Michael Garfield's Love Without End Tour Newsletter: Making Sense of the Pandemic • Free Coloring Book • New Music & Paintings

26 March 2020

Making Sense of the Pandemic • Free Coloring Book • New Music & Paintings

"The future is too interesting and dangerous to be entrusted to any predictable, reliable agency. We need all the fallibility we can get. Most of all, we need to preserve the absolute unpredictability and total improbability of our connected minds. That way we can keep open all the options, as we have in the past.” 
– Lewis Thomas

While in enforced isolation due to a plague, college student Isaac Newton devised our modern theories of both optics and gravity. What will YOU do with your social distancing?

This opportunity for a new creative chapter is upon us at all levels, right now. Our national and global systems were stuck on suboptimal solutions and have demonstrated their inability to handle the complex and evolving crises of our emerging planetary culture. We now have a chance to break out, dream up local answers in massive parallel, and come back together in a stronger, more resilient (and antifragile) place than where we started.

Here's a short audio essay on how to make sense of this in light of complex systems research, with dozens of links to useful information in the show notes. Hope it helps.

For those of you with a sudden surplus of free time, I've decided to freeware the previously patrons-only Future Fossils Coloring Book for your enjoyment. It's a 25-page PDF of trippy doodles (some abstract, some of a natural history persuasion) that you can print out or color on a tablet. My only request is that I get to see some of the finished results!

If you want the "full experience," here are hours and hours of free music for your streaming pleasure, with a confirmed track record of facilitating awesome art sessions:

SpotifyBandcampSoundcloud (fewer tracks there compared to the other two)

And now onto some new art!

I painted the top two pieces in collaboration with Jamie Baldwin Gaviola (@flowstatepaint on Instagram). She started the top two and mailed them to me to finish, and then I had a wild hair to "breed" the two paintings. My daughter had her first birthday this week and in the weeks leading up, the two paintings Jamie started seemed reminiscent to me of my partner (the softer pastel sunburst grid one) and myself (the edgier and bolder peacock circuitboard one). The third painting, the square of blobby motion and expressive dynamic gooeyness in the middle, is unquestionably our child.

But of course no symbol can be contained by a single interpretation, even for one (honest) person, and as with all artwork, new layers and associations will undoubtedly reveal themselves over time.  The "daughter" painting was finished the night I also completed a new studio arrangement of a song I've been kind of "pregnant" with for the last several years, a song that first started taking shape the week my partner moved to Austin to live with me in 2014 and I got lost in the Texas Hill Country on ayahuasca (but that's another story). That song, "Always Catching Up," has a lot to do with the network latencies in our nervous systems and how we're always responding to a state of the world that has already transformed into something else. 

When I first played the scratch mix of the studio track for my friends in Santa Fe, the only visible star turned out to be Aldebaran, which is associated with the Archangel Michael and with militant peacocking. It seemed like I was being drawn back into the synchronicity vortex that subsumed me for over a month in 2017 leading up to the release of the Pavo LP & Martian Arts EP (I talk a little bit about that particular Chapel Perilous in the public liner notes to those two releases). Anyway, the latest canvas finished itself that night, and now here we are.

All three of these paintings are available for sale, or if you're playing it safe with your money still want a copy, they're available as cardstock and canvas prints in my shop (Jamie and I split proceeds).