The much-anticipated art and technology festival known as Moogfest takes over downtown Durham May 19-22. We’re updating regularly during the festival with photos, stories and other updates. Here’s our recap of day two.
Tech Jobs Under the Big Top
The 12th circus-themed reverse job fair (#BigTop12) went down in a huge tent outside Bull McCabe’s during Moogfest, and it was as lively as ever. Attendees listened as companies pitched to the audience why jobseekers should work for them. There were circus performers and as is typical, an orange-panted, top-hatted Chris Heivly as ringleader. Scenes from Big Top here:
Garfield is a paleontologist, cyber-acoustic guitarist and psychedelic performance philosopher. An Austin native, Garfield praised Moogfest for immersing itself in innovation. He admitted that it was refreshing, in contrast to some music festivals in Texas.
There was a silence and then he joked, “Alright, now we’re going to spend the next hour in meditation!”
He began by paying tribute to philosopher William Irwin Thompson, quoting his book Evil and World Order:
To understand contemporary culture, you have to be willing to move beyond intellectual definitions and academic disciplines. You have to be willing to throw your net out widely and be willing to take in science, politics, and art, and science fiction, the occult, and pornography. To catch a sense of the whole in pattern recognition, you have to leap across the synapse and follow the rapid movement of informational bits.”
Garfield then gave a brief history of human expression through the cosmos. He noted that, in today’s “remix culture,” we’ve moved out of the hierarchical structure of a set system that balances peer-to-peer exchange into a “bacterial model” where information is being exchanged rapidly.
His main point seemed to be that the modern world has begun to resemble a version of the cosmos that existed before us. And our responsibility is to channel that primitive strength toward something higher than ourselves—something spiritual.
That’s where “technoshamanism” comes in, where shamanic tools like psychotherapy and synthetic drug use, can be interwoven with computers and the Internet in a productive and interactive way. The two can even compliment each other.
Garfield concluded with another Thompson quote about the importance of humanizing technology and “appreciating the machine for what it’s worth.”