Michael Garfield's Love Without End Tour Newsletter

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!

Spotify | YouTube | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Soundcloud | Bandcamp

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Send HELP (LOL): paypal.me/michaelgarfield | @futurefossils at Venmo

04 January 2021

πŸŽ‰ Happy New Year! Lasers + Dinosaurs + Singularities

Now that we're TRULY over the rainbow...


Happy New Year, everyone!  My birthday comes two weeks after Christmas, so this time of year is always hopeful and uplifting in spite of — or rather in juicy harmony with — the vibe of wintry contemplation, holiday burnout, and bare-treed, sky-wide reflections on time, life, and everything.  02020 gave us all so much to think about and learn from, recover from and build on.

Like I imagine you are, I'm looking forward into 02021 a little battle-worn but clarified and eager to explore some new horizons. This year is going to be different — I'm not quite sure yet how, but I am always grateful for this moment when our culture calls us to reach into mystery and possibility each year. And in the meantime, I have a trove of unpublished work I'm eager to share in the months to come.


Thanks from the bottom of my heart to everyone who bought a painting in my moving sale and helped us fix up and furnish our new family home!  Still some time left to contribute and score art at wholesale prices — I have just a handful of originals remaining, and I'm at work on a raft of new small studio pieces, but I'm also open for commissions — email me with inquiries.

And now here are a few new things. More soon. See you in the Future Fossils Discord Server...!

Love,

Michael

"Urvogel" (First Bird) Archaeopteryx Wood Ornaments


I made these on my Glowforge as Christmas gifts — short philosophical musing below on what it feels like to try and translate the analog uniqueness of painting to this digital medium.

They're not currently available for sale but I'm happy to talk about commissioned laser-enabled designs, if you're interested! Scheming about additional perks for Patreon supporters and happy to take suggestions for the best possible applications of my artwork to laser cut and engraved merchandise.


Sometimes I think there must be something like ASMR for eyeballs, looking at very tiny things or seeing things in neat rows, that satisfies the brain's prediction reward circuitry and is partly responsible for the mechanized aesthetic that dominates modernity. It feels like an ironic hijack of biophilia and our biologically innate love of forms like tree branches and river deltas: the fractal order of our evolved life-world swapped out for a lower-dimensional shadow of the ancient mystery of reproduction.
Walter Benjamin explored this, and asked about what sacredness still lives in mechanically-duplicated art forms, in his most famous essay; WJT Mitchell updated that essay for our biocybernetic century. And as technology evolves according to the same rules as everything else, it looks and acts more and more like the kind of living systems we're used to: dynamic, mutable, branching, turbulent, unpredictable. 

Something of that was captured in these laser cut Archaeopteryx ornaments I made to break in my Glowforge this year — like (but admittedly much simpler than) printing Leeloo in The Fifth Element, seeing row after row of echoes of one of the world's most unique and precious fossils feels to me like a portal into a future in which human and nonhuman life alike becomes both more ephemeral and priceless, and we develop a more nuanced understanding of individuality and selfhood.

(When you can be copied like any other computer file, what makes you unique? Your context. Your history. What cannot be copied. See also Westworld, which I discussed with Michael Phillip way back in Episode 14 of Future Fossils Podcast, and Episode 65 with John David Ebert and I unpacking the mythical and spiritual themes of Blade Runner 2049.)
Anyway...

Mid-Singularity Trialogues with Ramin Nazer & The Teafaerie



Reporting from mid-singularity, friends and returning guests Ramin Nazer, The Teafaerie, and I run for several full-court passes on augmented reality, telepresence, simulation theory, the science fiction of Charles Stross and Hannu Rajaniemi, how to enjoy the rapids of change, and much more.

If that doesn't satisfy your thirst for weird sh*t, go listen to more about virtuality, artificial consciousness, and neuroscience, in my appearance on the Voices in the Dark podcast.

Book Club Recordings Now Free For Everyone


ICYMI I've made all of the Future Fossils Podcast Book Club recordings entirely free, moving them from behind the Patreon paywall so everyone can appreciate the deep and illuminating discussions we've had about some of the coolest books I've ever read. Enjoy!

Follow My Chill 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!


Follow me elsewhere:

Spotify | YouTube | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Soundcloud | Bandcamp

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18 November 2020

1.Buy House 2. Sell Art 3. Paint House + Stuart Davis + Mantis Aliens + Complex Systems Conversation

✨🎊 BIG ANNOUNCEMENT & MOVING SALE  🎊✨


We bought a home in Santa Fe (!!!) and so I am putting all of my remaining original paintings and canvas prints up for sale at a negotiable discount in order to help my family afford the once-in-a-lifetime costs.

We love it here in New Mexico and after a very tumultuous life of move after move after move, I'm so grateful for the chance to make a steady and secure and lasting Nest of Peace and Creativity where I can host friends and family and make as much beauty, truth, and goodness as possible in all available media. But this is a daunting endeavor and it's taking all we have and more to make it work. We live as frugally as possible but still need to secure some basic amenities to make this transition comfortable. 

In short: 

If you would like to bring some color/love/deepweirdness into your own life, now is the best time ever!
Please drop me a line if you want to talk about acquiring any of my work

There are, of course, much easier ways to show support - like Patreon, Bandcamp, or Substack subscriptions, or Venmo transfers, or grabbing paper prints. I am immensely thankful to anyone who offers anything, and everyone who has, and I promise to show it by living up to my potential (like, for example, finally lighting up that laser cutter I have not had space to use since I acquired it! Oh yes, I have PLANS.).

That's all. Thanks for reading this. My love and blessings to you and you all. πŸ’œπŸ₯³πŸŽ‰



Epic New Podcast About Aliens


I’m not going to waste your time trying to explain Stuart Davis. He’s been a guiding star for me and presumably many other irrepressibly nondisciplinary artists for over a decade, one of the founding figures of my adult psyche in its pluriform contortionism. Musician, painter, poet, talk show host, stand-up comic, film-maker, and depth psychologist, the man knows no bounds and it’s all I can do to follow closely and listen carefully, which I have since I first encountered his work in 2004.

Stuart is long overdue to be on the show, but the timing is perfect, because we’re here to talk about ALIENS. Not the admittedly excellent film, but the living reality of them and their astonishingly intimate relationship to us, as disclosed by the growing archive of guests on his show, Aliens and Artists.

We discuss the ethics of withholding advanced technologies like zero-point energy from the general public; Rick Strassman getting kicked out of his zendo for psychedelic research; circadian rhythms, sleep disruption for dream yoga, and parenting sleep deprivation psychosis; when Psyche argues with the Mantis; the self is a choir; daily banishings and welcomings; and why we implore you to only work with the visitors that respect human sovereignty.

I’ll stop now. Just listen and be amazed.

PS – My two-part interview is up on Aliens and Artists now as well. I haven't heard the final product yet because of all the things, but word is it's a banger. πŸ“£πŸ”₯πŸŽΆπŸ™

~ Man Meets Mantis ~


Since we're having fun being weird,


This is my first ever collaboration painting with Ada Taylor Garfield, my daughter:


It's dedicated to Stuart, obviously, and available for sale, I suppose, but honestly I'll be surprised (albeit delighted) if anyone bites. Who are you? People who learn the intimate weirdo stories of my paintings sometimes get all "but I can't take your holy object" on me. Ultimately, though, I let them go and if they stay it's meant to be. But this one's definitely special: Ada drew the grass with the blue marker.

Know someone who might benefit from an awkwardly intense mantis reminder? Prints are all yours.

And One More (Awesome) Thing


Last month as part of the latest Complexity Weekend hackathon, I hosted a live panel discussion with four unique and fascinating minds — complex systems researchers Tom CarterJenn HuffPietro Michelucci, and Richard James MacCowan— and discussed archaeoacoustic design as a form of extended cognition, the continuity between the ancient and postmodern worlds, biomimicry, and many more interesting threads at the intersection of complex systems research and creative innovation.

It was awesome. I hope you enjoy listening to it half as much as I enjoyed participating.

Ironic Reminder: You Don't Have To Move