🎨🦖🎶 New Painting + Videos • 🎧 Metamodern Futurism • 🗓️ Next Shows + Philosophy Course
Art as Magic and Magic as Therapy and Philosophy as Politics and Science as Art
“The drugs of the future will be computers. The computers of the future will be drugs.”
– Terence McKenna
Enjoy as many of the fruits of my creative labor as I can squeeze into one email!
(Additional writing and curated recommended links down below for patrons.)
PS — If you missed Future Fossils 206 with Scout Rainer Wiley, here’s her edit of our conversation about finding a silver lining amidst the apparent end of civilization — a profound and soulful conversation about dancing in Hollywood’s funeral pyre, looking forward to the collapse of the real estate market, and grappling with inherited trauma by making art and community and babies and lemonade (or in my case, plumoncello).
And now onto the show!:
🎨 New Painting: “Flying White” (Velociraptor)
• 20"x30" - acrylic paint pens on gallery-wrapped canvas.
• Started while painting The Santa Fe Brewing Company for Papadosio, Dirtwire, and Cloudchord, then carried to Denver to live paint at the Psychedelic Science Conference as part of Tribe 13 Gallery, and then completed in the New Mexico desert to an evening of diverse and magical vinyl listening. See the entire biography of this painting as a photo album!
• Named after the style of Buddhist calligraphy in which the calligrapher uses a relatively dry brush fast enough to leave swaths of empty space in each stroke — a testament to incompleteness, emptiness, and gesture. According to Beyond-Calligraphy.com, flying white is "Light, poetic in its mobility, graceful, and delicate. It is quite often combined with paintings interwoven into the text, such as dragons, birds, or other motifs." Similarly, this painting is a tribute to the nonduality of endings and beginnings, the secular and the sacred, science and magic, knowledge and mystery, the past and future...and maybe just maybe a window into one of my past lives. And obviously about my mundane past life as a scientific illustrator and paleontologist, and lifelong love of dinosaurs, dragons, feathered serpents, and associated beasts.
In fact, while working on this piece in Denver, I was sucked into a powerful discussion with a woman who had lost her house to fire and talked with her for hours about how sometimes you can't tell if you are flying or falling, dying or being born. She pulled a white jade phoenix/dragon amulet out of her pocket unaware of how those two beasts came to represent me and my wife at a time when I had to tell myself that the eternal does not differentiate between one's spouse and nemesis and I had already painted this...Homes and Moriarty are forever joined, just like The Lovers of Valdaro or "the fighting dinosaurs" Velociraptor and Protoceratops, buried together in a sandstorm. Have I really seen my own death, or have I just seen some other distant ancient death (or deaths) I can't help but re-live and concretize the shape of myth as a prediction, an accident that prophets love to make?
I talk a bit about my experience of creating this piece in Future Fossils 206.
• Dedicated to Sudhar Sonar Astor, to whose fulfillment and release I am devoted.
• Posters: Signed print on 11"x17" glossy 100 lb. cardstock, shipped in a plastic bag with cardboard backing. Signed giclee canvases and original painting both available!
🦖 Pay-What-You-Want For My Upcoming Course!
Below is a loose outline for my upcoming six-week course on the science and philosophy of the Jurassic Park + Jurassic World films, starting August 1st at Nura Learning with Jeremy Johnson! Just as in the park itself, this tour is very likely to divert from its intended course and launch participants on wild adventures.
This is the best possible way I can imagine celebrating JP's 30th Anniversary and the concurrent explosion of critical discourse on tech ethics. Excited to ham it up with everyone in a format that will be as fun as it is profound. (And yes, I know the Tomatometer swings wildly across this franchise! But all six films address fascinating themes and will make excellent viewing party material for us to talk over.)
JP: Establishing Themes (& Birthing Monsters)
Week 1 – Jurassic Park: Science/Magic, Discovery/Profit, Analog/Digital, Kids/Adults
Week 2 – The Lost World: Jurassic Park: Chaos/Complexity, Wilderness/Built Environment Inversions, Pattern/Variation
Week 3 – Jurassic Park III: Trauma, Charisma + Greed, The King Is Dead, Interspecies Kinship/Discourse
JW: Once More With Feeling (& Self-Referentiality)
Week 4 – Jurassic World: Accelerationism & Jouissance, Postmodern Monsters, The Entelechy As Action Hero
Week 5 – Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom: Fugitivity, The Amusement → War Pipeline, Digital Humanity, The End of History Revisited
Week 6 – Jurassic World: Dominion: Boundaryless Fractal Conflict, Cyborgs + Dinosaurs, Society-Scale Shadow Work
🎧 Metamodern Deep Futures Trialogue on Parallax
Very excited to share this conversation with Tom Amarque and Daniel Görtz of Metamoderna on metamodern deep futurism! Prompted by the popularity of Everything Everywhere All At Once and the William Irwin Thompson quote "Evil is the annunciation of the next level of order," we discuss everything from:
• The popularity of multiverse fictions as a response, to
• Postmodern nihilism to hyperspatial cartographies of time, to
• Preventing premature ontological closure on weird phenomena, to
• Surfing the accelerating fractal entanglement of humans with our tools, to
• The post-ironic quest for unifying frameworks without falling into fascism pit traps...
...and even that is a pitiful synopsis of one of the most potent and ambitious conversations I've had in a while. I think all three of us were holding on for dear life!
Watch & Listen Here.
🎶 New Live Videos: “Indecision” & “A Better Trip"
Two of the finest live recordings of “cyberacoustic” music yet! The first examples of a new, deep rig combining looping, vocal processing, iPad synth, delays and slicers and pitch shifters, and plenty of mahogany and air and orchestrated flesh.
Patrons have already seen these two clips from my opening set for psychedelic science stand-up comedian and old friend Shane Mauss at George R. R. Martin’s Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe this spring. In addition to the live take of “Transparent” I sent in to NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert contest, these pieces show an artist (me, except third-person) totally at home ensconced in pedals, knobs, and faders AND at peace with finding his way across the river of his music stone by stone, layering deep, on-the-fly arrangements in slow-burning, epic, constantly-intensifying works that start out modestly and get there in no hurry but then do cartwheels in mid-air while Hell and Heaven both split open and release cascading novelty through a portal into mystery: