FUTURE FOSSILS

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18 - JF Martel (Art, Magic, & The Terrifying Zone of Uncanny Awesomeness)

Ep. 18

This week's guest is the loquacious, thoughtful, and profound JF Martel, film-maker and author of Reclaiming Art in the Age of Artifice and the three-part essay Reality is Analog, about the philosophical themes lurking behind Netflix's series Stranger Things.

http://reclaimingart.com

https://www.metapsychosis.com/reality-is-analog-philosophizing-with-stranger-things-part-one/

We discuss what can and cannot be captured and communicated digitally…

The Primordial, Deep, Subrational Forms of Poetry, Madness, Excess…

“Ultimately, art does have a function: it’s to help us better navigate the infinite chaos that is reality.”

The problem of overusing or misusing Occam’s Razor

“We understand the nature of reality the moment we admit that we don’t know it…the moment we admit we CAN’T know it.”

“Every concept kind of contains its own opposite, or casts its own shadow.”

The difference between a Sign and a Symbol

Faith or Rebellion? (Patriotism or Treason?)

Azazel the Peacock Angel vs. Lucifer the Rebel Angel

Is there an ultimate reality?

“It’s really, really tough to make great art. It’s tough to make GOOD art.”

About Hollywood: “I don’t think collaboration has ever been a great friend of art.”

“The equipment is changing so fast that no one gets GOOD at anything anymore…it’s hard to MASTER anything, today. But I think we’re moving toward something better than what we’ve had.”

The old and new paradigms of film and TV production

“[Netflix is] using the digital culture we’ve developed to make great films in the way that maybe they should always be made, which is: you identify the people with vision, and you put them in charge.”

Technology: Inevitable? How Japan said no to guns for hundreds of years…

“A society that presumes that it knows the real and can dictate its course…it is doomed to failure.”

“We are finite and live in the infinite. You can’t accrue more of the infinite.”

Staying in touch with the nonhuman.

“We’re made out of forces we can’t control. But at the same time we have a certain amount of control over how conscious we are of that. And we need to become more conscious of that. And Art helps us become more conscious of that in an objective sense, and Art helps us become more conscious of that in an empirical sense…it points out areas of the Known that need to be reconnected to the Unknown.”

How to be an esoteric workaday dad mystic artist weirdo

“I think we need to become more religious…I mean in tune with that transcendent, imminent Thing.”

“Once your roots go down infinitely, you have LICENSE to love iPhones.”

“We’d buy stuff, we’d put it in the movie, and then we’d return it intact. I felt like we were doing real alchemy…”

Michael tells one of his most bizarre and curious accounts, of a haunted camera acquired by pranking a corporation…

“Infinite meaning is tantamount to meaninglessness.”

“Artistic creation is fundamentally dangerous, in the sense that you’re moving out of the Terra Firma of the known into areas that are unknown, or you’re looking at things from an angle that’s alien to the perspective you inherited from your tribe or your culture. So there’s a REASON why so many artists end up fucked up or dying horrible deaths…I think there’s a fundamental danger that we need to recognize, especially as we enter into projects or creations that are actually visionary, that are actually pushing into something.”

“I think you can allow for quite a bit of synchronicity to enter your life, as long as you can handle it.”

“All you have to do is read Van Gogh’s biography, and you can ask…was it worth it? I think it was worth it. Maybe there’s a notion here of sacrifice. Maybe certain people are so willing to go out there and produce these visions that they’re willing to sacrifice themselves. That sounds crazy today, because we don’t have the vaguest inkling of what sacrifice means in this culture.”

“Maybe you need the tragic. Maybe the tragic is indelible…and that’s what makes creation so beautiful.”

WWDT: “What Would Dostoyevsky Think?” (Ask yourself about the opinions of your revered artist heroes when you’re working on a piece…)

“The responsibility is on each individual person to use these tools in the best way possible in an environment that discourages it on every level.”

“Mainstream American culture since the end of the second World War has been predicated on the need to distract ourselves from The Bomb.”

“All in all it seems like the dirty secrets are coming out, and that can only be good.”

Analog vs. Digital Epistemologies…Reality is Analog/Reality is Digital

“I couldn’t believe that reality was analog if I didn’t believe it was also digital.”

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7/3/2022

188 - LARPing as a Nation-State with Jon Hillis & 0xZakk of CABIN DAO and Christian Lemp of Diamond DAO

Ep. 188
Complete, EXTENSIVE show notes at Patreon.com/michaelgarfield!As guest 0xZakk says at the very end of this conversation, most of the construction projects throughout the history of civilization have been coercive. What does it look like when we actually build things in a really cooperative way? This episode was recorded in November 2021 when the cryptocurrency markets were insanely bullish and the world relatively stable…but releasing it now, in July 2022, seems more aptly-timed than I could have anticipated.The United States Supreme Court has failed the great majority of American citizens not just once but several shocking and historic times in one week, hacking away at women’s reproductive rights, the EPA, and gun safety all at once. The Supreme Court majority was largely appointed by presidents that lost the popular vote, our nation is embroiled in hearings about a violent coup attempt spearheaded by the former President, and people on both sides of the constructed political divide seem more desperate than ever before in living memory. At the same time, both stocks and digital currencies, and the economic possibilities they support, are suffering through what seems like it will be a protracted winter. So it’s a PERFECT moment to talk about the visions we commit to building through the hardship, and the new responsibilities we must assume as citizens — not just of nation-states, but of the digital communities and cultures that we voluntarily participate in, the neighborhoods and cities that we live in.When a big tree dies in the forest, its falling lets in light that stimulates a contest between saplings — and we’re seeing something similar now in this rapid blooming of experiments in governance and finance, legal regulations and privately-organized society. Suddenly projects like the CABIN DAO seem prescient and urgent, so I’m glad to share this potent conversation with Jon Hillis and @0xZakk of CABIN DAO and Christian Lemp of Diamond DAO —three of the many people working hard at the frontiers of blockchain-based social innovation. In this episode we talk about what it means to live-action roleplay as a city-state, how physical geography and online culture overlap in their experiments, and what should stay illegible and wild amidst this wave of techy change…If you enjoy this show, please take a moment to subscribe, rate, and review wherever you prefer to listen. I’ve been extremely busy backstage working on a suite of Future Fossils projects that extend beyond the podcast, some of which you can glimpse on my Instagram and Twitter feeds…big changes coming soon, and inspiration’s flowing. If you want the inner track on all the music, art, and writing I am cooking up — or if you simply see the value in these conversations and my work at large, I hope you’ll join the other awesome people chipping in with listener support at Patreon.com/michaelgarfield— where I’m sharing an enormous folder of new A.I. artwork, updated every day.Lastly, I just re-launched my now thirteen-year-old blog on Substack — for roughly monthly digests of new work, join 7,500 other readers at michaelgarfield.substack.com. More soon.
6/10/2022

187 - Fear & Loathing on the Electronic Frontier with Kevin Welch & David Hensley of EFF-Austin

Ep. 187
Find the complete show notes for this episode on Patreon. This episode was recorded live in Austin, Texas at the West China Tea House in partnership with EFF-Austin, a non-profit committed to the establishment and protection of digital rights and defense of the wealth of digital information, innovation, and technology. Founded in 1991 as a local sub-chapter of The Electronic Frontier Foundation and run as an independent organization, EFF-Austin promotes the right of all citizens to communicate and share information without unreasonable constraint— as well as the fundamental right to explore, tinker, create, and innovate along the frontier of emerging technologies. In this episode, I talk with Kevin Welch and David Hensley about why digital rights matter to our analog lives; whether and how the genies of rampant technological innovation can be forced back into the bottle; how to think about the inherent tensions between individuals and institutions; what esoteric traditions and superhero movies may have to teach us about living in the 21st century, and considerably more. I also make entirely too many references to Michael Crichton novels.I’ve collaborated with EFF-Austin on previous episodes of Future Fossils you may also enjoy:33 - Jon Lebkowsky (Pluralist Utopias & The World Wide Web's Wild West)92 - Panel: The Pre- and Post-History of VR, Surveillance, and Swarm IntelligenceAgain, Patreon is really the place you want to be checking out the resources for this show (and, of course, it's the place to go to take a shower in the awesome stuff I reserve for supporters).

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