Michael Garfield Visionary Art & Music

05 April 2016

My Most Prolific Month to Date! New Full-Band Recordings, Solo & Collaboration Paintings, Mural, Podcast, & New Show Announcements

Hello from Santa Fe, New Mexico!  I'm here at Synergia Ranch this week to join in an historic moment with some of the psychedelic revolution's luminaries – folks like Ralph Metzner, Rick Doblin, Dennis McKenna, Allan Badiner, Gay Dillingham, and more (this place is such a trove of first-wave genius, I am soaking up as much as possible).

More on that soon.  But in the meantime, can I suggest you keep this open in a separate tab and graze on it occasionally?  I promise never to finish this many projects in one month ever again.

Love you for even reading this.

May all this crazy season's life and movement be a great adventure for us all.

And now...


Enjoy these tunes!  They are the kind that happen when a big band magically emerges from the intersection of a motley crew of hand-selected instrumental talent and jams together in conjunction with a dozen painters – this is raw, immediate, spontaneous, lush, textured, driving, spacious, beautiful material, and I'm honored that I got to be a part of it.  

Paint Jam ATX is a new monthly in Austin I just started to address this culture's need for places where live music and live art can get together and inspire each other.  Bring your own art supplies and soak in all the creativity.  It's our little prayer to the continued thriving of this city's Red River and the cultural district on its banks, now threatened by a meteoric rise in rent that could destroy the vibe that makes this place so great.

This is the kind of party Austin needs, perhaps the kind of party all of these United States could use, real medicine for those of us who need more substance and participation in our revelry.

I hope that you can join us for the next one! RSVP for our May 1st event here.


Paint Jam #1 Collaboration 
w/ Omar Chow & Tourmaline Todd

oil, acrylic, and aerosol paints
on 40"x30" stretched canvas

The residue in pigment of our first Paint Jam ATX event.  I am on a new collaboration bender – there is no better way to manifest real magic and accelerate the learning of all those involved.

Binary System

oil & acrylic paint pens
on 48"x24" stretched canvas

Another window into what I think the future of humanity might be – a world in which the made and born, machine and biological, the other and the self, are all so intimately intertwined that all these basic categories lose their meaning.

Painted live at Gem and Jam Festival and The Music Run, as well as during plenty of intense late nights at home and in my friends' apartments.  May I recommend you click to view this piece as large as possible?  There is so much detail and delicacy here, such intricate biomechanics...

Particle Accelerator

oil, acrylic, and aerosol paints
on 48"x24" stretched canvas

Another piece that is so damn detailed you won't appreciate the time I put into it if you don't zoom in a little...once I made the leap to disciplined and regular studio work, I've noticed major changes in my sense of daily rhythm and experience of being something called an "artist."

This piece – reminiscent of and dedicated to the submicroscopic realm and those cathedrals of modern science that explore it – was a commissioned album cover for Mystical Sun's new LP of live in-studio analog modular synthesis – a deeply psychedelic ambient endeavor that I resonate with as a fellow wizard working in the great Electrical Imaginary.

(On that note, if anyone you know would like to buy a VIP pass to this year's incredible Moogfest, I'm speaking on technoshamanism and leading a workshop on live looping...and I'm glad to part with either of the two I have for less than their face value.)

Cretaceous Texas

My largest piece as of March 2016 is this mural of the prehistoric ocean that was where this water tank now sits in Johnson City, Texas. Once upon a time – that time is 70 million years ago – there was a vast (but shallow) Intercontinental Seaway that is now the Midwest USA and Canada.

This region was the source of life for much of the ancient world, and the hardest hit when something (comet, asteroid, or meteor) collided with the Yucatan Peninsula to end the Mesozoic Era, punctuating the 5th Mass Extinction. But for much longer than we can imagine, this was paradise: a warm and shallow sea, inhabited by giant marine lizards like Mosasaurus and flying reptiles like Pteranodon, as well as giant sea turtles like Archelon and many species of now-extinct shelled Ammonites.

I'm always eager to portray the natural world as I imagine it must be to those whose brains do not use language – the vivid and immediate intensity of raw sensation, not papered over with our words. The Texas of the Late Cretaceous, violent though it must have been, was truly beautiful. I love to think about it as I walk this land today.

Sea Horse Lovers

collaboration with Chaeli Cardenas
oil and acrylic paints and Copic pen
on 10"x8" stretched canvas

Oh, and since I picked up this delicious 12-string guitar in Arizona after Gem and Jam, I had another case to paint.  Above are the results of me + one paint marker + an evening in the golden light...

Email me if you would like for me to ornament your [anything] with art.  
No project is too big or small!


As the host of Third Eye Drops put it on his page:

Welcome back friends and thank you for once again plugging your consciousness into our nest for catma-filled novelty nuggets!

Erik Davis is an author, scholar and lecturer. His tremendous book, Techgnosis Myth Magic and Mysticism In the Age of Information draws novel, fascinating correlations between technology and mysticism.

Michael Garfield is an all-around silver tongue-tipped spear of information. He also writes for websites like Big Think, creates art and music and is just generally bordering on star child territory.

This conversation is all about evading the awe-sucking tentacles of society’s deeply-entrenched dogma dealers. It’s not easy, but to do it, we need to expand, reconsider and diversify the types of knowledge we’re willing to explore. We’ve got to be active wonder-seekers. We have establish our subjective inner-worlds as frontiers worth exploring, developing and celebrating.

We’ve also got to be careful not to take our catma (I’m in love with this word) quest too far, for if we do, we’re sure to end up deep in the realm of woo, a place where few are taken seriously.


These are just some of the amazing things I get to do this year, while I'm not grinding at the noble goal of making a living selling paintings, starting conversations, and playing and teaching music (I give lessons now, online and in person, if you're interested).

You can find my full calendar here.  If you don't see your town, please let me know you'd like to have me pay a visit!  Maybe we can figure something out.  :)

Lo, soul, seest thou not God's purpose from the first?
The earth to be spann'd, connected by network,
The races, neighbors, to marry and be given in marriage,
The oceans to be cross'd, the distant brought near,
The lands to be welded together.

A worship new I sing,
You captains, voyagers, explorers, yours,
You engineers, you architects, machinists, yours,
You, not for trade or transportation only,
But in God's name, and for thy sake O soul.

- Walt Whitman, Passage To India

05 March 2016

New Time-Lapse & Live Music Videos • Collab with Tourmaline Todd • Mural in Progress • Festival Announcements

“Technology reflects who we are. If we want to have better technology, we must be better people.”

Thank you for reading this...you are the one for whom this work is made.

If you have any questions, say hello.  I'm always glad to hear from you!


– Music – Paintings – Writing – Talks –

Beyond Duality - POV Live Painting Time Lapse

Watch on YouTube
Free Downloads: Narration | Music
Buy a print of "New Age Cleopatra"

What happens when we cease identifying Nature as something outside of us?  What will our culture look like when we see our cities and our songs as something Earth is doing?  This video features my Google Glass first-person footage while live painting my own vision of a future in which "made" and "born" are not two separate categories, narrated by an excerpt from one of my talks on human evolution and transpersonal psychology, and scored by music improvised on acoustic guitar and looping pedals as a performance of this new cybernetic nondual paradigm.

"Really" featuring Jenuine Cello

I've been waiting years to grab a solid video of this song, one of my favorites – it goes deep, says a lot in few words, and has a lovely funky little break in the bridge that opens up this modest number into something truly groovy.  Superb accompaniment by my friend and frequent co-conspirator, Jenuine Cello.

Recorded live on Febuary 4th at the monthly live looping residency Jen and I have held at Strange Brew Loungeside, Austin's finest listening room, for 14 months now.  (Incidentally, you can now like the Loopers' Night fan page on Facebook or join our Facebook group for more direct participation.)

Nothing ever goes away, really
It only ever changes shape.
Innumerable masks and shades peeling
off your only lover's face.
We grieve and overcome the late
weeping, stranded in an elder age
but everything has been exchanged
sealing the gone in all that still remains...

We have traded blood and even if you die
no flood can wash away the sky.
In the cold and mud we're left asking why
but love will only answer, "I AM"

We lean on battered hearts and faint
weakened, wounded for the want of taste
but nothing ever leaves or stays, here
cuz Heaven permeates all space...

"Living Ships"
New Small Studio Collaboration with Tourmaline Todd

12"x16" – studio – oil and acrylic paints on canvas
Buy a print of "Living Ships"

Really getting into more collaboration paintings this year (check my Instagram for more on that) – this one, my homie Tourmaline Todd let me take home and finish.  I really like the opportunity to catch the pass and bring it home across those last few yards, to use an awkward football metaphor for art...the markers lend themselves quite well to finishing and detail work.

This piece is one of several in a new "best of" collaborations section in my store.

Mural in Progress

Not much to say about this one except I'm having a blast working on something bigger!  This painting is on the curved ceiling of a friend's camper here in Austin – about seven feet wide or so.

 I've taken little clips of time-lapse video on my phone using Lapse It Pro for Android and a magnetic-footed Joby Gorillapod, which I'll be sharing soon.  That's a gift you can expect to keep on giving – expect 1080p time-lapse videos to be a thing, now.  :)

Upcoming Events

All that hard work's finally beginning to pay off – the quality of festivals inviting me to join them this year is amazing, and I now curate not one but TWO monthly gigs in Austin (Loopers' Night and Paint Jam) that are each unique and excellent in their own right.

Highlights:  I'm presenting on technoshamanism and teaching an interactive live looping workshop at this year's Moogfest in Durham, North Carolina.  And I'm playing music at Boom Festival's Chillout Gardens in Portugal this August!  Hot damn, folks – if you'll be at either of these, hit me up...

I'd love to know where YOU think I should be this year – check out my calendar and let me know if you think anything is missing!

11 February 2016

Behold! All At Once, A New EP, Tutorial Video, Two Paintings, & A Hat

Greetings, friends!  I'm trying to put these things out frequently and keep these updates shorter, but Good Lord.  It's been a very busy and productive, gratefully engaged, enthusiastic, driven year so far.  I hope you're feeling some of that ignition in your life as well!  Here's what I've got for you:

My Newest Tunes, Your Next Adventure

"Five minutes in and I've forgotten every bad dream I've ever had."
– Ivan Marko

(And how exactly am I supposed to remain impervious to reviews when I hear stuff like that?)

This music is a gift, and medicine* (*this statement not evaluated by the FDA).  So take it.  You can read more about it on the download page if you like knowing about records before you listen to them.

(It's also a solid starting point for diving into the 69 releases I have captured live and shared for free since I began to loop guitar.  Intuitively, I would also recommend this one and this one.)

In related news, here is the annotated video I made of the performance.  I have waited years for footage I could use to show folks how I build my sound on stage, and here it is: a "how to" on how one mic and guitar become these intricate, expansive, braided, glitchy, burning grooves...

New Studio Painting: 
"Many Beginnings & No Ending"

I don't ordinarily paint like this at home (unless it's custom hats).  But when I do, I'm also listening to documentaries.  Awesome nonfiction videos I watched while working on this painting:

New Live Painting: "Lucky Fish"

I was born with the Moon in Pisces ("the fish") – according to astrology, a recipe for moody artists and dreamers. We evolved from fish, and the fish lives on in all of us; our hands modified fins, our fishy brainstem still at the base of our instinctive action and intuition. (You can read all about this stuff in science journalist Neil Shubin's awesome evolutionary biology book, Your Inner Fish.)

Fish are also a sign of luck in many cultures – whether as the decorations in a Japanese garden pond, or as a symbol of plenty and abundance (eg, Jesus's loaves and fishes in the Gospels of Mark and Matthew). They take on mystical significance in the life-changing synchronicities that inspired the visionary science fiction of Philip K. Dick, and even look valuable – all those shiny scales! So it felt right as rain to paint one, finally.

Original piece painted live in Austin, Texas with oil, acrylic, and aerosol paint on masonite (24"x32") on 22 January 2016 at Flamingo Cantina to the music of Irie Samurai, Dosage, Sharkweek, and Bonus Junk; and on 24 January 2016 at the HOPE Outdoor Farmer's Market to the music of The Mismatch and SEFO.

Custom Painted Hat #182

You can now use this page to learn more about, and order, a lovingly detailed, one-of-a-kind hand-painted, waterproof, and awesome custom hat.  Thanks for your business!

You May Have Missed: Hummingbird Blankets!

Yep, these are a real thing now.  They're real!  And they're even more soft and comfortable than I'd hoped they'd be.  The first to order just got theirs and folks have sent me lots of happy pictures of their new throw blankets (you can see a few on Instagram).  They're huge, they're made in the USA from cotton grown in the USA (60% recycled), and they're woven on some kind of crazy robot loom that reads my painting and turns it into some crazy robot language in order for this to be.

Really, when you think about it that way, they're a bargain.  I totally agree and I'm super grateful to finally have something so nice available so affordably.  And they're freakin' practical!

Upcoming Gigs – Full Calendar Here

Parting Thought

"Why do almost no films ever show civilization functioning, institutions doing their jobs, democracy working? The answer is simple: laziness. A storyteller’s job is to keep his or her characters in pulse-pounding jeopardy for 90 minutes of film, or 600 pages of a novel. It’s hard to do that if they can dial 911 and get skilled professionals to come to their aid... It takes real writing to come up with a way of keeping your characters in jeopardy, despite there being skilled professionals who want to help them."