Michael Garfield's Love Without End Tour Newsletter: May 2020

20 May 2020

Navigating Radical Uncertainty & Making Art: Vital Conversations • Metamodern Weirdness • Digital Community • Biomechanical Easter Eggs

Hi Friends,

I hope you’re holding up through everything. A quarantine, you know, is from the Italian for “forty days” — that’s how long you had to sit there on the boat before debarking. Whatever brave new world awaits us must be really something, seeing as we blew past forty days a while ago…

I’ve already said my piece about how this crisis might help us find new and better answers than the ones we all got stuck on. Now, deeper into it, I’m just trying to help where I am able. That looks like starting some new (very modest) digital community initiatives, talking sense to crazy when I can, being present as a father and a partner, finding time to play guitar, keeping my head on straight…

The tiny devil on my shoulder tells me to remind you I have art for sale, and that you’ve never had a better opportunity to scoop up one of my originals (because the prices seem imaginary to me, now, and wouldn’t they look better on a wall than in a closet?). The tiny angel on my shoulder tells me I should give as much of it away as possible. I’ll do my best to find a compromise.

Don’t hesitate to write.



New Painting: “A Very Giger Easter”

Here I am before the inevitable quarantine buzz-cut showing off a new 30”x15” canvas I’ve been chipping away at here and there for a couple months. In contrast the rapid start-to-finish I’m used to from live painting, sometimes a piece at home will live in a kind of untouched half-done limbo for weeks at a time…and it feels good to linger and really contemplate that next step, like playing chess by mail.

This piece was one of those. Very nearly called it “My two-thousand-dollar-a-day FabergĂ© egg habit,” in honor of the great Bleeding Gums Murphy. Here it is head-on:
More close-up pictures on my Instagram.

It’s one of about two dozen pieces that I have for sale right now, and you can pretty much ignore the prices in my master list and make a “Crazy Eddie’s Fireworks” offer. My place is (REALLY) small and I’d rather see these pieces find a good home.

Help Navigating Radical Uncertainty

I feel weird talking about my day job in this newsletter, but it wouldn’t seem like an honest accounting of my creative work without letting you know about Complexity Podcast, the show I host and produce for the Santa Fe Institute.

SFI is the mothership of complex systems research, and for the last six weeks I’ve been lucky to work directly with our president David Krakauer — a brilliant evolutionary biologist whose work has inspired much of my thinking and writing — on a special mini-series exploring on how to navigate the radical uncertainty of our global crisis. (I’m especially fond of this one on surviving a mass extinction and/or market collapse.)

I’ve learned volumes doing this show and these episodes in particular, and it’s been immensely rewarding to know that these podcasts have been helpful to so many people at a time when things don’t make a ton of sense. I hope you find them helpful, too.

Join Our New Discord Server

Lately I’ve felt like social media is an ocean full of sharks and I’d rather just hang out in a cozy lagoon with a few close friends. Also, it feels like this pandemic hit the human species in our weak spot — namely, the civic life, the clubs and neighborhood communities that were eaten by the state and corporations in the last few decades.

If you would like a smaller, less diluted scene, I hope you’ll join us on our Discord server, maybe even hop on one of our ongoing Sunday video calls. I am amazed and humbled by the badasses Future Fossils Podcast has attracted to my life, and it would be awesome if you got to meet them, too.

New Future Fossils Episodes

Episode 142 is a conversation with one of my favorite fiction authors, Alex Shakar, about the profound darkbright bizarritude he channels through his two visionary satirical novels The Savage Girl and Luminarium — two works that show the möbius strip of sacred and profane, futurity and timelessness. We bounce off a long list of paradoxical domains, including saving the world with consumerism, metamodernism, ironic religion, virtuality, neurotheology, trauma and radical meaninglessness, the military entertainment complex, hikikomori, and zen comedy…

Episode 143 is a conversation with documentary film-maker Sanjay Rawal about his profound and inspiring movie, 3100: Run and Become — which explores the spiritual practice of long-distance running around the world, from the American Southwest, to the Kalahari Desert, to a remote mountain monastery in Japan. We discuss how Sri Chinmoy (a student of Sri Aurobindo, the founder of integral yoga), started the 3100 mile race in New York, and what it has become; how to be a documentary film-maker without engaging in cultural appropriation; endurance running as an integral yoga and an act of spiritual service; exertion as its own reward; and how ultradistance running and other endurance sports close the gender gap. This was literally a moving conversation for me — after talking with Sanjay, I put on my shoes and went for a run. I hope it does the same for you.

Episode 144 is a trialogue with film-makers Monica Long Ross and Clayton Brown about their bizarre and wonderful documentary, We Believe in Dinosaurs — and how a creationist amusement park in Kentucky provides a lens through which to examine the tense relationship between science, religion, and business in America. This is a conversation about what happens when premodern, modern, and postmodern worldviews duke it out on a landscape of rapid change for which none of them are sufficient. It’s about the surreal Young-Earth dinosaur museums of Late Capitalism. And it’s about our trust (or lack of trust), and where we put it when we lose the plot.

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