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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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20 February 2012

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No. 1,104 (cartoon)

We’ve been doing these ludicrous “cartoons” for a decade.

You call that a reason to celebrate?!

Of course not. We’re stuck.

21 February 2012

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John Glenn at the Drug Store

Fifty years and a day ago, John Glenn became the first American astronaut to orbit the earth. He circled the planet three times in five hours, and that was that: huzzah!

That was a long time ago, before astronauts went into space with the Hasselblad cameras used for so many of the space agency’s iconic photos. (As an aside, my camera has many orders of magnitude more computing power than the entire National Aeronautics and Space Administration had in 1962. I just made that up, but I’m sure it must be true.)

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t mention an (a?) historical event unless I had a punch line, and I do. Glenn used his own camera on that flight, an Ansco Autoset that he bought at a drug store. After returning, the first American space tourist did what every other tourist did: he took the film from his trip back to the drug store to be developed and printed.

Is that quaint, nostalgic, and all-American or not?

22 February 2012

Andy Warhol’s 876,576 Segments of Fame

Andy Warhol famously predicted, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for fifteen minutes.” It’s now been 876,576 fifteen-minute segments since he died, a quarter century during which has fame has continued to wax, not unlike his appearance.

Twenty-five years ago today, Warhol was recovering in a hospital following a routine gall bladder operation. He appeared to be doing fine during a routine check at four in the morning; a couple of hours later rigor mortis had set in. Warhol was paranoid about medical misfortunes his entire life, so perhaps he wasn’t paranoid after all.

According to my calculations, Warhol’s undiminished celebrity has cost 876,576 commoners their quarter of an hour of fame.

23 February 2012

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Falik Men’s Room

When someone makes a very generous donation to a nonprofit or educational institution, that donation is sometimes recognized by naming a building or facility after the donor.

When William Falik (pronounced “phallic”) gave a hundred thousand dollars to Harvard University, how did that august institution thank him? By naming a toilet after him. And so, Harvard now has the Falik Men’s Room. This isn’t the first Falik bathroom; there’s also one at Berkeley Repertory’s Roda Theater. William Falik is a generous hombre.

A hundred thousand dollars is a lot of money; a less well-endowed philanthropist might consider a contribution to Dixie State College in Utah. There, administraitors will name a bathroom stall for a donor for a mere two thousand dollars.

24 February 2012

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Jimmy Audubon, Shooter

I recently mentioned my posthumous collaboration with Jimmy Audubon, the noted bird artist. I failed to mention that he and I take a different approach to shooting birds.

When I shoot a bird, I generally use a five-hundred millimeter lens and a fast shutter speed to stop motion. When Jimmy shot birds, he used a rifle to stop movement. That’s how he got the birds to remain motionless while he made his meticulously detailed drawings.

I’ve been talking about making gun art for ages, but never got around to it. Jimmy made hundreds of pieces of gun/bird art; I should follow his example and stop procrastinating.

25 February 2012

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Gratuitous Photo of the Weak: Parallel Road

A week ago I was en route to a Florida airport when I spotted Parallel Road. Parallel Road provides access to a large expanse of sand, apparently a real estate development that never made it past the defoliation stage. I’d wager that the majority of roads are parallel at some point, but this was the first time I’d ever seen one with that formal designation.

I didn’t have tome to take a photograph, but that didn’t matter. I just grabbed a satellite image, ran it through some graphics filters, and declared the image mine.


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©2012 David Glenn Rinehart