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  Five Implementations of Three Lines
(Implementation No. V)


W E E K  T W E N T Y - T W O

28 May 1997
Five Implementations of Three Lines
(Implementation No. V)
I'm embarrassed at how much I enjoy this tedious conceptual art. This week, I came across a piece I started almost four years ago at Banff, then abandoned a few weeks later. It took me less than an hour to make this new piece; it's roughly based on the original.

I'm as happy as you are bored.

(As with most of these obtuse pieces, Five Implementations of Three Lines is better viewed in the PDF format.)

29 May 1997
No Watermarks
I decided to leave Greece without any seawater.

For a few days, I'd intended to bring back a liter or two of water from the Aegean Sea. I was planning on pouring a centiliter or two of the water onto a sheet of nice rag paper, letting it evaporate, and repeating the process until all that was left was the "essence" of the Aegean. The more I thought about it, the more I liked it, until I thought too much and ended up with too many complexities.

Complexity No. 1: Most of the work of done I've done in the last few years can be digitally stored, transmitted, and reproduced ad infinitum. The watermarks (the working title I have for the project) would each be unique, incapable of being digitally stored, transmitted, or reproduced. The idea of having to take care of precious pieces of paper seems to be somewhat incompatible with my pseudonomadic life.

Complexity No. 2: Maybe water's not the way to go. Would a trip to Scotland be better represented by the essence of a few drams of Islay whiskey? By the essence of a few drams of Islay whiskey after they'd passed through me?

Complexity No. 3: I worry that the watermarks may be one of those clever ideas that I've subconsciously taken from someone else. I have no problems with using someone else's ideas, but only if it's deliberate.

I think I may be too analytical. As Howard Dietz said, "Composers shouldn't think too much--it interferes with their plagiarism."

30 May 1997
Brains On!
A young boy--he couldn't have been older than ten--yelled "Put yer fuckin' brains on!" during a football game on the street outside my window.

It sounded like a good idea; I'll have to try it one of these days.

31 May 1997
Boo ig God
I was walking down the street when I noticed someone had scrawled "GOO IS GOOO" on the wall. I liked the phrase, even though I think I was supposed to read it as "God is Good." I decided to make a note of it, and jotted it down in my electronic doodad that translates my handwriting into text. Today, though, it translated my note as "boo ig God."

It must be true.

1 June 1997
An Artless Walk
I read an article about the painter Ellsworth Kelly, who achieved fame in the art world honorably: he's worked hard for the last fifty years.

I enjoyed reading the piece; Kelly's tale seems like one of those rare the-cream-rises-to-the-top art world stories. ("The scum rises to the top" is a much more common theme.) The sketch ended on a disconcerting note, when Kelly said he would have liked to have been an explorer or a naturalist.

"I wanted to do all these things," he said, "and now I think they've passed me by. But I've always had this crusade to do what I do. I don't feel I could do anything else."

That remark sounded uncomfortably close to something I might write in three decades. I've still got time not to less other pursuits pass me by.

I think I'll stop writing and go for a walk.

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2 June 1997
Not My Time
When I walked by a stack of new tombstones I was somewhat relieved to see "SPARE" written on the newest one. Later, though, I wondered if my name was on one of the others.

3 June 1997
Up Against The Ceiling
Am I getting better? I think so. If I'm not growing then I'm dying, no?

That might not be true, but it feels true. That's why I find it unnerving when someone like Woody Allen hits the ceiling.

    "I still try and practice [the clarinet] at least an hour a day, and have for forty years. I know there's a lid on my playing, that I'm never going to get beyond that lid, that I'm going to sound pretty much the same forever. But playing this old primitive [jazz] music is an essential part of my life."

I'm sure that I too must have a lid, but it's not a problem as long as I'm not aware of it.

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©1997 David Glenn Rinehart