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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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18 September 2018

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No. 4,645 (cartoon)

You know absolutely nothing.

I know that.

19 September 2018

Artists on the Moon

According to a SpaceX press release, Yusaku Maezawa will be the first space tourist to head to the moon. The Japanese billionaire announced he’s inviting half a dozen artists to go to the moon with him. What I found interesting was what he didn’t say. He announced he was taking them there, but didn’t mention anything about bringing them back.

It reminds me of the lament after the first lunar landing in 1968: If they can put a man on the moon, why can’t they put all of them there?

20 September 2018

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Unrealized Seashell Pyramid

Vivian is moving thousands of kilometers away, and that means jettisoning detritus she’ll never need again. And, in the case of her seashells, flotsam and jetsam she never needed in the first place.

She collected her abalone shells, clamshells, conch shells, nautilus shells, scallop shells, triton shells, et cetera from each of the eight seas. (I thought that there were only seven seas, but Vivian insists that there’s an eighth one known only to a handful of people.)

She was going to throw the shells in the trash, but I proposed returning them to the ocean. I told her that I’d arrange them in a pyramid on Ocean Beach and photograph them with the Pacific Ocean in the background. Very simple and very elegant.

And very impossible without a herd of aggressive cats.

I cycled out to the ocean and found just the right spot of undisturbed coastline. It didn’t stay that way for very long. As soon as I poured the bag of mollusk shells on the sand, a flock of combative seagulls and a murder of hostile crows descended on what they thought was breakfast.

Instead of my photograph of a minimalist pyramid of bleached shells, I walked away with a snapshot of some cacophonous birds. Oh well, at least I’ll have confused some geologists in a few hundred thousand years who won’t be able to figure out how shells from all corners of the round globe ended up in the same spot of what used to be the ocean coast.

21 September 2018

The Thinning of the Scooter Herd

It’s too bad Charles Darwin died over four-thirds of a century ago; I think he would have been amused—or at least vindicated—by a couple of current news items.

Jacoby Stoneking recently died after falling off an electric scooter. He was not wearing a helmet.

A couple of days ago the governor of California abolished a law that required electric scooter riders to wear helmets. They can now legally zip along over fifty kilometers an hour without wearing any protection.

Let the thinning of the herd begin! No; that’s not right; it’s been going on since the first cell split if not before. I wish Darwin was still around; I’d pour him a tall drink and ask him why there are more idiots than ever.

22 September 2018

The Key to Happiness

Thia showed up at my studio squawking like a two-kilo chicken laying a three-kilo egg. In a word, I’d say that she was most unhappy except that’s two words. I felt sorry for her, so I decided to tell her what the key to happiness is.

“Happiness doesn’t exist, Thia, I explained. “When it comes to the key to happiness, the closest I can come is to note that key to unhappiness is the unfounded belief in happiness.”

“You’re being even more ridiculouser than usual David,” she replied drearily.

“Perhaps,” I agreed, “but my irrational beliefs make me happy.”

23 September 2018

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Two Cups of Archival Salt

I’m holding a cup of wine. I maintain that it’s actually two cups: the volume of wine is one cup, and the vessel that contains it is a separate cup. That’s two cups.

This morning I went to one of my favorite events, the Center for the Book’s annual Road Works extravaganza. My friends there hire a massive, vintage Buffalo Springfield coal-powered steamroller to serve as a seven-ton platen to make very large prints.

For the last few years, I’ve been making prints there, everything from ketchup packets to ale cans to paintballs. It took me years to figure this out, but just because everyone else is using the steamroller to make prints doesn’t mean that I can’t use it to make something else.

So I did; I made a sculpture. I took an Internet Archive cup, filled it with salt, then pulverized it with the 1924 steamroller.

Et voilà!, Two Cups of Archival Salt.


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©2018 David Glenn Rinehart

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