Anodyne
Saturday, June 18, 2005
 
Jeff Wall in conversation with Tate chief curator Sheena Wagstaff:

"Evaluation of quality is the core of the pleasure of the experience of art; the simultaneous pleasure of enjoying something immensely and of recognising that it is a good work. I always judge my pictures -- daily, hourly, all the time. Even though it's disappointing to have to say 'that one is not good' or 'not as good as that one,' it is still a pleasure to go through that process and experience a work afresh. Nothing has been as destructive to the condition of art as the idea that qualitative judgement is unimportant, and that art is important for cultural reasons. Art can only be important if it is good, because if it is good, it pleases us in ways we don't anticipate and don't understand, and that pleasure means something to us even if we can't specify what, exactly."
Thursday, June 16, 2005
 
Back from Seattle with a rental car packed with books, two inquisitive stuffed animals, and the animals' hard-working co-owner. Some highlights:

Bay View State Park, low sunlight flooding in under clouds above Padilla Bay at 8:59pm, mucky spume-capped waves lapping in along the oozy tideline.

Baby rabbits on the lawn, hip-hopping through the dusk.

Hip-hopping down I-5 the following grey morning, that overplayed Madvillain disc on frantic repeat:

"Since New York plates were ghetto yellow with broke blue writing."

A stroll around Green Lake in the sunshine.

That lovely strong face I would recognize anywhere.

An embrace at Seatac Gate Eight.

Clouds coming and going above Seattle Harbor. A parking attendant on a roof.

Test print for 100 Views of Mount Baker on Rainier Avenue, late afternoon. Trying to get the hang of the medium. Rush hour traffic and the new digital camera not cooperating.

"But that's not Baker, it's Mount Rainier."

"You can put it in parentheses later."
Monday, June 13, 2005
 
To the USA for a few days with the rental car, Incredible Talking Cats and a whole assortment of gas station maps shoved into the glove box. Also: Live From Planet X (MF Doom), Pop Art (Pet Shop Boys), Madvillain (MF Doom and Madlib), and the new Quasimodo.

Not quite sure of a destination yet, outside of SeaTac tomorrow evening. Corporate Thrift Store for sure, maybe even Powells if I make it that far south. Back Friday.

(Yesterday's lacuna: I turned 35, and the store turned 5. I had originally not wanted to open on my birthday, in case of early failure, in which case, I somewhat woozily reasoned, I'd be reminded of my ineptitude once a year for life. But the shelves were built and full of stock and my two weeks of free rent were coming to an end, so eventually I kicked the door open, put out the sandwich board, sold $73.55 worth of books in 6 hours, and attracted a free review from the other bookseller in the neighborhood. "You'll never last," he sniffed, snaffling up my H.P. Lovecraft pocketbooks at a 20% discount. He's still here. So am I.)

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