Wendy:  There’s chard on your face.

Ray: Chard?

Wendy:  The greens.  It’s chard right?  I think the server said it was chard.  I think he said something like “embellished with pearls of chard.”

Ray: Better than shards of pearls.

Wendy:  Anyway there’s a pearl on your chin, you might want to wipe it off.  Oh hey, how was that new exhibition you went to?

Ray:  Ah yes, the Alpha-Beam Installation.

Wendy:  What was that?

Ray:  You’ve heard of I-beams right?  Well, this guy built massive steel beams with cross-sections for every letter of the alphabet.

Wendy:  Q-beams.

Ray:  And P-beams, and Z-beams, etc.  And punctuation beams.  The semi-colon beam was an engineering feat in itself.

Wendy:  Cool.

Ray:  Yeah right, and he wrote poetry with his beams. Gargantuan, industrial poetry.  A single haiku took up the space of football stadium.

Wendy:  I love it.

Ray:  I guess, but come on how is that art?

Wendy:  Oh, don’t be such a douchebag.

Ray:  Listen, it may sound cliche, but really anybody could have done that.  Even I could have done that.  I’m no artist, and if I could have done that, it’s not art.

Wendy:  But you didn’t do it.  On the other hand, he did.  Because it’s art and because you are not an artist.

Ray:  Ok, I’ve heard that one before, but I’m telling you that argument just doesn’t work.  Sure I didn’t make alphanumeric pillars and arrange them into rhymes and sure I never would have dreamed of doing something like that but that doesn’t make him any more of an artist than me.  Think of the thousands of other self-styled artists working in obscurity picking completely random things and not using them for their intended purpose.  One of these guys gets plucked out of his basement and placed in an art museum handing out free cheese and wine to 7 of his friends from high school.  It’s not enough to point out that he did it and not us.  Because there’s a thousand things we did and he didn’t.  Your argument gives me no way of distinguishing between a world where this guy has some innate ability to sense which particular non-functional scrap of architecture has the power to move people and a world where everybody is repeating pre-school art projects and one gets picked at random to fill up a vacant wharehouse.

Wendy: You would be such a bore if it weren’t for the hilarious food on your face.

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