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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak XXV


18 June 2013

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No. 6,053 (cartoon)

I feel your pain.

Isn’t that why you torture me?

19 June 2013

Skin and Brains

I read that the average person’s skin weighs twice as much as her or his brain. That bothers me. It’s not about the weight; there’s no correlation between heaviness and happiness. My eyes and other organs give me more pleasure than many of my larger ones.

Here’s the problem: what’s the source of the data? Did medical schools keep meticulous records of all the research bodies they cut up? Did crematorium workers burn the skin and brains separately, weighing everything before they did? Or did the Nazis and/or Khmer Rouge skin their victims alive before they killed them?

I’m going to add this to the long list of things I don’t want to know.

20 June 2013

Driving Around Los Angeles Slowly With Vegetables

Saul Bellow claimed, “You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.” That may or may not be true; I have no empirical evidence. I have written things down during nocturnal bathroom breaks, but that was many years ago. I can’t remember whether anything came of it.

When I think of some great idea when I’m somewhat awake but mostly dreaming, I never both to write it down because it’s so brilliant that I’m certain to remember it when I get up. But, of course, I never do.

I enjoyed some extraordinarily vivid discoveries after I went to sleep last night. Even though I was unconscious, I remembered my record of forgetting nighttime revelations. I feared I’d never remember them if I didn’t take immediate action, so I awoke and left a message to myself on my voice recorder in middle of night. I then slept soundly knowing I that I was going to have a great start to my day at dawn.

As I was waiting for the espresso machine to fire up, I listened to what I’d brought to life: “Driving around Los Angeles slowly with vegetables.”

I wonder what I left out of the narration. Turnips, perhaps?

21 June 2013

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Happy Birthday, Edward!

Today is Edward Joseph Snowden’s thirtieth birthday. I have few heroes, but Snowden recently became one of them when he revealed the secret police state apparatus the U.S. government is building. I now know that the National Insecurity Agency has a record of every phone call that I—and hundreds of millions of other Americans—have made for the last few years: who I called, how long we talked, where I was when I dialed, and more.

It’s a Stasi wet dream.

Government officials swear that I have nothing to worry about, but they lie so blatantly and unconvincingly that I’m not reassured. All it takes is one megalomaniac fascist to get the keys to the machine and s/he can turn off our rights and liberties.

Snowden’s on the run; he’ll never be able to relax again. That’s quite a sacrifice to have made; happy birthday and good luck, Edward.

William S. Burroughs posited, “Being paranoid means having all the facts.” Thanks to Snowden, we have a lot more information about the shadow—the real?—government.

And that concludes one of my rare polemics. Tomorrow I shall go back to completing another self-indulgent art project.

22 June 2013

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Twenty-One Archival Tape Tears

It’s been a century since Marcel Duchamp made Three Standard Stoppages. I’ve never studied art history; I suspect that’s one of the reasons I still enjoy making art. I don’t care if this is true or not, but I think Duchamp may be one of the first artists to consciously introduce chance.

Earlier this year, while I was packing dozens of boxes and sealing them with masking tape, I noticed that no two tape tears were the same. I recently I made forty-eight tape tears, photographed them, then ran them through some computer graphics programs to posterize them into four shades of grey before converting them into vector graphics. I like editing as well as chance; that’s how I created Twenty-One Archival Tape Tears.

23 June 2013

Ernest Snodgrass of Hoosick Falls, New York

I couldn’t figure out why Conrad mailed me an obituary of some stranger until I read it. (I suppose that’s why he sent it.)

Ernest Snodgrass was born on September 11, 1932 and passed away on Monday, May 21, 2013.

Ernest was a resident of Hoosick Falls, New York, at the time of his passing. He was preceded in death by his wife Priscilla. He died with no savings and owing no debts, and will not be remembered.

Services will be eleven in the morning, Friday, May 24 at Footley Funeral Home, Bennington, with the Rev. Darrell Searmen officiating. Burial will follow in Flowery Gardens, Shaftsbury. Friends may call from six until nine in the evening, Thursday, at the funeral home.


I’m reminded of one of Oscar Wilde’s observations. “Those who pay their bills on time are soon forgotten. It is only by not paying one’s bills that one can hope to live in the memory of the commercial classes.”

24 June 2013

How Can That Be?

I’m listening to a piece that reminds me of a song I can’t remember. How can that be?

25 June 2013

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Gratuitous Photo of the Weak: Wrapped Sign

I wonder if I’d have photographed this road sign wrapped in black plastic if I’d never heard of Christo Vladimirov Javacheff? I’ll never know.


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©2013 David Glenn Rinehart

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