2004 Notebook: Weak I
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1 January 2004
No. 3,813 (cartoon)
I’m so very depressed.

You used to be a complete wreck.

Some days are better than others.

2 January 2004
Bernard’s Miserable
Bernard’s miserable. Bernard’s always miserable.

I used to feel sorry for Bernard until I understood that he wants to be miserable. Happiness and satisfaction are fleeting, but misery can be cultivated and maintained indefinitely. Bernard sustains his misery and his misery sustains him.

I think predictability and managed expectations can be dangerous.

3 January 2004
A Time and a Place
I’ve always heard that there’s a time and a place for everything. That may or may not be true, but I have no idea what thing goes in this place at this time. I keep forgetting that it’s 2004.

4 January 2004
A Classic Artist
I enjoyed the small exhibit of Tom Fowler’s drawings I saw tonight. Each of the pieces consisted of a single word written repeatedly on a large sheet of paper, but in such a way that he achieved an effect much more interesting than my cursory description would suggest.

I especially liked the ridiculous yet obligatory “About the artwork” and “About the artist” statements. The former featured the words “Blah, blah, blah ...” repeated hundreds of time; the latter used the same approach with the word “Me.”

I feel like I’ve met a kindred aestetic spirit: Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, me me me me me me me!

5 January 2004
(Not) Suffering for My Art
Sadie asked me what I thought of the hoary cliché about artists suffering for their art.

“George Patton advised his soldiers not to die for their country, but to let the other poor idiot die for his,” I replied. “Similarly, I don’t suffer for my art, I use it to inflict suffering on others.”

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6 January 2004
Felix Gonzalez-Torres
Felix Gonzalez-Torres died before his fortieth birthday. That may or may not have been a shortcut into the San Francisco Museum of Modern [sic] Art, where curators presented his Untitled 92/93. The work consists of a stack of poorly-printed posters of a banal photograph depicting a bird flying in a cloudy sky. A sign beside the pile of posters encouraged visitors to take a print, so I did.

After returning to the lab, I had no idea of what to do with a cheap poster. I finally decided to tape it to the outside wall of adjoining building. The bird and blurry clouds look better against a brick wall under a real sky.

7 January 2004
A Passive Birthday
Today’s another annual birthday (as opposed to the more interesting ones).

I have an agreement with everyone—except my mother—not to exchange gifts on such occasions. I think it’s fine that people under twenty should get something for their birthday, but people over twenty should give away something for their birthday. I rarely implement my good ideas, and so it is that I didn’t give anyone anything today.

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8 January 2004
Bat Bark Chime (Attraction No. 10-23)
Today I made a new piece, Bat Bark Chime (Attraction No. 10-23). (The title is one of those self-indulgent riddles that only a few people will be able to decipher.) The work consists of a suspended spherical, two-kilogram lead sinker and a smaller one recycled from Three Submersed Ice Cubes.

The pair of hanging objects have never been still. I know very little about physics; I can only conclude that they’re in love with each other.

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©2004 David Glenn Rinehart