2003 Notebook: Weak XLIX
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3 December 2003
No. 5,979 (cartoon)
Some things never change.

Some things do.

Your choice.

4 December 2003
Good In Parts
Cynthia asked me what I thought about last night’s lecture.

“I thought some parts were good,” I replied with intentional ambiguity.

“Like a big slab of rotting meat?” she asked.

“Yes,” I agreed, “but with fewer maggots.”

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5 December 2003
Halsted and Tazendra
Tamzen said I should check out another artist’s Internet site, so I did. And that led to exchange of brief introductions with Halsted and her cat, Tazendra Dzur Bernard.

Halsted sometimes broadcasts a live photograph of her bedroom over the Internet, so I decided to have a look this afternoon. I was surprised to see her sitting on her bed typing on her laptop computer. I felt a little guilty, as if I was spying on her even though she publicizes her camera piece. (I was viewer number 22,812.)

I guess I don’t have what it takes to be a voyeur. Or, maybe I do, because I kept watching. After Halsted left, Tazendra hopped on the bed, pranced over to the computer, and read what she’d written. I wonder if Halsted knows about Tazendra’s snooping? I suppose she does now.

The Internet is a curious medium, and Tazendra is a curious cat. Curious. Nice.

6 December 2003
I gladly accepted Vale’s invitation tonight’s huge party to celebrate the republication of his Pranks book. Pranks: what’s not to like?

I came prepared with a number of “Pranks canceled” signs. I put them up at the main entrance where they remained throughout the evening. As soon as I taped up the first sign, a couple of men glanced at my announcement, muttered an expletive or two, and walked away.

“The party’s on gents,” I shouted. “I think someone put that up as a prank.”

I sneaked into the event through a side door. After all, what self-respecting person would pay to get into a pranks party? Once inside, I taped a “Pranks canceled” sign on Vale’s back. The sign stayed there until we all emptied out onto Sixteenth Street to watch Mark fire up his V1 rocket engine.

It was just that sort of night.

7 December 2003
The Short Now
Emily and I were chatting about this, that, and the other thing over lunch. We discovered that we were both at the same recent Long Now talk by Brian Eno; we didn’t see each other in the large audience.

Emily said she liked Eno’s futuristic views in the context of preserving art. I responded that I’m not too concerned about what happens after I’m dead, especially when it comes to art. I told her that I liked Marcel Duchamp’s analysis of the relationship between art and time.

    No painting has an active life of more than 30 or 40 years—that’s another little idea of mine. I don’t care if it’s true, it helps me to make that distinction between living art and art history. After 30 or 40 years, the painting dies, loses its aura, its emanation, whatever you want to call it. And then it is either forgotten or else it enters the purgatory of art history.

I think now is very, very short, then gone.

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8 December 2003
Miscommunicating with Shonagh
Shonagh invited me to her loft tonight to photograph her girls. I brought my camera and some cheap wine; Shonagh cooked salmon and asparagus. We all had a lovely time that eventually led to an unrepeatable miscommunication that will probably still be funny in twenty years. Should we remember it.

9 December 2003
A Pleasant Loss
I enjoyed tea tonight with one of the loveliest women I’ll ever meet, someone I haven’t seen in over a decade. Our reunion left me at a loss for words, perhaps the most wonderful state imaginable. Even though it will probably be impossible for me to even imagine this tomorrow.

10 December 2003
Ificial Sculptures
Meredith asked me what I thought about Brina’s sculptures, so I told her.

“I think they’re ificial,” I said.

“Tell me why you describe them as official,” Meredith demanded.

“I didn’t,” I explained, “I said they were ificial. Artificial, but without the art.”

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©2003 David Glenn Rinehart