About the Episode
- Why "unconscious printouts" – unexpected creations that arise while doing something else – often end up being the artist's best work because the artist is not interfering with their own creativity
- Michaelangelo's trajectory as a multidimensional artist, from an early fascination with wildlife, nature, and photography, to pursuing music, film, podcasting, and poetry.
- An unconventional path that includes being a legal squatter in a haunted dentist’s practice, a stage magician, a tour guide in San Francisco, a street artist, a pawn shop worker in Florida, and an extra on an episode of Westworld.
- How Michaelangelo makes disciplined use of psychoactive substances to explore consciousness and the fringes of reality
- How the power of mirroring and finding self-portraits in other people can help us become more accurate reflections of ourselves
A fascinating glimpse into the mind and creative process of The Ungoogleable Michaelangelo, a multidimensional artist and creator of cosmic, comedic, and contemplative content. The conversation delves into Michaelangelo's journey from isolation in The Netherlands to finding a community in a snail-shaped house in Mexico, and how it led him to create his latest book, Impatient Transformations.
Throughout the conversation, Michaelangelo discusses his approach to art and learning, emphasizing the importance of embracing all aspects of life. He touches on themes of synchronicity, pareidolia, and the limits of language and reality. He also talks about his fascination with wildlife and nature, his early interest in photography, and his transition from pursuing music to pursuing film in the United States.
Michaelangelo is a complex and intriguing character who is also humble and grounded, having worked various mundane jobs and traversed different worlds, which inform his creative process and approach to life.
One of the main themes that emerges from the conversation is the idea of self-exploration and the power of psychoactive substances to expand one's understanding of the world. Michaelangelo discusses his disciplined approach to engaging with these substances, seeking to gain knowledge and insight rather than simply seeking pleasure.
The episode concludes with a reading of Michaelangelo's piece, "It's About Time," which further explores the themes of synchronicity and the interconnectedness of all things.
Recorded 2 February 2023
Michaelangelo's squiggly career
Michaelangelo has had a squiggly career journey that has taken him from being a legal squatter in a haunted dentist’s practice to becoming a multidimensional artist and creator of cosmic, comedic, and contemplative content. His creative journey began at a young age when he developed a fascination with the natural world. He would get up at 4:00 AM with his camera and go out into nature to watch the deer come out of the forest. “Invigorated with nature juice”, he would then go home and paint or draw these creatures.
At the same time, Michaelangelo was also obsessed with TV and film, which led him to first “hunt down celebrities with his camera”, and eventually to pursue a degree in film studies. After graduating, he moved to the United States to pursue a career in the film industry. However, he soon found himself disillusioned with the industry and began experimenting with music. He formed a band and started performing at clubs, but eventually, he realized that music was not his true calling.
Michaelangelo then embarked on a journey of self-exploration, seeking to expand his understanding of the world through the use of psychoactive substances. He approached this experience with discipline, seeking knowledge and insight rather than simply seeking pleasure. This journey led him to create his first book, "The He & The She of It," which he self-published in a limited edition of 200 copies.
After the success of his first book, Michaelangelo continued to explore various creative avenues, including podcasting, street art, and poetry. He found that his best work often arose from "unconscious printouts" – unexpected creations that arose while doing something else. He began to distill these various gleanings into new creative products, including his latest book, "Impatient Transformations," which he self-published in a limited edition of 300 copies.
Throughout his career journey, Michaelangelo has traversed different worlds and worked various mundane jobs, which have informed his creative process and approach to life. He is now living in an artist residency in the jungle in Mexico with his partner, Rosa, where he continues to explore new creative avenues and embrace all aspects of life.
In Michaelangelo's own words, "We're all here to mirror each other so that we become more accurate reflections of ourselves." Through his multidimensional art and his podcast, "Self-portraits as Other People," Michaelangelo invites us to explore the fringes of reality and expand our understanding of the world.
The Red Thread
Michaelangelo has always remained true to his passion for exploring the unknown. Throughout his career, Michelangelo has faced many challenges, including the difficulty of shaping himself into the mould of somebody else's program. He has always operated outside of a framework, off the page, or off the canvas. His art bleeds into every aspect of his life, and he has fully embraced the performative nature of his personality.
Michaelangelo has used his skills as a multidimensional artist to investigate where the limits of language meet the fringes of reality. He has also explored consciousness and the power of psychoactive substances in a disciplined way to expand his understanding of the world around him.
As Michelangelo says, "We're all here to mirror each other so that we become more accurate reflections of ourselves." His creative journey has been one of self-exploration and discovery, and he has used his talents to share his findings with the world. As he says, "The actual event might be happening off the page or outside of the frame that I'm looking at." And that is where Michelangelo has always been looking, outside of the frame, beyond the limits of language, and into the fringes of reality.
Michaelangelo's thoughts on being a grokkist
Michaelangelo's educational experience was unconventional. He found it difficult to shape himself into the mould of somebody else's program. "In school, they start teaching you history, but it's like, I just got here. This has no relevance to me. You can tell me about all these funnily dressed Dutch aristocrats on their fancy boats looting tea in Indonesia. But I'm sorry, none of these things register to me on any level of interest. I don't have a frame of reference in life yet to weigh this against."
"I remember the grading system in elementary school. I was always terrible at things like history or geography or math, but I had a very high rating in imagination, which to me was like, what are they talking about? This is just where I am.
"I think that two years in one at the end of high school instilled a kind of discipline in me that I've, to some degree been able to carry out, but I was also happy not to have to go to school on someone else's schedule and all that anymore.
"So then by the time that the deconditioning started taking place, through psychedelics and through kind of reeducating myself and awakening into the world, I started creating my own curriculum. So when I moved to Amsterdam with that girlfriend and lived in that dentist practice, we had packed one suitcase full of books. She was also an avid reader and also an artist and so we had all these books and all this music and all this accomplished mass of other people's creative work to dig into. And we just let our curiosity lead us.
"Since then, that's how I've continued educating myself. If there's something that I'm interested in, I will find what I can about it and I will devour it and I will absorb it and I will assimilate it so that I can communicate it as best as I can. But aside from that, it's always been very hard to shape myself into the mold of somebody else's program, or if somebody doesn't know how to communicate something they know in a way that is interesting to me, it's very hard to grasp.
"I have a sponge-like brain. I want to grok things, I want to absorb them, but it has to be something I can relate to. The curiosity has to be driven by something inherent.
"And I think for me also, one of the things that psychedelics had opened me up to was the mystery of life. I was not raised religiously, but I noticed a lot of people that are indoctrinated in a religious worldview, when they move into a psychedelic realm, it undresses the cemented symbology, and it brings you back to what it's about or what it's speaking to. Just the sacredness of the life force and how to conduct oneself."
Stuff We Mentioned
- Michaelangelo's latest book - Impatient Transformations
- Michaelangelo's website - Void and Imagination
- Podcast - Self Portraits as Other People
- The episode of Michaelangelo's podcast where he talks about 'playing dead for a living' as an extra on an episode of Westworld.
Episode Appetiser - "Unconscious printouts": The hidden gems that can lead to your best creations (45s)
From a fascination with nature to celebrity hunting (41s)
How ayahuasca accelerated Michaelangelo's evolution as an artist and human being (58s)
Michaelangelo's unrepeatable success as a failed magician (59s)
A high rating in fantasy: how Michaelangelo created his own curriculum (56s)
He is a multi-dimensional artist with a psychoactive personality. Equipped with a quickSilver tongue and mercurial mind, he utilizes pareidolia, wit, wordplay, and a 6th sense of humor to mindfully investigate where the limits of language meet the fringes of reality.
His work finds expression through visual art, written and spoken word, music, film and performance.
He is the author of The He & The She of It and Impatient Transformations and the host/creator of the podcast Self Portraits As Other People.
He is none of the things he says he is, and more.