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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

Last Weak  |  Index  |  Next Weak

Weak XIII

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26 March 2012

gratuitous image

No. 6,874 (cartoon)

You know I could kill you.

Why don’t you?

It’s more heinous to let you live.

27 March 2012

Bill Cunningham

I recently saw a great film by Richard Press and Philip Gefter, Bill Cunningham New York. I have no interest in fashion or celebrities, so it had to be an exceptional film to keep me interested in a documentary on the fashion and society photographer for the New York Times.

Curiously, I didn’t like his photography. That’s understandable in that we have different aesthetic interests. The friend who gave Cunningham a camera decades ago advised him to think of it as a tool with which to take notes, and that’s exactly what he did. He’s made a reputation of noting what people are wearing on the streets of Manhattan, and who attended what soirée.

The film’s appeal is mainly attributable to Cunningham’s charm. His tiny apartment apparently has nothing except a sleeping surface (I’m not sure whether or not it was a bed), dozens of filing cabinets full of his photographic archives, and perhaps a few changes of clothes. No bathroom, no kitchen, not much except his work.

Nice!

28 March 2012

Not The Kramer

Joe Bob Briggs, the esteemed—and perhaps only—drive-in movie critic, made this observation twenty-some years ago.

“Hilton Kramer, the ‘eminent art critic’ of the New York Times ... is so pompous about ‘the arts’ that he thinks the day after he dies the Louvre will be renamed ‘The Kramer.’”

Let the record show that Kramer died yesterday, and that the Musée du Louvre is still the Musée du Louvre.

29 March 2012

Why Andrea Doesn’t Know Anything

Andrea’s two-year old daughter asked her why a snake is made out of a tail. She replied that she didn’t know, and that was a big mistake. That’s all the evidence her daughter will need for the next decade and a half to prove her mother doesn’t know anything.

30 March 2012

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Visiting Stelarc and Mark Pauline

I went to an enjoyable Dorkbot presentation tonight. There’s no reason to cross the bay just to watch people talk; I went to visit two artists with whom I’ve worked in the past, Mark Pauline and Stelarc, née Stelios Arkadiou.

Stelarc was his inimitably charming self, and mentioned in passing that I spelled his name wrong when I wrote about him fifteen years ago. (I eliminated the typo, leaving perhaps fewer—or is it less?—than a thousand to correct.)

Mark showed his recent work with a robotic spine. He maintained it was perhaps the most sophisticated robotic spine ever, and I have no reason to doubt him. I found it interesting that his new piece was more cerebral than his work from decades ago, which was full of explosions, flames, noise, and testosterone. I guess that’s what happens when you have offspring and move to the countryside.

31 March 2012

Sent From My Head

A lot of the email I receive ends with the line, “sent from my [brand name of electronic device].” The gizmo’s manufacturer sells the gadget with that bit of advertising automatically generated by the email program, and most people are too lazy to change it.

Elaine’s more knowledgeable and ambitious than most people; she modified her contraption to add “sent from my head” to the end of her electronic messages. I thought that was a great idea, since all thoughts come from the head. What I failed to appreciate is that Elaine has two heads.

It turns out that the only place on her boat where she can connect wirelessly to the Internet is from the ship’s tiny head, or bathroom. As a result, she sends all of her email while sitting on the toilet. I didn’t ask her whether she multitasks in the head; that’s information I neither need nor want to know.

1 April 2012

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Gratuitous Photo of the Weak: Musical Mannequin Arm

There’s not much to say about the thirty-fourth annual St. Stupid’s Day parade; it was very stupid just like the other thirty-three. One of the participants left an interesting two-stringed musical instrument made from a mannequin arm on the hood of her truck. She didn’t play it for the obvious reason: it was too beautiful to be stupid.

2 April 2012

The Side Effects of Chemotherapy

Stephanie’s undergoing debilitating cancer treatment; it sounds horrible. Cancer’s not the death sentence it once was; her prognosis is good.

When I asked her about the side effects of chemotherapy, she quoted Scott Hamilton. “It kills cancer. How’s that? It’s all about perspective.”

I try to remain as ignorant of medical maladies as I can; I’ll probably have empirical evidence all too soon.

Stare.

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©2012 David Glenn Rinehart

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