Future Fossils with Michael Garfield
65 - John David Ebert (Hypermodernity & Blade Runner 2049)

65 - John David Ebert (Hypermodernity & Blade Runner 2049)

This week’s guest is independent culture critic John David Ebert – mythologist, philosopher, art historian, author of twenty-six books, and co-founder (with John Lobell) of http://cultural-discourse.com

We talk about the rich mythological references of Blade Runner 2049 in light of the larger – and very urgent – matter of mechanizing human reproduction and the (actually rather ancient) male quest to appropriate the mysteries of the goddess…

Here’s John’s Blade Runner 2049 essay:


John’s awesome YouTube channel:


John has a knack for connecting very different sources across civilizations and millennia, anchoring this conversation about a modern science fiction masterpiece in a transcultural Big Story of the evolution of human consciousness. 

(Listen if you liked Episodes 42 & 43 with William Irwin Thompson on planetary culture, Episode 38 with Marya Stark on reclaiming the feminine mysteries, Episode 18 with JF Martel on art and reality, and Episode 14 with Michael Phillip on WESTWORLD.)

John David Ebert Quotes:

“Every new cosmology makes new machines possible.”

“I’m interested to hear about utopian projects…because after all, we’re going to need them.”

We Discuss:

- Marshall McLuhan’s work on Sputnik’s technological enclosure of the planet and the end of “nature” (not to mention “natural catastrophes”);

- How poets and artists make visible the “invisible environment” of subliminal information about each age;

- Art’s revelation of cosmology through history, from nested heavenly spheres in medieval religious art to the newly-opened skies of Dutch realists to our anxious re-immersion in the closed infinity of the Anthropocene as depicted by H.R. Giger;

- The transition from worship of the Earth Mother to the Sky Father, and the centuries-long struggle to control the mysteries of birth and death with science;

- The connection between Niander Wallace in 2049 and Enke, sumerian trickster creator god;

- The difficulty of replicating ecosystems in space for those “off-world colonies”;

- “Here There Be Tygers,” Jurassic Park, and how monsters (as avatars of the pissed-off Great Mother) disappeared from the Renaissance world maps but make a new appearance in hypermodernity, thanks to genetic engineering;

- Akhenaten’s experiment in monotheistic sun god worshipping utopia;

- What should we do with the 100% certainty that our cosmopolitan super-cities will all soon be underwater, and it’s time to rapidly escalate our alt-civilization experiments?

- The evolution of civilizations, from early revelation to imperial phase to decline;

- The rhyme of history between Ancient Rome and Modern America;

- The retrieval of shamanism and the re-establishment of a polar civilization in the late 21st Century;

- The lineage between Pacific Northwest spirit-travel shamanism and contemporary Californian VR avatar science fiction and superhero stories;

- And more!

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Future Fossils with Michael Garfield
Join paleontologist-futurist Michael Garfield and an avalanche of amazing guests for deep but irreverent discussions at the edge of the known and knowable: on prehistory and post-humanity and deep time, non-human agency and non-duality, science fiction and self-fulfilling prophecies, complex systems and sustainability (or lack thereof), psychedelics as a form of training for proliferating futures, art and creativity as service and as inquiry. New episodes on a roughly biweekly basis. Get bonus material and support the show at patreon.com/michaelgarfield or michaelgarfield.substack.com