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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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15 October 2018

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No. 2,421 (cartoon)

I want to strangle and shoot you.

Make up your mind.

16 October 2018

Photographic Deficiencies

Almost a year and a half ago I noted that Swedes built a camera that captures five trillion frames every second. I thought that would have been fast enough for any shutterbug, but, once again I was wrong.

I should have known: there’s a battalion of would-be photographers whose members claim the reason they make crap images is because they don’t have the right camera. I shouldn’t be surprised that some Canadians—Canadians, of all people!—have built a camera that makes ten trillion photographs a second.

That’s quite an achievement, but I’m certain that’s not going to prevent an incompetent photographer from claiming that the camera was too slow to achieve the desired results.

17 October 2018

Shooting Frogs dans un Tonneau

Paris is an amusement park on the theme of Paris; the Eiffel Tower is the centerpiece. I’ve never wanted to photograph Paris, Mousewitz, or any other overpriced tourist trap, but I’m rethinking that.

I was surprised to learn that it’s illegal to photograph the Eiffel Tower after dark even though the building has been in the public domain since 1933. (That’s why there’s a cheezy version of it in Las Vegas, a wretched dump in the desert where visitors flock to be bilked.) The French courts have ruled that the Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel’s slothful administraitors created a “new” work of art when they finally got around to tacking on some light bulbs ninety-eight years after construction began.

Et voilà! The lights mean that the building is back under copyright and that it’s illegal to photograph it without permission at night.

I’m tempted to return to Paris and make such photographs if only to annoy the French. Trip the copyrighted lights fantastic! Nah, too easy; that’s like shooting frogs dans un tonneau.

18 October 2018

Gravity Kills

The local advertising aggregator Internet site pretending to be a news source ran this headline a couple of days ago: “How an expert skydiver happened to fall to her death near Lodi.”

I fell for their transparent trickery and took the bait to find out what led to Nina Mason’s demise. Maybe the pilot screwed up and she ended up being chopped up in a prop. Or maybe a drunk hunter—as if there’s any other kind—mistook the skydiver for a pterodactyl and blew her out of the sky. That sort of things happens all the time.

Predictably, the one-word article was a disappointment: “Gravity.”

19 October 2018

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Scotch Whisky (from Library Liters)

I’ve never met a librarian who didn’t have a bottle of hooch stashed in her desk, so I knew exactly what to when five dozen of ‘em showed up at the Internet Archive for the annual Library Liters Conference: break out a liter of cheap, blended Scotch.

Etiquette demands that the rotgut’s provenance is disguised when serving cut-rate booze, so I did. I scraped off the label from a ten-dollar bottle of Silly-Swally Scotch and affixed a couple of Internet Archive stickers thus creating a new alleged art piece, Scotch Whisky (from Library Liters).

Lots of my great ideas turn out to be stooopid, but this was just the opposite. I discovered that this was the Library Leaders Conference, not the Library Liters Conference.

Everyone appreciated my mistake. The librarians licked it up, figuratively and literally, and I can report that all those lovely stereotypes about the overeducated bookworms are based in reality. Except for the one where she takes off her glasses and lets down her hair, alas.

20 October 2018

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No More Hummus

Healthy Spirits, my corner liquor store, really isn’t my corner liquor store at all. The proprietors sell eight-dollar bottles of beer and hundred-dollar bottles of whisky. I have better things to spend my money on, like two-dollar liters of wine.

The store used to advertise “Beer, Bourbon, and Hummus.” The story I heard is that the owner’s mother had moral objections to alcohol, so he placated her by selling her homemade hummus.

I noticed this afternoon that Healthy Spirits now promotes agave instead of hummus; no surprises there. Tequila is where the money is. I’m not at all bothered by the change. I don’t skimp on the garlic; I can make better hummus than I can buy in any store.

21 October 2018


Rebecca has a lovely approach to making art: do first, think later. She never said anything of the sort; here’s what she did say:

My work isn’t image-based, nor is it idea-driven exactly, but it leaves marks that make an image, and it causes me, and hopefully others, to think. It’s kind of backward-conceptual.

I told her that I liked that idea of backward-conceptual so much that I was going to plagiarize it. She ignored the biggest compliment I can give anyone and asked me to give her credit. I never share the provenance of my thefts, so I asked the Internet who else was using the concept.

This almost never happens, but it seems Rebecca really did come up with the concept. And so, I’m forced to admit that “backward-conceptual” is her progeny.

There, I acknowledged who first bore “backward-conceptual.” I did the right thing in conceding her idea, but it won’t happen again. From now on, I’ll lie and claim that I came up with “backward-conceptual.” Sorry, Rebecca.

Scholarly types will be able to cite this confession to prove that I’m not telling the truth, but there’s a much easier was to know when I’m fibbing: my lips move.


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©2018 David Glenn Rinehart

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