- 13 March 2002
- No. 9,205 (cartoon)
- What happens now?
I cant say.
- 14 March 2002
- From Anthrax to Disco and Back Again
- I went to a presentation tonight on The Art of Extreme Robotics: Showcase for Limits of Human-Machine Interaction. The talks were part of a Discourse and Disco series, a title that raised several alarms. Discourse? Be wary. Disco? Be very afraid. Discourse and Disco? Flee for your life!
As any number of close friends will arrest, the very best advice is wasted on me. And since the evening was organized by some smart art chicks and featured my friend Mark Pauline among the neer-do-wells, I thought Id have a good time.
In fact, I had a good time, a very good time indeed. The artists talked about buying their raw materials (obtanium) from crack addicts, dispensing anthrax from vending machines, and other innovative approaches to contemporary art practice.
The event organizers brought an illuminated disco ball, but it never functioned properly. No one could get the public address system to work, either. Thats contemporary technology!
- 15 March 2002
- Another Personal Postal Scandal
- Oh dear, more problems with bulk email. Almost a year ago, I discovered that all the copies of my artists notebook of sorts had been dumped into the North Sea instead of being emailed to the eighteen people whod subscribed to it. Feh! That was the last time I used Acme Electronic Mail Delivery Systems.
I thought Id learned my lesson, and contracted with another company to email copies of this notebook. The company, which I cant name for legal reasons, was equally incompetent, and even more nefarious. I discovered the latest problem when a state trooper from the U.S. state of Georgia dropped by the lab to ask a few questions, and to report that hundreds of email pages from my notebook had been found among the rotting corpses in a Georgia swamp. [The larger scandal involved a lazy crematorium operator who saved time, energy, and money by willy-nilly dumping bodies he was paid to cremate throughout Georgia woods and lakes.]
Oh dear. As a result of serial incompetence, Ive decided that Ill have to distribute my notebook transcripts myself, starting with this batch. My apologies to would-be readers who never received anything, and my apologies as well to current readers for wasting your time.
- 16 March 2002
- The Importance of a Tripod
- Sheila gave me a large amount of money to photograph some Purportedly Important People who were visiting her organization yesterday. I arrived with my fancy and ridiculously complex new digital camera in my jacket pocket, and my old Tiltall tripod on my shoulder.
After perfunctory introductions, I hung my jacket over the tripod then made a hundred snapshots of the PIPs at work. I figured that was enough, so I grabbed my jacket and tripod and headed for the exit.
You arent done, are you? asked Sheila.
Yep, I replied. Im sure I have all the photographs youll need.
But you never even used your tripod, Sheila said.
Youre mistaken, I responded. Since almost everyone owns a fancy and ridiculously complex new digital camera these days, I brought the big tripod to give the impression I was I serious photographer.
But you never even used it once! Sheila protested.
Its presence was its use, and vice versa, I corrected. Sometime the tripod supports the camera; other time it only supports an audiences presumptions and expectations. Tripods are versatile tools.
- 17 March 2002
- Blow Books
- I just heard about a new genre of books, blow books. (Actually, blow books are a very old genre; theyre just new to me.)
I made my discovery when I ran across a reference to Ricky Jays book with a forty-nine word title, The Magic Magic Book: An Inquiry into the Venerable History & Operation of the Oldest Trick Conjuring Volumes, Designated Blow Books [For Whosoever Bloweth on the Pages, if He be Versed in the Secret Method May Cause the Images to Appear, Vanish & Change at Will Many Several Times].
I understand the book was published in an edition of only three hundred copies, so Ill probably never get to touch an original. I know that if I had an original volume, I wouldnt let many people see it. I imagine that the book would get pretty messy pretty fast if lots of people were blowing on it.
I like the idea of a book that changes its contents many several times in response to the readers actions. Blow books may me one of the earliest examples of interactive art.
- 18 March 2002
- A Narrow-minded Critique
- Sonja just provides me with unsolicited and unambiguous editorial feedback.
I cant believe you wrote such rubbish about my ex-boyfriend and me, she fumed.
I recall you said he was a jerk, I replied, so what does it matter what I wrote?
Because its not true! Sonja shot back.
So what? I asked. Just because something isnt all that true is hardly a good reason not to say it. I think youre doing your friends and audiences a huge disservice if you shackle yourself to reality.
Youre so juvenile! Sonja responded.
Why, thank you! I said. Being perpetually juvenile takes immense discipline; your recognition delights me to no end.
Sonja rolled her eyes and huffed away. I guess she didnt want to play with me any more.