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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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3 December 2021

gratuitous image

No. 8,475 (cartoon)

When one door closes, another one opens.

Every prisoner knows that.

4 December 2021

An Area of Opportunity

Cordelia served perhaps the most amazing pasta I’ve ever had, but not in an epicurean way. I rarely say this about anything that’s not potentially toxic, but it was inedible. It appeared that her technique was to partially cook the pasta in tepid water without stirring, so I got a block of noodles that had fused together in a hard clump like a tree limb at one end with pasty mush at the extremities.

I liked her old dog too much to surreptitiously feed him the abomination, so I had to delicately explain that the pasta wasn’t prepared the way I prefer. I was relieved when she agreed it was unfit to eat. She said that cooking was her “area of opportunity,” then put a frozen pizza in the oven.

Area of opportunity?! I’ll never learn to speak like a Californian, but then, who’d want to talk like that? Or maybe it’s my area of opportunity?

5 December 2021

Not a Great Writer

Rosaline told me that there’s no such thing as good writing, only good rewriting. When I asked her who said that, she told me to stop being so lazy—I hear that a lot!—and look it up. I broke with tradition and followed her advice.

Louis Brandeis said it. Truman Capote said it. Robert Graves said it. Ernest Hemmingway said it. I stopped after four citations; it appears to be one of those quotations with a thousand parents.

If that proposition is true, then I ’spose that ’splains a lot. I don’t rewrite; I barely correct typos. I have no desire to be a great writer; that sounds like way too much effort, and unrewarding work at that. I’m quite content with being a great friend; that’s not work at all.

6 December 2021

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Planet or Plastic?

David Brower was a friend of mine. Not a close friend, but a great friend. There’s a steel-and-glass building in Berkeley, California named after him, the David Brower Center.

The David Brower Center represents everything David was against. What kind of “hub of environmental activism” doesn’t allow bicycles to be brought into the spacious building? You guessed it, the Brower Center. I cycled by there today and saw a placard advertising an exhibit, “Planet or Plastic? What Do You Choose?” The ad was printed on plastic-coated paper, mounted on a plastic signboard, and secured to a tree with a plastic-covered cable.

Hypocrisy and irony don’t get much better than that!

David’s been gone for over twenty years, but I wish he could come back for a couple of days, drive out the administraitors, and/or blow up the building.

7 December 2021

Beyond the Default Mode Network

I’m quite pleased to be on Dan Piraro’s mailing list. Unlike the junk I send, his musings are not a waste of time. He recently wrote, “We’ve discussed the brain’s ‘default mode network’ ... it’s the part of your brain that glances at things and tells you what they are so you don’t have to identify every object, sound, or sensation every second of your waking life.”

(Let the record show that he and I have never discussed anything, but that’s neither here nor there.)

I’m intrigued by the concept of making a photograph of something that’s not what appears to be. I like it so much that I might just tear myself away from the glowing embrace of my computer monitors and attempt to create such an image.

Maybe later ...

8 December 2021

gratuitous image courtesy of Exit International

Swiss DiePod

Exit International, a Swiss company, has created the Sarco Suicide Pod. The contraption is basically a portable gas chamber with a view. Just pick a nice spot, seal yourself in and flip a switch. Out goes the oxygen, in comes the nitrogen, and away you go!

I read that the device was originally called the DiePod, but Apple Incorporated already trademarked the name. If Apple ever does make one I’ll bet it will be much snazzier and cost five times as much. I think it would be worth it if it also erased my digital presence so as not to leave too much of a mess for anyone to clean up.

(A quick personal note to all my friends who worry too much: I am enjoying my charmed life and have no plans to return to Switzerland again let alone anytime soon.)

9 December 2021

The Art of the Scam

Loic Gouzer, who previously worked at Christie’s Auctions, has started a new company, Particle. Investors paid almost thirteen million dollars for a Banksy painting. A digital copy of the painting is being chopped up into ten thousand pieces, or nonfungible tokens. For only fifteen hundred dollars you can own your own Banksy pixels, complete with a certificate of authenticity and a map showing what part of the digital copy of the painting you own.

“Fractionalizing the work in 10,000 NFTs allows a much wider audience to be part of a collecting experience,” Gouzer explained.

Sounds like the art of the scam to me; I like it!

I came up with a better version of that almost thirty years ago, Moonrisettes, but I would say that, wouldn’t I? I claimed I was going to cut up an original print by Ansel Adams into one-inch squares and sell each one individually. I never had the print to begin with; I just liked the idea of destroying one piece of art to make three hundred and twenty new ones.

Ask any conceptual artist, it’s the thought that counts!

10 December 2021

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Six Claremont Avenue Paving Concerns

Six Claremont Avenue Paving Concerns bears a strong visual resemblance to a piece I made seven years ago, Sixteen Defined Conservatory Drive Cavities. I don’t like either of them very much. Maybe that will change. Maybe it won’t.


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©2021 David Glenn Rinehart

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