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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak XXXVIII

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18 September 2013

gratuitous image

No. 7,248 (cartoon)

Internet? Internet! Internet!

Is that some kind of joke?

Internet! Internet! Internet!

19 September 2013

No More Fish and Chips

Hoo boy, this ain’t good. I just learned that the sun will be so hot in 1,750,000,000 years that it will boil the oceans away. That means no more fish and chips, for starters.

It feels futile to write anything more since all my work will be destroyed in less than two billion years. I’m going for a bike ride while the roads are still cool enough not to melt my tires.

20 September 2013

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The Happy Ending (a book on tape)

The Internet Archive has over seven thousand audio books. They are all in the form of digital files on servers, yet I still hear lots of references to “books on tape” even though there’s only one machine capable of recording data to tape in the entire building. But before I mention that device, I want to talk about the history of books on tapes.

One of the reasons that the concept has so much emotional and cultural resonance is that books on tape go back millennia. In ancient Egypt, the dead were mummified in meters and meters of cloth tape. Loved ones wrote hieroglyphic notes to Osiris and the other gods on them; those were the first books on tape. Books on tape have largely been replaced by other media, but have been sporadically made ever since. For example, there’s the Irish tradition of writing lascivious limericks on the ribbons of the maypole.

I wanted to revive the tradition of books on tape, but ran into a serious obstacle: as a mostly conceptual artist, I have no skills or talent. I can’t write by hand legibly let alone produce nice calligraphy, and I can’t sew a proper cotton tape like the Egyptians used. And that brings us back to the one device in the building capable of recording data to tape: the label maker.

That technology allows me to write on tape, but what about the substrate? I looked around my studio, and, not surprisingly, saw an empty wine bottle. Et voilà!

Here’s the copy from my book on tape.

The Happy Ending

Once upon a time they lived happily ever after.

The end.

21 September 2013

Psychrolutes marcidus

The Ugly Animal Preservation Society has chosen the blobfish as its mascot. Psychrolutes marcidus is indeed quite ugly, not to be confused with frightful, disgusting, or hideous. The organization’s strategy is to call attention to the plight of less charismatic species that are threatened or endangered.

I’m skeptical and cynical. Most people only care about charismatic megafauna such as pandas and baby seals. Unless the blobfish goes on a strict diet, adheres to a thorough exercise regimen, and develops some endearing features like smooth fur or huge, cute eyes, it won’t be too long until the only place to find Psychrolutes marcidus is on a list of extinct species.

I wonder if the blobfish, like most endangered species, is tasty.

22 September 2013

American Art Quality Index

I just read a report in American Statistics Monthly that the American Art Quality Index is at its lowest point since it peaked in 1967. According to the researchers, “Since then, the quality of American Art has declined so precipitously that authorities question whether it can remain economically and/or aesthetically viable.”

I hope American art is buried soon; it died a long time ago and has been festering ever since. Art is dead; long live art!

23 September 2013

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Gratuitous Photo of the Weak: Arugula Pizza

This is one of the few photographs I’ve made that needs to be larger to read it: it’s a picture of a real pizza sitting on top of the printed box in which it was sold. Tasty!

Stare.

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©2013 David Glenn Rinehart

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