Header Art: “Every Year is New year” By Michael Garfield
Music for your reading pleasure:
improvised live at The Laughing Goat Café (Boulder, CO) in Fall 2008
“Venture To The Stars,” by Michael Garfield
painted live at 2010 04 10 Yuri’s Night Bay Area – read its story here
“By 2010, I think the human race will be ungovernable. And at the point where government breaks down, the only alternative to chaos is intelligent negotiation.”
– Robert Anton Wilson
What I am about to tell you, I wonder if I should even write. It’ll only be a few years before it’s all common knowledge anyway, the background normal, the water in which we’re swimming.
First Haiti, then Egypt, then Wisconsin – the communication-empowered crowds proved they could and would outmaneuver NGOs, then the government itself.
Lightspeed sharing, the exponential expansion of individual knowledge driven by compulsive and innate human chatter (“crowd-accelerated innovation”), will make all of what I am about to say stupidly apparent. In the last few years that I’ve been studying it, all of its moving parts, this vast idea spinning in the sky of my pre-augmented meme space like that mysterious red tetrahedron that appeared over the Kremlin back in 2009, a constant superimposition over all of the other metaphors I use to swath my naked awareness…in those last few years, what I thought was a private stirring slowly unveiled itself like a surfacing archipelago, and papers from all over the world appeared to enrich and confirm that early nagging, sneaking suspicion, that slowly filling room of a new life-enveloping truth right before I admit the old world won’t be able to breathe anymore.
Suddenly the hidden extent of my island reality came up crashing over the waters and showed itself as, actually, a continent, a common idea. The edge of that human superorganism swung like dawn from orbit into view and everywhere I looked people were having the same ideas. I could almost feel – I started to imagine as if – a thin web of us, like a slime mold connected by the sweet ectoplasm of wireless transfers, a glistening light lichen with all of us cozied up to these simple silicon things like we’re fungi and algae. I saw myself looking from orbit – not from “my own” eyes, but through a gauzy layer of satellite sensors I operate embodiedly – and flipping through the views of every mind possessed of a certain idea: here first is the map of people who are currently thinking about sex/about money/about postmodernism, and here are the people who are having a hunch about something (you can see it in the glow of their threshold-passing enteric nervous activity, revealing some areas of the planet make people more sensitive in different nervous regions)…to view the body of a notion resonating through the Earth body into each of us, to varying degrees…to finally capture gods on camera.
On this new continent, intellectual property is a joke. In this new land, the past and future telescope visibly in either direction and shake their hands here with us, as us. And so nobody is “first,” exactly. We honor everybody’s part in this beast, this bigger thing. We aren’t fighting; we are in our intense distinctions breathing in our recognition of a common cause, not just the human project but the project of being.
And, seeing this future, I’m not so desperate as I once was to put the pieces together in time. I’m having trouble writing this book because by the time it’s published, some part of me believes you’ll already know. I’m just confirming for you that somebody had this figured out last year. Wow, what a sophisticated savage, still languishing in his selfhood! He so closely predicted this world. But of course, that’s not unusual…time going in all ways like it does, you know.
[Boulder, 11 February 2011]
“Chihuly Oyster,” by Michael Garfield
painted live at Bear Creek Festival 2010 – read its story here
So after strained consideration, I’m NOT going to write this as a book. Not instantaneous enough. Oh sure, I hope it’ll all be published together some day, in a pretty bound volume. But it’s more crucial that these impressions be stamped on the zeitgeist while the wax is still warm, while the revelations still ring with the right time of things.
Books are so last year. Let’s wade through this together in real-time, live from the front lines, where you and I can do the re-knitting work of critique and commentary as each strand in this weave appears. Rather than wait for you to scrawl in paper margins and scan the pages, rather than suffer the belabored editorial back-and-forth, I’ll give up on indices and dust jackets and throw myself heartedly into the vital current of this world-spanning photon web where the book can live as an example of its own ideas. I’ll use links instead of endnotes. I’ll register it under a Creative Commons license instead of a Copyright. I’ll post it all as it steams birth-wet, and edit everything after publication, and I’ll STILL lag behind, because the future I want to tell you about is so fast it’s the past. While we’ve been playing “Time the arrow,” a million generations are living us as prior incarnations.
There’s no way to catch up, so read past the type and FEEL an age when duration is no distance, when distance is no obstacle, and everything instantaneous in love is thrumming NOW, NOW, NOW. I’ll spend a few chapters reeling on science, art, and spirituality…and hopefully, poetically, pull you in with me to the singularity where each of these is a strategy to express the same great mystery – where every sense derives from sensing, every thought’s a branch on thinking, and all these things are followed home, and you and I, as well. Speaking serially about a mind that speaks in holograms, stringing pearls to describe a necklace, let’s begin to trace a maze of roots, not knowing yet as lucidly as we might soon: it doesn’t start or end.
And when I’m finished writing…who will we be by then?
[Boulder, March 24 2011]
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