games, AND rides) sheds light on and entangles with the evolution of AI, VFX, biotech, and other monsters of modernity since JP’s first edition back in 1990:


Michael Crichton’s legendary techno-thriller is more relevant than ever now…which is why I’m resurrecting the Future Fossils Book Club to explore it! Grab your copy here.

The JP Book Club starts on April 29th and will mix asynchronous discussion in the Facebook group and Discord server with live calls. Patrons get a deep dive into privatized science, the breakdown of the boundaries between reality and virtuality, chaos and complex systems sciences, and science fiction as self-fulfilling prophecy.

There will be at least two live calls for this book, and then more for The Lost World later on this summer. If you have to miss them, they will be recorded.

Then, in the months to come, I'll interview a very heavy-hitting roster of scientists, philosophers, critics, and artists about all this on Future Fossils…including several of the SFI researchers whose planned episodes of Complexity Podcast I had to cancel. These two shows will start to bleed together…Future Fossils will stay weird, but also start to feature more rigor and prestigious guests.
It is a GIANT leap of faith to take this on…I hope you'll grab your front row seats, become a paid subscriber, and help me feed my family while I’m bringing all of this to life!

Read more and weigh in on Facebook or Twitter.


๐ŸŽธ New Videos + Live LP Reviewed



My latest live recording marries science-inspired folk songs, high-tech improv explorations, and psychoactive concert banter into a truly magic stew I’m glad to share in full with everyone as a Bandcamp exclusive!

Anyone who buys it gets a secret playlist link with videos showcasing twenty extra very juicy minutes from the show (also available to Patreon and Substack members, if you missed that email).
"I think this is his best yet...not just a good record but this is an interesting person...worth making an effort to appreciate."

๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ @WarmthHighest reviews my latest live @Bandcamp-exclusive #psychedelic #folk album: https://birdboyblizzard.music.blog/2023/04/01/a-better-trip-live-at-the-jean-cocteau-cinema-supporting-shane-mauss-by-michael-garfield/ cc @shane_mauss @CocteauCinema



๐ŸŽง New Podcast Guest Appearances



Guest on KMO.show Episode 1 (with my buddy Kevin Wohlmut!)

"In this inaugural episode of the KMO Show, KMO, Michael Garfield of the Future Fossils podcast and mutual friend, Kevin Wohlmut, discuss the dawning of the epistemological apocalypse. Thanks to AI, we can't really trust our eyes or our ears anymore. Deep faked images and voices can produce 'evidence' that people said and did things they never said or did. How do we select our reality tunnels when almost anything can be faked in real time? Do we give up on truth seeking and just believe whatever floats our boat, or are there general principals [sic] or trustworthy oracles we can depend on?"

Part one of a two-part trialogue that will conclude on Future Fossils 201. Stay tuned!


Guest on Rainbow Brainskull Episode 81

If you want to hear me at my absolute SLOWEST, then enjoy this conversation I had with Ramin Nazer after pulling an all-nighter taking care of a cranky baby. I'm ordinarily not a fan of people listening to conversations at 2x speed because I try to pack my own episodes with as much information as possible, but in this case I think you might actually get something approximating my ordinary cruising velocity if you did so. Anyway, it was a superb conversation in spite of the fact I was a total mess (and he didn't bother to cinch it up in post-production, which I take to be basically a love letter to my mind, however ill-conceived) and I love Ramin to High Heaven so go show him some love…


๐ŸŽถ Upcoming Musical Events


I WILL be making audio and video recordings of these shows for everyone who couldn’t make it. But if you live in or near Santa Fe I hope I’ll see you there!

28 February 2023

๐ŸŽถ Changing My Tune: Big Moves Afoot + Android Jones Interview + New Solo & Big Band Recordings + A.I. Art Exhibition + Discussing The Singularity

“Playing small doesn’t serve the world.”
– Fred Rogers & Marianne Williamson

“Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.”
– John Kenneth Galbraith

Hi friends! I've been soul-searching about how to balance my responsibilities to a very diverse and heterogeneous audience, and between my duties to myself, my family, and my career.  This morning I posed the question to Facebook and the overwhelming response was support for making whatever transformations (and reclamations) I find necessary to keep doing work that nourishes my soul.

This is all to say that you're going to see some changes in this blog, and soon.  Most of the folks who followed me for paintings have already bailed — as I did from twelve years of live art back in February 2020 — and since everyone I know seems to want to shrink into a far more manageable scale, I'll understand if you decide to leave as well.

But: Stay.  My best work's still to come.  I am about to wrap up two extraordinary projects I have spent ten or more years on EACH, and there are flowers blooming in the graveyard of my past lives that I cannot wait to wrap up in a big bouquet for you.

So here we go, again, down a deep rabbit hole...feel free to follow it however you're inspired to.

In this newsletter we have: new big band electronic and solo acoustic music, a vulnerable interview with a legendary artist whose studio just burnt to the ground, reflections on a provocative recent generative text-to-image art exhibition, and copious new podcast episodes to help you navigate what is starting to feel more and more obviously like the long-awaited Technological Singularity...

Love & Thanks,

Michael

New Solo Singer-Songwriter-Storyteller Live Album
Stream/Download at Bandcamp or Patreon

Recorded live in Santa Fe, New Mexico on 3 September 2022.

My friend Kevin Wohlmut (the only person I've ever let guest-host Future Fossils Podcast, and one of the most active members of our Facebook group) is BY FAR one of the most generous supporters of live music I have ever met. It was an honor to play this show for his house concert birthday party bonanza, alongside the very talented Dust City Opera and Austin Morrell from Albuquerque.

Over the last fifteen years, I've overemphasized technically intensive electroacoustic sets and neglected my stripped-down acoustic singer-songwriter roots. This show was a return to form — meaning, also, a storyteller format where I spent a good third of my set regaling my audience with humor and cerebral nonsense.

A mix of old and new songs and a philosophical dive into science fiction turning fact, learning to love yourself, the tension between individuals and collectives, video game obsession, political revolution, and my wonderful family. Enjoy, and thank you for your support!

A New, Insanely Ambitious Concert Series in Santa Fe

The Tumbleroot Music Lab brings together acoustic, electric, and electronic musicians with live painters and dancers in short- and long-form cross-disciplinary large group improvisations — a psychedelic spaceship exploring the frontiers of the atmospheric groove. Hosted and curated by looping multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter Michael Garfield and building on the success of his former Loopers' Night and Paint Jam ATX residencies in Austin, Texas and and site-specific collaborative freestyle at festivals around the world, the Tumbleroot Music Lab is an offering of medicine to soothe the wounds of the pandemic's social isolation and a showcase for the absurdly intense concentration of artistic greatness that Santa Fe has to offer.

We already have a ton of fresh faces confirmed for March, including saxophones and new painters who will collaborate on a single large canvas provided by our awesome sponsors at Artisan Santa Fe. If you're interested in participating in our upcoming events drop me a line and I'll add you to our planning email thread!
My First A.I. Art Exhibition: "Hyperborea"


Lately I've gone down a very very deep well lately remixing my own coloring book pages into AI art evoking visions of an ancient future, high technology at peace with nature. In keeping with one of my central frames for Future Fossils, I imagine these to be oracular imprints delivered retrocausally from some distant coordinates in Minkowski block spacetime — downloads from the Akash, or the remote viewing of worlds that once were, or could one day be. A beckoning into something transcendent.

(As noted in the Wikipedia entry for Hyperborea, some ancient Greeks regarded the mythical Hyperboreans as the founders of Apollo's shrines at Delos and Delphi...so, fitting given everything I've said elsewhere about the potential of text-to-image MLA synthesis as a kind of 21st century Tarot.)

Which do you find most compelling? Which ones make you go "I want to be there!" or "Wow, I REMEMBER that place!" This has been a strangely emotional exploration for me — especially after rediscovering Avatar on Disney+, bingeing the wonderful docu-series Myths & Monsters (especially episode two, "The Wild Unknown"), immersing myself in the controversy around Graham Hancock's new Netflix docu-series, and consequently realizing just how deeply these visions of other worlds have penetrated the collective imagination...

Thanks for trekking with me into the Mystery!

PS — I know this medium is controversial, which is exactly why I'm experimenting with it. My artist friends and I have been subject to a lot of hatred for doing so lately...please don't subject us to any more of it, but do consider the practical critiques of its current forms and consider joining the collective processing of the nuance demanded of us in these strange and unfamiliar waters.


๐ŸŽค ICYMI: More New Episodes of Future Fossils
Listen Now



29 November 2022

Mind-Expanding New Work Guaranteed To Get Lost in Your Holiday Inbox Hurricane: New Painting & Song & Future Fossils Episodes, Fun Public Appearances, Deep Threads on Art & Economics...And Yes, The End-Of-Year Kitsch Flood



Happy Holidays, everyone!  For the five of you who see this overdue update amidst the avalanche of promotional nonsense, thank you so much for taking the time to scan the news and absorb what I have to bestow upon you.

I hope you find real value here, and appreciate the change of pace — the new work is this update are REAL offerings, not just a blitz to score your year-end dough.  I don't have the heart to beg like that.  But if you DO want to help me keep my family warm and fed this winter, there are many good ways to do so.  More on that down below...

Onward! Major new works in just about every quadrant, starting with a temporary return from live painting retirement for the Santa Fe Institute's InterPlanetary Festival:

First New Live Painting Since Before The Pandemic

Xenodendron


Painted live with DJ Astrofreq and Rob Schwimmer at the Santa Fe Institute's InterPlanetary Festival at SITE Santa Fe, inspired in large part by SFI Professor Chris Kempes’ work on biophysical constraints on exotic and undiscovered plant forms and more broadly by thinking on dissipative structures, space exploration, and the interrogation of a conceptual boundary between biology and technology.

(Original painting is up for grabs if you want a piece of SFI history — I'm fairly certain this was the first time in 38 years anybody painted live at one of the Institute's events.)

New Song & Unplugged Performance:
"The Luminous Night"


Enjoy this demo of a new song written after a soak in the healing hot mineral springs at Ojo Caliente, New Mexico — and performed live for the first time at The Santa Fe Institute. This is the last studio recording with my beloved 2001 Martin D-35 "Marianne" before boxing it up to send to its new owner. 

This take is rough as hell, but so too have I been. (Recorded not long before my surgery for a premature cataract...) At least I have the song on file and can promise a cleaner official studio take on the horizon — but first, demos of TWO MORE new songs coming soon! Hardship is indeed great fertilizer for the muses.

Find the lyrics — and the story about parting with a beloved legacy axe that has appeared in my videos and albums since I started recording in 2001 — on Patreon:


New Future Fossils Podcast Episodes

First, some big news: I just poured sweat and blood for two full days — while staying up all night to help care for a sick infant — into applying for this podcast grant for Future Fossils Podcast. Working with PRX Public Radio Exchange and John Templeton Foundation would be TWO dreams come true.
Wish me luck or say a little prayer if you're inclined. This opportunity would be transformative — and finally empower me to hire a whole web of awesome friends to help build out the show as the immersive, community-focused transmedia project it was always meant to be. Cheers to BIG questions!

And now SIX very potent new episodes:


How much of natural history is inevitable, and how much is the result of chance? Do mass extinctions slow the evolution of the biosphere, or speed it up? These are two of the six great questions of biology explored by Simon Conway Morris, famous evolutionary theorist and Cambridge Emeritus Professor, in his latest book. From Extraterrestrials to Animal Minds: Six Myths of Evolution (Templeton Press) is a meticulously researched, cheeky and inspiring romp through both the living and extinct worlds, challenging a handful of widespread beliefs and offering provocative alternatives. Conway Morris is a character, even amidst the strange ranks of his fellow natural history researchers, and his arguments bear careful scrutiny. As someone drawn to mavericks and weirdos and enamored by contrarian perspectives, I can’t help but like his work — and reading him forced me to reconsider some of my assumptions even as it validated other long-held hunches.

In this episode, we talk about his book and what his work implies — and I get fanboy on him and assault him with a bunch of lengthy questions like Tim Murphy in Jurassic Park. Strap in for a deep dive into evolution’s laziness, complexity and process, cooption and repurposing of novel traits, great puzzles in prehistory, ancient food webs, evolutionary radiation, symbiosis, flowers, death, and more… And when you’re done, go read his book and dig a dozen more related episodes in the show notes!

I've recorded over 300 podcast episodes and this one is for sure the most deep-diving and far-reaching conversation I've had about evolutionary theory on ANY of them. Certain that there is new material covered here even for people intimately acquainted with Simon's work — I use the extensive research reviewed in his latest book as a springboard to posit some of my own most provocative and long-brewing hypotheses about prehistory and the nature of evolution and extinction.

Very eager to share this — and amazed that Templeton Press reached out to me to have him on Future Fossils Podcast, and glad we finally made it happen! And YES this is an invitation to listen and offer your reflections, because it's clear to me now that these questions are FAR too big to be settled in the span of a 90-minute dialogue...


This week I talk with environmental philosopher and Santa Clara University Assistant Professor Kimberly Dill, an old friend of mine from Austin, Texas whom I met at Bouldin Creek Coffee over lemon matรฉ sours and a deep dive into Eastern nondual traditions while she was in school studying arguments against free will under acclaimed analytic philosopher Galen Strawson. She has since grown into a formidable scholar and ethics instructor in her own right and positively exudes a studious, diligent, caring, and starry-eyed vibe at all times…an utterly unique and finely-honed heart and intellect who stands out from the rest of my belovedly strange cohort of Austin festival-going slacker friends.

I’ve been chasing her down to be on the podcast for years and am delighted she and I finally managed to link up to record this potent dialogue on the relationality of humankind and the wild world in which we are inextricably entangled, the substantive differences between our simulations and the originals they fail to fully reproduce, the importance of forests and dark skies to our psychospiritual well-being, where modern Western festival culture fails in its declared goal of delivering us back into right relations and ecstatic harmony with our kosmos…plus much else.

My big, BIG thanks to everyone for being so patient with me while my family and I suffered through some extraordinary challenges over the last months. I can’t tell you enough how much it means to me to have retained nearly everyone’s Patreon support while my wife and I dealt with two constantly sick kids, a number of our own health issues, and major upgrades to our home and big transitions at work.

So, again, thanks for your subscriptions, your glowing Apple Podcasts reviews, and your engagement in the Future Fossils Facebook group…and stay tuned for several exciting big announcements soon!



And if that's not enough, I just appeared on two superb podcasts —starting with SEMFILOQUIA with host Carlos Zapata and co-guest Curt Jaimungal of the Theories of Everything Podcast to discuss the rise of science podcasting:


...and then there's my "Lost Episode" of the Self Portraits As Other People Podcast, hosted by my wonderful friend Michael R. Jacobs aka The Ungoogleable Michaelangelo. This is a patrons-only deal but his feed is definitely worth your subscription — a kindred spirit and wonderful weirdo genius:


Extra Credit:
Three Social Media Threads Worth Bookmarking

In hindsight it's strange that some of my finest work in the last seventeen years to curating public discussions on Facebook and Twitter and yet I haven't bothered to archive those anywhere for posterity.  Here are three threads I guarantee to enrich your thinking on art, technology, and economics if you ever find the time for them. And if not, feed them into your digital clone for later enjoyment!

And then, amazingly rich Facebook comments threads on AI artwork, capitalist expropriation, the restoration of the commons, and the future of the creative economy:



And that's that. Thanks for reading!

Stuff Worth Grabbing If You're In A Grabbing Mood

Prints & Originals

Various Print-On-Demand Items

Original Music

Ever-Flowing Fountain of Cool Stuff

"Task: to be where I am.
Even when I’m in this solemn and absurd
role: I am still the place
where creation works on itself."
- Tomas Transtrรถmer, "Guard Duty"