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25 - DADARA (Art, Virtual Realities, & Flow States)

Ep. 25

This week we're joined by Daniel Rozenberg aka DADARA for a thoughtful discussion about Art in Virtual Realities, Information Overload, and Flow States. The creator of Exchangibition Bank, Like4Real, and the upcoming Solipmission installation at Burning Man, as well as countless concert posters and album covers, DADARA has been one of my favorite artists for a while - in no small part because of how his works combine deep, challenging investigations with light-hearted play.  Click here to learn more about the Indiegogo Campaign for Solipmission We discuss his work's overarching philosophical explorations and our age of proliferating realities… • The breakdown of narrative and consensus reality in the virtual spaces of new media; • Virtual Reality as the new frontier, now that we’ve mapped the surface of the planet – and the potential problems of considering a space a “frontier” (especially if it is already inhabited); • The twin archetypes of the “Black Box” and the “Tabula Rasa” as they appear in science fiction, religion, technology, and philosophy; • The relationship between Virtual Reality and psychedelics, and the consideration of VR as a psychedelic in its own right; • What replaces narrative structure in VR storytelling, and how it relates to neuromarketing, cybernetics, and mind control; • How humankind is struggling to maintain coherence in the barrage of contradictory realities online; • How the sciences are coping with increasing specialization and the explosive proliferation of data, complicating the establishment and communication of expertise; • The relationship between VR and floatation/isolation tanks, and why floatation tanks are more necessary now than they have ever been; • Flow states and nondual awareness as a possible solution to information overload – and how we may have come to the end of the ego’s evolutionary usefulness; • Does Virtual Reality as a medium for philosophical inquiry even stand a chance in this commercial environment? Books We Mention In This Talk: (Buy any of these books through these links, and Amazon will pay me a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.) • Ready Player One: A Novel by Ernst Cline • Neuromancer by William Gibson • Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley • Sex, Ecology, Spirituality by Ken Wilber • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams • The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly • The Deep Self: Consciousness Exploration in the Isolation Tank by John C. Lilly • Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi • Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work by Steven Kotler & Jamie Wheal Other References: • Neuralink (brain-technology interface currently in development by Elon Musk) • Inside Out (Disney movie) • WNYC’s Note To Self Podcast • Nathan Jurgenson, Social Media Theorist for Snapchat • Maria Popova’s Brainpickings.org • Android Jones & Anson Phong’s Microdose VR DADARA Quotes: “Imagination is this endless unknown territory. We think we might have discovered it, but if we look, I don’t know…” “Nowadays we think a photo shows how something really is. That that’s reality. But it’s just a surface. And that’s something that I love. Maybe stories show reality in a more realistic way.” “People twenty, twenty-five years ago thought the world would be more defined [with the Internet] because we could find all the facts. But what’s interesting now is that it’s almost impossible to find any facts that we agree on, on the Internet.” “Inside the box [of the Solipmission installation], it may be more Burning Man than the outside.” “When people go to a city, they take photos of all the touristy [stuff] – it’s like the bucket list – but if you go to a place, and maybe if you haven’t seen any building but you’ve met this amazing person or gone through an amazing experience, doesn’t that give you a better understanding of that city than just seeing everything that’s there?” “I think floatation tanks now, in this period of time, are probably more important than ever…we’ll have implants [soon] and how can you be in a floating tank when the Internet is in your brain?” “Do you actually exist when you don’t Tweet? It almost feels like people, sometimes nowadays, if they haven’t posted that they’ve been somewhere, then they feel they haven’t been somewhere. But I think often, if you post that you’ve been somewhere, I don’t know if you’ve been there. Because you somehow were distracted. You only go to places when you DON’T post about them.” Coinage of a new term: “information potato.” “Art is about focusing our attention, and entertainment is about distracting our attention.” “Zapping [TV remotes] and scrolling [social media] at the same time is probably also a kind of flow. It’s just not MY flow.” Michael Quotes: “Much as we, in the United States anyway, marched westward under this insane banner of Manifest Destiny into what we were calling the ‘frontier,’ it wasn’t actually a frontier. There were people living there already! And what was unfamiliar to us, what was unknown to us, was already this mature ecosystem. And so there’s this relationship between virtual reality and psychedelics that people like Android Jones have been exploring, that makes me wonder if, in our exploration of what it is that we can manifest into these spaces, if we aren’t somehow causing an ecological catastrophe of the imagination. You know? That there’s stuff there already, and we’re paving over it.” “We assume that life is just given, but we’re actually involved in it, in its creation.” “We’re in the machine already, and so the machine entering us is not that big of a leap.” “Maybe a floatation tank isn’t enough. Maybe we need a Faraday cage, so you can go into this room of your house where it’s actually blocking electromagnetic radiation from entering the room and you can have your own thought for the first time in your whole life.” “Maybe the problem is that we’re so preoccupied with narrative, so preoccupied with history and prediction and who we think we are…that there is a ‘real real,’ but it’s not something that can be understood through the interpretive lens of the self.” More Links: Reality Sandwich Interviews DADARA about SolipmissionAbout DADARA’s “Art as Money” Project from 2012 Hanging out with DADARA and his son at Boom Festival 2016

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7/8/2020

147 - How to Live in The Future (Parts 1 - 4)

Ep. 147
This week is something different: author-read audio of the first four essays from my ongoing book-in-progress, How to Live in The Future.These essays are the first in my feature-length interrogation of the insufficient ways we think about the future…a poetic exploration of the fruitful interface between psychedelic mysticism, evolutionary theory, and critical futurism.For more along these lines, check out Future Fossils Episode 129 for the Boom Festival 2016 talk that started it all…You can read these pieces —rich with explanatory hyperlinks and graphics —at the links below:Part 1: The Future is A PlacePart 2: The Future is More of EverythingPart 3: The Future is Both True and FalsePart 4: The Future is Exapted/RemixedMusical interludes from my 2017 live album, Pavo: Music for Mystery, recorded live on tour across Australia.Episode cover art by Collin Elder, whose paintings feel to me like the fine art approximation of what I am trying to communicate in words. Follow him on Instagram.Support this show on Patreon for over a dozen secret episodes, the Future Fossils book club, and weekly community calls, and much more.Later essays in this series, which I’ll likely read in a fall episode:Part 6: The Future is DisgustingPart 7: The Future Acts Like YouPart 8: The Future is Indistinguishable from MagicAlthough I’d rather you shop elsewhere, you can grab the books we talk about on Future Fossils at Amazon and they’ll chip me a piece of the proceedings at no cost to you.
6/25/2020

146 - Raising Earth Consciousness with Ralph Metzner, Dennis McKenna, Gay Dillingham, Valerie Plame Wilson, Allan Badiner, and Michael Garfield at Synergia Ranch, April 2016

Ep. 146
Where do I even start explaining this week's episode? Probably with a vignette: someone came up to me after I was on this all-star panel discussion featuring five living legends — psychedelic researchers Ralph Metzner and Dennis McKenna, author Allan Badiner, film-maker Gay Dillingham, and former CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson —and asked me who I was and what I was doing there. I was the youngest person on stage by twenty years, and had done nothing with my life yet that put me in the same weight class as any of them. And yet there I was to offer my synthetic insights and play music to a packed house in a geodesic dome on an utterly magical evening. We had an intense discussion about nuclear disarmament, ecological destruction, and psychedelic medicines hosted by my then-new friends at Synergia Ranch. Rick Doblin of MAPS and Johnny Dolphin of Biosphere 2 fame got up on stage that night as well (although not for this panel). It was a night I'd dreamt about weeks in advance with uncanny accuracy, and was the catalyzing moment that ultimately led to my moving to Santa Fe in 2018. I'm deeply grateful to Synergetic Press for hosting the event, inviting me to join this panel, and letting me share this recording as a podcast episode.Read all about this awesome April 2016 symposium and salon here:https://www.synergeticpress.com/raising-earth-consciousness-at-the-synergetic-symposium-and-salon/So much has changed since then and honestly, it isn't the most timely episode to publish at this moment, but I'm working hard to get some awesome people on the show soon who can speak to what we're living through in history right now.I would have more to say about this, but it's been a very busy week. If you'd like more new listening material, I strongly recommend checking out the recent conversation that I had with physicist Geoffrey West of the Santa Fe Institute about how the science of cities undercuts the economic myth of endless open growth and forces us to seriously study other paths to a sustainable planetary culture.Please take a moment to leave a glowing review of Future Fossils at Apple Podcasts.If you would like to link up with other amazing Future Fossils listeners, please email me and I'll invite you to our Discord server.Support this show on Patreonfor over a dozen secret episodes, the Future Fossils Book Club (next up: Lilith's Brood by Octavia Butler!), and muuuuuch more.Theme Music:“God Detector” by Evan “Skytree” Snyder (feat. Michael Garfield).Additional Intro Music: "Lambent" by Michael Garfield.Thank you for listening!

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