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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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20 November 2011

gratuitous image

No. 3,158 (cartoon)

I know your secret.

Then it’s not a secret.

21 November 2011

Bloody Amateurs

My art is boring, and I know it. It’s like Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno said, “The tedium is the message.” It’s actually difficult to make truly boring work; that’s why I’m fairly proud of mine.

Some Brits learned the hard way that it’s not easy to be boring. As one English newspaper panned their farcical event, “Disgrace as official Boring Conference is really interesting.”

Bloody amateurs.

22 November 2011

Kittens Come to Mind

Alina told me she didn’t appreciate my recent photographs of European and American cigarette butts. I told her that was fine; I didn’t intend them for them to be pleasing.

It’s easy to make work with wide appeal, just use a well-tested formula. Kittens come to mind. I don’t care if I occasionally entertain someone; it’s just that I don’t think much of my audience. The feeling is mutual.

John Cage took a different, more severe approach. “Whenever I’ve found that what I’m doing has become pleasing, even to one person, I have redoubled my efforts to find the next step.”

23 November 2011

gratuitous image

Gratuitous Photo of the Weak: Banana

You can’t go wrong photographing a banana. Or, at least I didn’t today.

24 November 2011

Crematorium Cuisine

Jacob has delusions of adequacy that marred an otherwise pleasant thanksgiving dinner. Specifically, he tried to use new technology to make an innovative dish.

It didn’t work.

Jacob operates the crematorium at the Pearly Fields Mortuary, and decided to “flash cook” a frozen turkey in the thousand-degree (Celsius) oven. His experiment resulted in a large bird carcass with a thick exterior coating of charcoal and ashes. And worse, blood was seeping onto the serving tray. A subsequent investigation determined that the unfortunate bird’s flesh was either still raw or black carbon.

There must be all sorts of interesting things one can do in a crematorium, but cooking isn’t one of them.

25 November 2011

Artistic and Mating Success

Does success as an artist lead to more sex? That’s the silly question a trio of researchers posed, presumably to get grants and publicity. It apparently worked, because Helen Clegg, Dorothy Miell, and Daniel Nettle went on to “investigate the relationship between mating success and artistic success in a sample of 236 visual artists.”

I read about “Status and Mating Success Amongst Visual Artists” in Frontiers in Psychology. The article wasn’t rich in data; here’s an example.

“The distribution of number of sexual partners for these participants was highly skewed with a minimum of 0 and a maximum of 250 (M=10.67). Therefore, the data were converted to a log scale and [we performed our analysis] using this scale.”

I don’t know what that means, and I don’t care. I’m not interested in status or “mating success,” and I’m especially not interested in anyone else’s status or mating success.

I can’t talk about success without thinking of Charles Horton Cooley, who correctly concluded, “An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one.”


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©2011 David Glenn Rinehart

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