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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak XXV|

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26 June 2016

gratuitous image

No. 8,283 (cartoon)

What will happen to you when you die?

I’ll rot.

Prove it.

27 June 2016

A Pretty Girl Is Like ...

I have over forty thousand audio recordings stored in my computer. Years ago that suggested I was modestly ahead of the technology curve, but now it indicates that I’m a techno-Luddite, if there is such a thing. My relatively small library is almost quaint since so many people are making their musical selections from among the millions of songs readily available on the Internet.

Toward the end of the last millennium, the Magnetic Fields musical ensemble released a collection of sixty-nine love song with a perfectly sensible title, 69 Love Songs. The work was widely praised, so I pirated a copy of it. And, like so much of the other music I collected, I never listened to it.

Until today.

It’s good.

I didn’t give the work a thorough hearing, but I particularly enjoyed number nineteen, “A Pretty Girl Is Like.” With a line like, “A pretty girl is like a pretty girl,” how could I not?

28 June 2016

Financial Noise

All too many of my friends spend much too much time thinking about money, usually some variation on imagining that they don’t have enough of it. None of them ever miss a meal and all of them have comfortable places in which to live, so I can’t understand their focus on money at the expense of so many other more rewarding things.

Money is noise that obscures more interesting signals.

29 June 2016

The Five-Second Rule Revisited

I’m frequently amused when purported news stories get repeatedly recycled. Today’s report involves “the five-second rule,” the subject that earned Jillian Clarke a coveted Ig Nobel prize in 2004. Many people believe that a piece of food that drops to the floor is safe to eat regardless of how much or what kind of bacteria it’s picked up within five seconds of hitting the ground.

Some scientists—who are always so hung up on facts, truth, and other tediousness—insist there’s no such thing as the five-second rule. Many of their equally learned colleagues disagree. I ignore everyone’s findings and trust my gut, figuratively and literally. I’ve never had food poisoning or any related problems, so of course I eat everything anyone drops. After all, I’m not going to let some yummy chowder go to waste just because it’s been on the floor for a few minutes.

30 June 2016

A Cautionary Digital Tale

I never heard of Dennis Cooper until today, even though he’s apparently a relatively famous writer. That’s not at all surprising given that I spend most of my time in my archival bubble.

Cooper was, on occasion, incredibly stupid, although probably not as often as I am. He stored over a decade of his email, writing, and other work on Google’s servers. Apparently he failed to note that the multi-tentacled organization abandoned its “don’t be evill” policy years ago. I suppose he figured that out a few days ago when Google blocked all access—including his—to all of his work without warning, explanation, or recourse.

The punch line is that he entrusted all of that work to Google without spending a few dollars to make backup copies of everything he did. And now it’s gone. Well, it’s probably not gone gone, just buried in the bowels of a multinational corporation behind an impenetrable façade.

I’m sure Cooper is smart, perhaps even brilliant, so why he would trust any corporation to do anything except make money baffles me. I have complete faith in my stellar friends, but a corporation is not anyone’s friend.

I rely on corporations such as Apple and Nikon for my tools, but I’ve learned the hard way not to trust that the expensive lens or program I use to make my work today will even function on the new camera or computer I buy tomorrow.

Dennis Cooper, like so many ignorant people such as myself, never learned to make backups of their digital work until losing it all.

1 July 2016

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Forty ISO 12233 Test Chart Variations

People often make the best art when they’re not trying to make art. The ISO 12233 Test Chart, used to measure the resolution of lenses and digital cameras, is a perfect example. The chart was designed by engineers to generate enough data to evaluate the performance of contemporary optics; I presume it wasn’t intended to hang in a gallery. But if it did, it would look better than most of the dreck there.

I cut the chart into forty pieces, then used a random number generator to digitally rearrange them into forty different variations, resulting in Forty ISO 12233 Test Chart Variations.

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©2016 David Glenn Rinehart

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