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FUTURE FOSSILS

Art & Philosophy for an Age of Accelerating Weirdness

Conversations that help map, navigate, and integrate a future weirder than we all imagined. Join Michael Garfield for profound and soulful dialogues and group discussions with some of the world's most amazing artists and
Latest Episode10/20/2020

155 - Michael Morgenstern on Fictions as Weapons and 21st Century Media Literacy

Ep. 155
This week I chat with film-maker Michael Morgenstern about his latest transmedia project, I Dared My Best Friend To Ruin My Life, which takes young adults down a mind-bending and immersive narrative vortex about weaponized synthetic media to teach vital 21st Century literacies and the society-threatening implications of #deepfakes.While I’ve been speculating on the ominous (albeit numinous) social and psychological consequences of deepfakes since my 2017 sci-fi short “An Oral History of The End of ‘Reality’” and discussed the more hopeful possibilities in last week's episode with Stephanie Lepp, this conversation takes the futurist speculation to a whole new level to examine:•How convincing and deceitful information-age fictions pose a risk not just to the fabric of society but even our personal relationships;•How deepfakes will turn the logic of waking life from something sober and tangible to something more like a dream or shamanic journey;•How Michael and his team based the execution and roll-out of this project on an industrial fake news factory and open-source software community;•How electronic media function like a parasitic alien intelligence;•The ethical concerns they had to consider and enact in producing something intended to create good but capable of accidentally causing serious harm;•And so much more...Visit Michael's website:https://everythingisfilm.comCheck out Team Zander, the looking glass through which you can experience this kaleidoscopic weirdness:https://teamzander.comCopious additional resources related to this project here:https://mailchi.mp/24cbc646d833/this-is-definitely-real-let-the-game-begin?e=11fc71d569Please rate and review Future Fossils on Apple Podcasts! And if you believe in the value of this show and want to see it thrive,support Future Fossils on Patreon. Patrons gain access to over twenty secret episodes, unreleased music, our book club, and countless other wondrous goodies as they spill out of my overactive imagination.Big Announcement: I've just released all of the Future Fossils Book Club call recordings from behind the patrons-only paywall! Help yourself to eight newly-available discussions on some of my favorite works of psychedelic science fiction and non-fiction, including Blindsight by Peter Watts; Xenolinguistics by Diana Slattery; Liu Cixin's The Three Body Problem, The Dark Forest, and Death's End; Jeff VanderMeer's Borne; and Octavia Butler's trilogy Lilith's Brood (Dawn, and Adulthood Rites, and Imago).We’d also love to have you inour thriving little Discord server, if you’re interested in meeting other members of our awesome scene. (And if you’re up for helping edit Future Fossils Podcast transcripts, please drop me a line atfuturefossilspodcast@gmail.com.)Intro music is from my new release, "Löwenmensch," part of an archaelogical research project on cross-domain knowledge transfer from prehistoric sculpture to modern electronic art and music, which you can read all about (and watch me perform) here. Find it on major streaming platforms at https://smarturl.it/lionman.Outro music is from Skytree’s new LP of spacey downtempo electronica,Infraplanetary,which I highly encourage you to purchase.Go deeper into the fractal rabbit hole of related media we reference in this episode:My new essay, "The Evolution of Surveillance, Part 4: Augments & Amputees"https://medium.com/@michaelgarfield/the-evolution-of-surveillance-part-4-augments-amputees-92075fabd5a6"On Coronavirus, Complex Systems, and Creative Opportunity"https://medium.com/@michaelgarfield/on-coronavirus-complex-systems-and-creative-opportunity-b82e227a22e7"We Will Fight Diseases of Our Networks By Realizing We Are Networks"https://medium.com/@michaelgarfield/we-will-fight-diseases-of-our-networks-by-realizing-we-are-networks-7fa1e1c24444"Advertisement is Psychedelic Art is Advertisement"https://medium.com/@michaelgarfield/advertisement-is-psychedelic-art-is-advertisement-c4b000f4bbd0Future Fossils 81 - Arthur Brock of Holochain on Rethinking Currency & The Future of Distributed Systemshttps://shows.acast.com/futurefossils/episodes/81On Becoming Aware: A pragmatics of experiencing, by Natalie Depraz, Francisco Varela, and Pierre Vermerschhttps://books.google.com/books?id=iYJy_2909NAC&printsec=copyright#v=onepage&q&f=false"A Calculus for Self Reference" by Francisco Varela (DOI, PDF)https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03081077508960828http://eamusic.dartmouth.edu/~larry/recordings/varela_calculus.pdf"The Science & Technology in Futurama That Everyone In Ad-Tech Can Appreciate," by Bryan Bartletthttps://www.business2community.com/marketing/science-technology-futurama-everyone-ad-tech-can-appreciate-01028949Enjoy, and thanks for listening!
10/20/2020

155 - Michael Morgenstern on Fictions as Weapons and 21st Century Media Literacy

Ep. 155
This week I chat with film-maker Michael Morgenstern about his latest transmedia project, I Dared My Best Friend To Ruin My Life, which takes young adults down a mind-bending and immersive narrative vortex about weaponized synthetic media to teach vital 21st Century literacies and the society-threatening implications of #deepfakes.While I’ve been speculating on the ominous (albeit numinous) social and psychological consequences of deepfakes since my 2017 sci-fi short “An Oral History of The End of ‘Reality’” and discussed the more hopeful possibilities in last week's episode with Stephanie Lepp, this conversation takes the futurist speculation to a whole new level to examine:•How convincing and deceitful information-age fictions pose a risk not just to the fabric of society but even our personal relationships;•How deepfakes will turn the logic of waking life from something sober and tangible to something more like a dream or shamanic journey;•How Michael and his team based the execution and roll-out of this project on an industrial fake news factory and open-source software community;•How electronic media function like a parasitic alien intelligence;•The ethical concerns they had to consider and enact in producing something intended to create good but capable of accidentally causing serious harm;•And so much more...Visit Michael's website:https://everythingisfilm.comCheck out Team Zander, the looking glass through which you can experience this kaleidoscopic weirdness:https://teamzander.comCopious additional resources related to this project here:https://mailchi.mp/24cbc646d833/this-is-definitely-real-let-the-game-begin?e=11fc71d569Please rate and review Future Fossils on Apple Podcasts! And if you believe in the value of this show and want to see it thrive,support Future Fossils on Patreon. Patrons gain access to over twenty secret episodes, unreleased music, our book club, and countless other wondrous goodies as they spill out of my overactive imagination.Big Announcement: I've just released all of the Future Fossils Book Club call recordings from behind the patrons-only paywall! Help yourself to eight newly-available discussions on some of my favorite works of psychedelic science fiction and non-fiction, including Blindsight by Peter Watts; Xenolinguistics by Diana Slattery; Liu Cixin's The Three Body Problem, The Dark Forest, and Death's End; Jeff VanderMeer's Borne; and Octavia Butler's trilogy Lilith's Brood (Dawn, and Adulthood Rites, and Imago).We’d also love to have you inour thriving little Discord server, if you’re interested in meeting other members of our awesome scene. (And if you’re up for helping edit Future Fossils Podcast transcripts, please drop me a line atfuturefossilspodcast@gmail.com.)Intro music is from my new release, "Löwenmensch," part of an archaelogical research project on cross-domain knowledge transfer from prehistoric sculpture to modern electronic art and music, which you can read all about (and watch me perform) here. Find it on major streaming platforms at https://smarturl.it/lionman.Outro music is from Skytree’s new LP of spacey downtempo electronica,Infraplanetary,which I highly encourage you to purchase.Go deeper into the fractal rabbit hole of related media we reference in this episode:My new essay, "The Evolution of Surveillance, Part 4: Augments & Amputees"https://medium.com/@michaelgarfield/the-evolution-of-surveillance-part-4-augments-amputees-92075fabd5a6"On Coronavirus, Complex Systems, and Creative Opportunity"https://medium.com/@michaelgarfield/on-coronavirus-complex-systems-and-creative-opportunity-b82e227a22e7"We Will Fight Diseases of Our Networks By Realizing We Are Networks"https://medium.com/@michaelgarfield/we-will-fight-diseases-of-our-networks-by-realizing-we-are-networks-7fa1e1c24444"Advertisement is Psychedelic Art is Advertisement"https://medium.com/@michaelgarfield/advertisement-is-psychedelic-art-is-advertisement-c4b000f4bbd0Future Fossils 81 - Arthur Brock of Holochain on Rethinking Currency & The Future of Distributed Systemshttps://shows.acast.com/futurefossils/episodes/81On Becoming Aware: A pragmatics of experiencing, by Natalie Depraz, Francisco Varela, and Pierre Vermerschhttps://books.google.com/books?id=iYJy_2909NAC&printsec=copyright#v=onepage&q&f=false"A Calculus for Self Reference" by Francisco Varela (DOI, PDF)https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03081077508960828http://eamusic.dartmouth.edu/~larry/recordings/varela_calculus.pdf"The Science & Technology in Futurama That Everyone In Ad-Tech Can Appreciate," by Bryan Bartletthttps://www.business2community.com/marketing/science-technology-futurama-everyone-ad-tech-can-appreciate-01028949Enjoy, and thanks for listening!
10/8/2020

154 - Stephanie Lepp on Pro-Social Deepfakes, Post-Normal Science, and The Future of "Reality"

Ep. 154
This week I chat with artist Stephanie Lepp, producer of Infinite Lunchbox, the Reckonings podcast, and — most excitingly, for me —Deep Reckonings, a stunning new project exploring the “pro-social” uses of AI-generated “deepfakes” and other synthetic media for education, therapy, and other beneficial outcomes.While I’ve been speculating on the ominous (albeit numinous) social and psychological consequences of deepfakes since my 2017 sci-fi short “An Oral History of The End of ‘Reality’”, it never really occurred to me that these tools aren’t just dangerous but potentially healing and transformative. Stephanie, however, has made it very clear in her new videos, and in her extensive statement for the project, that sometimes all we need to imagine a better world is to see it faked convincingly.In this discussion, we explore how deepfakes can expand and enrich the potent benefits of earlier media like theater and the novel; why it’s so controversial to portray wrongdoers finally accepting accountability and moral leadership, even when it’s an explicit fiction; and how science itself is going to have to change to accommodate a more nuanced and multi-dimensional understanding of truth.Stephanie at IFTF | LinkedIn | TwitterPlease rate and review Future Fossils on Apple Podcasts! And if you believe in the value of this show and want to see it thrive, support Future Fossils on Patreon. Patrons gain access to over twenty secret episodes, unreleased music, our book club, and many other great things as they spill out of my overactive imagination.We’d also love to have you in our thriving little Discord server, if you’re interested in meeting other members of our awesome scene. (And if you’re up for helping edit Future Fossils Podcast transcripts, please drop me a line at futurefossilspodcast@gmail.com.)Intro and outro music is from Skytree’s new LP of spacey downtempo electronica, Infraplanetary, which I highly encourage you to purchase.Enjoy, and thanks for listening!
9/24/2020

153 - Burning Man VR x IRL with Caveat Magister, Naomi Most, and Raven Mitch Mignano

Ep. 153
This week we bring together Burning Man’s resident philosopher Caveat Magister (the author of The Scene That Became Cities, from Penguin Random House) together with anarchist community organizer Naomi Most of Noisebridge and Playa trickster historian Mitch Mignano for a conversation about the festival’s uneasy but remarkable transition into virtuality —and how holdouts worldwide persisted in “IRL” celebrations that preserved the face-to-face community and presence Burning Man cannot yet replicate online.This discussion was a total treat, and covered everything from complex systems and the evolution of the city to the new and strange ontologies emerging in the blue light of our screen-bound era.•Was Burning Man always just a physicalized version of the World Wide Web?Or is its power and uniqueness in precisely how it ISN’T?•Is Burning Man a kind of virtual reality already, or —like VR —just a not-entirely-successful effort to screen out the world that creates it?•What is the value of culture for culture’s sake, and why should we protect the efforts for it?•Is Black Rock City pointless, or is it an engine for teaching Applied Existentialism…or both, and more?•What happened at the in-person Burning Man(s) this year, when people still decided they would gather during a pandemic?This episode is dedicated to the memory of James Oroc.Writing and videos we mention in this episode:*** The Case of the Missing Man by Caveat Magister (Read the whole series!) ***Sand Talk by Tyson YunkaportaThe Garden of Forking Memes by Aaron Z. LewisWilliam Irwin Thompson in 1975 x Burning Man 2013 Through Google Glass [video]Transformational Festivals are a Symptom of Dissociation by MGGiving Into Astonishment: Scenes from Burning Man’s American Dream by MGIf you believe in the value of this show and want to see it thrive, please send your friends to this page and encourage them to support Future Fossils on Patreon. Patrons gain access to over twenty secret episodes, unreleased music, our book club, and whatever else spills out of my overactive imagination. We’d love to have you in our thriving little Discord server, if you’re interested in meeting other members of our awesome scene. And if you’re up for helping edit Future Fossils Podcast transcripts, you’re my hero! Please drop me a line at futurefossilspodcast@gmail.com.Intro music in this episode is “Valles Marineris” from my Martian Arts EP. Outro music is an early mix of “You Don’t Have To Move,” from my forthcoming/in-progress album The Age of Reunion.Dig deeper into these related Future Fossils episodes:25 –DADARA on Art, Virtual Realities, and Flow States31 –Mitch Altman of Noisebridge on Hacking Life for Fun & Profit41 – Hannah Faith Yata on Art, Wilderness, and Rebellion55 – “Creativity and Catastrophe” at Palenque Norte, Burning Man 201761 –Jamaica Stevens on Crisis, Rebirth, and Transformation71 –JF Martel on Sequels & Simulacra76 –“Technology as Psychedelic Parenting” at Palenque Norte, Burning Man 201796 –Malena Grosz on Community-Led Party Culture vs. Corporate “Nightlife”100 –The Teafaerie on DMT, Transhumanism, and What To Do With All of God’s AttentionEnjoy and thanks for listening!
9/17/2020

152 - Weird Artist Medicine Storytelling Hour with Colin Frangicetto

Ep. 152
“I know now that the rules of reality change by zip code.”In a conversation recorded nearly a year ago on September 27, 2019 (and now hilariously strange in light of months of pandemic quarantine), I speak with the ultra-talented, delightful, immediately relatable and immensely likable Colin Frangicetto —guitarist for the excellent band Circa Survive and solo project Psychic Babble, painter, writer, and podcaster —about what we’ve learned from our high-dose psychedelic experiences, from our extended and potentially crazy periods of constant synchronicity, and from traveling the world playing music and making art.This episode is a dual-show crossover in which we interview each other, and which also appears on Colin’s wonderful podcast, The Cosmic Nod. Pop over there if you want to read all the nice things he said about me in his show notes. I agree with him that on this call you hear our friendship being born...Be sure to follow Colin’s Instagram & Twitter accounts, and support him on Patreon, and support Circa Survive on Patreon.And of course, please consider supporting Future Fossils and all of the other creative work I do (which is A LOT) on Patreon also. With three jobs and a kid, it’s a miracle this show still exists, entirely by the graces of listeners like (and deliciously unlike) you.It’s even more of a miracle that we have such an excellent community flourishing around it…here’s an invite to our Discord server, if you’d like to be a part of that.SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT! Colin and I are going to be speaking together at this weekend’s Psilocybin Summit —along with folks like Paul Stamets, Shane Mauss, Dennis McKenna, Bett Williams, Bia Labate, Simon Yugler, and about 50 other amazing brilliant people. Go here to grab your tickets and I’ll get a tiny slice of the pie.Also, the entire back catalog of Future Fossils will soon have searchable transcriptions courtesy of podscribe.ai. If you’re a podcaster, I cannot recommend or even imagine a better service for your transcripts. Go tell Pete Birsinger I sent you and make your life a little easier.TOPICS COLIN AND I DISCUSS IN THIS EPISODE:His recent maiden voyage with ayahuasca and his integration at home.The indoor trip versus the outdoor trip and life at home versus life on the road, and the experience of time on tour versus at home.How life in the early 21st Century is like The Book of Exodus and the nonlinear path of the Wandering Jew, faith-tested in the wilderness.What relatively rare artist-and-musicians have in common…and why “everybody hates Bo Jackson.”What it means to be an obligate social organism, totally dependent on society, trending evolutionarily in the direction of both gods and babies, and what that means for finding ourselves in collaboration, generally.The post-career world, and in what ways we have to be a different state of matter than our parents’ generation.When magic becomes commonplace and matter-of-fact.Psychedelics and time: telepathy, or precognition?Transcendental cephalopods: WHY IS THAT A THING?Time loops and Chapel Perilous synchroncity vortices.Taking (or not taking) ayahuasca literally.How to learn how to love yourself.Big Mind Process and Internal Family Systems.Why is the self plural, in the first place?How to deal with the weird and sometimes scary things you accidentally create, responsibly.Cancer treatment vs. crime and punishment.Relationships as covenants between complementary strengths and weaknesses in partner organisms that do not share the same worldspace, and how that results in hilarious disagreements about UFOs.Breaking the tentacles of co-dependency with psychedelic solo work.Multiple-timescale creative project bouquets.Aaaand snapping turtles.LIST OF AMAZING (AND AMAZINGLY WHITE) PEOPLE WE MENTION:The Ungoogleable MichaelangeloSean-Paul Von AnckenShane MaussErik DavisPapadosioWilliam Irwin ThompsonDuncan TrussellErick GodseyMichael PhillipCory AllenJohn KaagRobin ArnottTopher SipesWeird Studies PodcastMark PesceMitch Mignano
9/6/2020

151 - Artist Jon Marro on Living a Life of Creative Service

Ep. 151
For episode 151 we welcome Jon Marro, one of the purest creative souls I’ve ever had the luck to encounter.Jon hit me up a couple months ago to participate in a documentary film he’s producing, interviewing artists about their creative visions, and our first conversation for his interview series was so solid and heartfelt I had to swap interviewer seats with him and have him on the show.In this episode we discuss his understanding of his role in life, his relationship to time and identity and purpose, his commitment to the Great Work and service of the creative life, and where he thinks we are in the Big Picture amidst all the chaos and possibility of 02020.Check out his awesome website and art portfolio at JonMarro.com.Music in this episode is from my new EP of solo fingerstyle guitar tunes, Mudras, which you can find on Bandcamp, Apple Music, Spotify, and Google Play right here: smarturl.it/mudrasIf you believe in the value of this show and want to see it thrive, send your friends to this page and encourage them to support Future Fossils on Patreon. Patrons gain access to over twenty secret episodes, unreleased music, our book club, and whatever else spills out of my overactive imagination.Another way to help: I would love your assistance editing transcripts for new Future Fossils episodes! Please drop me a line at futurefossilspodcast@gmail.com if you’d like to help with this or want to suggest any other kind of offering for the show, time or money or whatever else.And to go deeper, check out the other work I’m doing for the two non-profits that I work for:For mind-expanding science conversations, dig into my other podcast for The Santa Fe Institute, Complexity, at complexity.simplecast.com.For mind-expanding news about deep time and our wild world, check out my new contributions to The Long Now Foundation blog at blog.longnow.org.Enjoy and thanks for listening!
8/16/2020

150 - A Unifying Meta-Theory of UFOs & The Weird with Sean Esbjörn-Hargens

Ep. 150
For Episode 150 we welcome back Sean Esbjörn-Hargens, one of the most formidable and daring intellects I know, and the author of a new paper integrating over 650 books on UFOs and the paranormal, from over 150 disciplines, to trace the outline of a unifying meta-theory of the weird. In this episode, we discuss how Sean reconciles ten different hypotheses for the UFO phenomenon with his “mutual enactment hypothesis,” an updated ontology based on reconstructive post-modernism and Indigenous ways of knowing. I tell the story of the most powerful and transformative experiences of my life, as a case study in high weirdness. We talk about the distinctions between the real, the Real, the hypo-real, and the hyper-real, and offer examples from film, literature, and comparative religion.Do you have incredulous friends? Show them the extraordinary website Sean made with Tom Curren, WhatsUpWithUFOs.comRead Sean’s paper, “Our Wild Kosmos!: An Exo Studies Exploration of the Ontological Status of Non-Human Intelligences”Read its precursor, “An Ontology of Climate Change: Integral Pluralism and the Enactment of Multiple Objects”Read Sean’s latest newsletter on recent UFO disclosuresLearn more about and enroll in Sean’s course on Exo StudiesIf you believe in the value of this show and want to see it thrive, support Future Fossils on Patreon. Patrons gain access to over twenty secret episodes, unreleased music, our book club, and whatever else spills out of my overactive imagination.Dig deeper with the Future Fossils episodes we reference in this conversation, including:37 - Michaelangelo aka Void Denizen (Excavating the Future with "Paisley-ontology")60 - Sean Esbjörn-Hargens Goes Meta on Everything: Integral Ecology & Impact71 - JF Martel (On Sequels & Simulacra, Blade Runner 2049 & Stranger Things 2)91 - An Oral History of The End of "Reality"99 - Erik Davis on How to Navigate High Weirdness113 - Sean Esbjörn-Hargens on Exostudies: Philosophical Explorations of the UFO Phenomenon117 - Eric Wargo on Time Loops: Precognition, Retrocausation, and the Unconscious126 - Phil Ford & JF Martel on Weird Studies & Plural Realities132 - Erik Davis on Perturbations in the Reality Field149 - Cultural Somatics & Ritual as Justice with Tada Hozumi, Dare Sohei, and Naomi MostAnd stay tuned for my three-part conversation with Stuart Davis about (most of) my UFO experiences on his awesome Aliens & Artists Podcast!Music in this episode:“Delta Pavonis” by Michael Garfield“Olympus Mons” by Michael Garfield“Your Heart Comes Back Online” by Michael Garfield“Out There” by Skytree
8/8/2020

149 - Cultural Somatics & Ritual as Justice with Tada Hozumi, Dare Sohei, and Naomi Most

Ep. 149
“Arevolutionwithoutdancingis not arevolution worthhaving.Ifthere won't bedancingat therevolution, I'm not coming.”–Emma GoldmanStrap in for what might be the best Future Fossils episode yet: a four-way with guests Tada Hozumi and Dare Sohei of the Ritual as Justice School and guest co-host Naomi Most, in which we discuss how trauma manifests in posture and social interactions, how cultures are bodies we participate in, how the individual does not exist as we were taught, how interpersonal and sociopolitical dynamics shape and are shaped by their histories, how creative practice and ritual serve to regulate inherited wounds and ameliorate unresolved conflicts, and so much more I can’t even bother to get into it here. A truly profound, far-reaching, incompressible conversation you might want to queue up twice to be sure that you catch it all…“We’re bringing our families with us whenever we walk into a situation and to think that we’re individuals is missing the point.”–Dare SoheiRitual as Justice School: ritualasjustice.schoolTada Hozumi: selfishactivist.comDare Sohei: bodyaltar.orgNaomi Most: twitter.com/nthmost + medium.com/@nthmostIf you believe in the value of this show and want to see it thrive, support Future Fossils on Patreon for over nearly twenty secret episodes, our book club, and much more.Theme Music:“God Detector” by Evan “Skytree” Snyder (feat. Michael Garfield)Episode Cover Art:“Going Home” by Michael Garfield (dedicated to Sara la Kali, the Black Madonna)Read Tada Hozumi’s essay, “A Funk Lesson: If life is a dance, violence is a choreography, but so is justice”Read Tada Hozumi’s essay, “The Cultural Somatic Paradox”