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 Twelve English Parking Lines

W E E K  T W E N T Y

14 May 1997
Twelve English Parking Lines
I decided to take a holiday from my boring conceptual work to make Twelve English Parking Lines, a boring decorative piece (also available in PDF format). Everyone needs a break now and then.

15 May 1997
I Will Not Celebrate Meaningless Milestones
I've now done five hundred sequential daily journal entries. I'm not sure whether I should be pleased at my consistency or worried about my predictability. As with most aesthetic debates, I'm not going to spend much time worrying about it.

I suppose the creators of the cartoon series The Simpsons had the right idea when, on the hundredth episode, they punished Bart by making him write repeatedly "I will not celebrate meaningless milestones."

16 May 1997
Hans and I are Like That
Jin was surprised to hear that I was a friend of Hans Haacke's, so I explained how our friendship started.

Years ago I went to hear Haacke talk about his work. Since he was speaking in a very small auditorium, I arrived very early to be sure I'd get a seat. I got there so early that the doors to the auditorium were still locked; no one from the institution was even there.

I saw a sheet of paper on a table outside the auditorium door. At the top of the page someone had written "Friends of Hans Haacke's." I added "David Rinehart" to the six or seven names already on the list. (The list already had several styles of handwriting, so my addition didn't look out of place.)

I went for a walk, and, when I returned, found the auditorium was open. When I got to the front of the queue, the attendant asked me for the five dollar admission fee.

"I'm a friend of the artist; my name is David Rinehart."

"So you are," said the attendant after she'd scrutinized the list. "Enjoy the talk."

I've been a friend of Hans ever since. (I said it and authorities confirmed it, so it must be true.)

17 May 1997
I Want Beer Beer Beer Beer Beer Beer Beer
Beer beer beer beer beer beer beer, on
Saturday, Sunday, Monday, I want

beer beer beer beer beer beer beer, on
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, I want

beer beer beer beer beer beer beer, on
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, I want

beer beer beer beer beer beer beer, on
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, I want

beer beer beer beer beer beer beer, on
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, I want

beer beer beer beer beer beer beer, on
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, I want

beer beer beer beer beer beer beer, on
Friday, Saturday, Sunday, I want

(repeats endlessly)

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18 May 1997
Aristotle's Illusion
I just read about Aristotle's Illusion for the first time. Let's see if I can explain it ...

Cross your index and middle fingers to form a "V", then gently rub your nose in the "V." You should feel two noses, since your brain doesn't expect the outside edges of the two adjacent fingers to be touching the same object simultaneously. (It helps if you close your eyes.)

It's not much of an illusion as modern illusions go, but I suppose the ancient Greeks had a lower entertainment threshold.

19 May 1997
Free-Range Art
A collector asked me if my work was free-range art or factory art.

"It's all free-range art," I said without hesitation. "The ideas are laid organically, and left free to grow and mature under natural conditions. They're harvested humanely, then processed with no added preservatives, extenders, or other additives."

She seemed satisfied with my answer, but she didn't buy anything. I wasn't disappointed; I didn't have anything for sale.

20 May 1997
The Problem With Dance
I've got two problems with dance in general and dancers in particular: youth and age.

The dancers are physically perfect. The young men are so lithe and athletic, it reminds me of how I've changed since I was in that condition, even though I was never in that condition. And the young women are absurdly beautiful. I can't watch them dance without thinking inappropriate thoughts: while they're rolling about symbolizing all manner of complex emotions and ideals, I find it difficult to see anything except salacious and libidinous images.

There's another reason I generally avoid dance performances: age. I've admitted that watching the lithe young dancers makes me feel like a dirty old man. It also reminds me of how cruel dance is: in a few years these dancers' legs, feet, and backs won't be up to the task, and they'll be cast aside for a new generation of remarkable young things. A dear friend of mine is one of those involuntarily retired dancers; she's still sad that she can no longer dance the way she once did. What a merciless medium.

(There is a positive aspect to all of this dance-induced misery: I'm very glad I chose to be a visual and verbal artist. I should still be able to create this nonsense until the day I die.)

Ironically, my preoccupations with youth and age have recently enhanced my opinion of dance as an art form. I was watching a ballet in which the ballerina was stabbed in the back by a jealous rival. If I wasn't fascinated by the sea of changing muscle patterns on the dying dancer's back, I would probably have laughed aloud at the site of a mortally wounded young woman staying on point through her choreographed death throes.

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©1997 David Glenn Rinehart