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Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Here's a Hell of a Thing

BJP Online has an article about a thing.

Let us set aside several things. That Tom Wolfe is spelled with an e. That this sounds like the most boring project ever to feature an attractive young woman. That the artist is "co-opting" his own home. That most of the description is fancy-sounding tripe ("liminal space between sleep and waking" my ass). I am mainly interested in the contraption described at the end.

Not content with merely citing Sander by trying to make an astonishing 640 portraits of his wife at home, the artist wants to cite Amazon distribution centers with a contraption that will hang and re-hang the pictures to make up for the fact that nobody on earth is going to walk through through 640 of these fucking things.

The conceit is that some subset of his wife's pictures will be hung at any given time, with a machine that whisks them away and replaces them periodically.

The reference to an automated warehouse is all very well, but what they actually propose is an electro-mechanical replication of flickr. Pictures that people stand in front of longer will be brought out more frequently. Popular pictures will be forwarded, that is, presumably becoming more popular as a consequence.

These are several fairly obvious predictions here.

The contraption will not work reliably. Some idiot is going to over-engineer this thing, and it is going to be absolute hell to get it to work with any kind of reliability.

If/when they get it working, and they get the popularity algorithm working, the system will sort the pictures very very fast into "sexy nudes" and "everything else." It's anybody's guess whether the "sexy nudes" will be more or less popular, but the sorting is pretty much inevitable. The artist will rapidly learn that his skill with the camera means nothing, it's entirely about his wife's breasts. Whether the sex gets sorted into the back or the front, everything the artist actually likes will definitely get sorted into the back. This will be, I predict, disheartening for all involved.

I admit to being rather taken by the vision of a back room with 620 pictures in it, and a robot simply shuffling a wall of the 20 most explicit nudes, because nobody gave a damn about anything else.

The final stage will be to re-program the contraption to simply haul shit out at random, because the results of it working right are so upsetting to everyone.

Awards and congratulations all around, natch.


  1. Replies
    1. There's one or two with clothes, and to get to 640 different photos she's gonna have to be wearing a gorilla suit before the end.

  2. I don't get the Amazon thing. Wtf?

  3. A horrible, pretentious, text, and boring photos. Just what I like.

  4. Loved the stretch marks!
    Such dynamic linearity!
    Re the 640 photos:
    Hefner published his monthly.
    Did he ever get close to 640 centrefolds?
    I missed Wolf with an 'e'; was it corrected after you published your piece?
    Does the BJP read Molitor?
    Some bloke South of you.

    1. According to the relevant sources, Hefner's mag got to 734 centerfolds, but it took 63 years. Wolfe is correctly spelled with an 'e' and as far as I can see BJP has yet to correct their article.

      Obviously they read me, everyone who is anyone does, but they don't want to admit it, so they leave it uncorrected!

  5. Dumb question: you misspelled Sander on purpose?

    1. Nope, I just suck! Thanks for noticing, and I'll fix it now!