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<nettime> sondheimogram [x3: 2L phenom, shorter world desc, plateau reac
Alan Sondheim on Mon, 3 Nov 2008 15:04:43 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> sondheimogram [x3: 2L phenom, shorter world desc, plateau reached]

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Alan Sondheim <sondheim {AT} panix.com>
     Second Life Installation Phenomenology (please post)
     description of the world in a few sentences  
     Plateau Reached    

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Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2008 19:01:53 -0400 (EDT)
From: Alan Sondheim <sondheim {AT} panix.com>
Subject: Second Life Installation Phenomenology (please post)

Second Life Installation Phenomenology

The Second Life show at http://slurl.com/secondlife/Odyssey/48/12/22
continues to change; since it's complex and interactive, it makes sense
for you to visit it. The images and videos I put up almost daily can
present one or another new (static or dynamic) topographic feature, but
only in an isolated and framed configuration; one doesn't get a sense of
the roil or negotiated pathways of the spaces which are always under

At one point symmetries dominated, as well as moire patterns related to
early cinema; at another, flat black areas created a problematic of depth
that remained unresolved. At times a machine-structure (gears, wheels,
cams) appeared out of partial assemblages; at best, these were metaphors,
doing nothing in the virtual or the real. In the exhibition, objects tend
to ignore one another unless given physical weight; few objects have that,
since those that do tend to tumble out of the exhibition, 'out of world,'
ending up in lost-and-found inventories.

Now the symmetries have corroded by 'foreign' non-repetitive textures that
indicate movement trajectories (it's easy to follow the movement of a flat
black square for example) and block moire effects. It's as if the symmet-
rical properties of objects and assemblages are falling apart. Almost
every object moves vertically; some are aligned, some are harmonic, some
appear independent. It's easy to fall vertically at this point, from sky
objects to the exhibition hall surface, and from ground surface to the
underwater environment beneath the hall. Teleport labels may or may not
take you somewhere; you might end up where you started or even more en-
tangled on a different level. The environment as a whole appears as shaky
as the economy, and there's a parallel with bandwidth and prim quantity
issues. I build and don't know who sees what; I find my own computers
locked up on occasion.

At this point I want to start radically modifying the installation; again
I urge you to visit while it retains a semblance of its current state. As
objects are given weight, they'll fall and reorganize the surface; they
may well pile up without falling out of world, at least temporarily; they
may provide new surfaces and cavities to negotiate. It's almost impossible
to document the dynamics of this; things fall too fast for cameras to

When I sleep at night, spaces open up; I'm torn and brought close to death
in nightmare after nightmare, some of which are set in apparently real
environments that slough off into the virtual. A train begins here, the
tracks connect there, leading to dilapidated and jumbled architecture. Or
arousal which disseminates in the midst of prims sharp enough to slice
through site and sound. From Dhananjaya: "'Rasa is that which is made
enjoyable by the behaviour of the characters that gives enjoyment because
the object of the drama is not to enjoy the behaviour of the characters
since that belongs to the past.' (Otherwise, says the author, the specta-
tor might as well himself fall into love with the heroine." And again:
"The spectators enjoy at the site of characters like Arjuna and others
what they themselves feel inside just as children enjoy, playing with clay
elephants, the fervour that is within themselves." (From Adya Rangacharya,
Drama in Sanskrit Literature, Bombay, Popular Prakashan, 1968.) Enjoyment
is not enjoyment in the sense of pleasure, but inhabiting a diegetic cons-
tructed through a series of coded interfaces. In the Second Life instal-
lation, the strange remains strange, but one learns to negotiate complex
trajectories among levels, prims, sounds, spaces, worlds; soon rasa
(flavor among other meanings) emerges as one's eyes are one's avatar's
eyes and one becomes comfortable with hir body. There are no identifica-
tions in the Second Life show, only corners, plateaus, and circulations
that permit discourse, that one might conceivably inhabit. All of these
spaces, like capital, are rickety; Second Life is governed by exchange,
not use value and things constantly threaten to fall apart. The only
certainty is an absence of breakage and death; what is attached for the
most part remains attached, no matter how far it falls, no matter how
sharp and difficult, impossible, the landing. Death in Second Life is
never death, but literally a passing-away; an avatar disappears more or
less permanently and one might assume that something has occurred in real
life parallel to this - illness or death or disinterest or bankruptcy -
one never knows.

The spaces in exhibition are malleable, not liquid, not liquid architec-
ture so much as capable of distortion and linkage at a distance: things
may well move in synchronization, even over a fairly large distance, as if
Bell's theorem suddenly appeared in the large and abstract. When the space
- the normative space of Second Life - fills up, it transforms the avatar
within it. Boundaries are no longer fixed or even apparent. I imagine a
Kristevan chora, part-objects and pre-linguistics driving the show, as if
the birth of language were imminent and immanent. The birth never occurs;
the chora remains at the state of the laugh or scream or orgasm or even
free-fall. One is stripped down, and the images, such as they are, textur-
ing the prims are often sexualized - penises, breasts, rings, faces in
pain or ecstasy, posed mannequins of fossilized desire and dance. One
senses an alien choreography behind everything, the world inverted in
Plato's cave from virtual shadows to the watching and participating body
on the damp floor. The alien is ourselves of course and the aliens are our
self, chora to chiasm.

Rasa is the taste of this, the taste or flavor of the enlightened audience
which means the knowledgeable audience, who have already migrated past the
strangeness of the exhibition towards an inhering organic that passes for
flesh and tissue. I think of the space as avatar body, as avatar hirself,
as chora, as womb, as phallus, as adverb. I think of rocketing through the
space as the dissipation of vectors without origin and destination; one
lands in the midst of circulation and circles hirself.

But all of this takes time on the part of the visitor, as does the reading
of signs, even the writing and writhing of signs in sky and water and
within the earth itself. One has to enter the space, ascend and descend,
allow oneself to be caught up in the multiplicity of worlds, even the
smoke of catastrophe and catastrophic industrialization, the destruction
of families, speech and phenomena which are always already in a state of
withdrawal. The world comes and goes without saying; we pass away as it
passes by, and even a minute after our death we no longer hear a voice,
see the sun, read the next day's market.

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Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2008 11:57:15 -0400 (EDT)
From: Alan Sondheim <sondheim {AT} panix.com>
Subject: description of the world in a few sentences  

description of the world in a few sentences

one wheel cuts through the thread of objects connected by the viewer as if
they were material of a single line; well they are of course, coordinates
among coordinates, connectivity on some remote level within database and
processes. the wheel doesn't rotate, the line is not a line, the movement
is not movement, the material is not material, the objects aren't objects
- the epistemology meets the ontology on the singularity of protocol or
code, collapses within the database. databases do nothing; there are no
processes, no dynamics, only decay. there are no databases; there is for
the moment organized substance. connectivities travel through the same but
there is no travel, no connectivities, only quantities transformed into
quantities; the clock that governs does not govern, is not a clock; the
clock that governs is outside time. the clock is invisible to the data-
base, invisible to the objects; the phenomenology and dynamics of time are
invisible to the database; there is no time; there is ordering; there is
no ordering; there is database-substance, singularity smeared within and
without the hinge of epistemology and ontology. let us say within and
without the database, epistemology is the subject and ontology the object
and let us say that the hinge is the memory or uncanny remnant of this or
any other operation. we can approach the truth in this manner from outside
consideration; there is no approach, no truth, no we involved in what can
only be considered complicity in crime, and that is what remains after
possible worlds and natural kinds are exhausted, nothing in this instance
and there is no nothing, only the virtual.


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Date: Mon, 3 Nov 2008 02:24:51 -0500 (EST)
From: Alan Sondheim <sondheim {AT} panix.com>
Subject: Plateau Reached    

Plateau Reached

http://www.alansondheim.org/ aaa series - video kanji stills on complex
hypertropied objects (very beautiful)
http://www.alansondheim.org/both.mp4 - reworking the hermaphrodite
(short, dark)
http://www.alansondheim.org/kanjj3.mov - aaa series in video (fairly
http://www.alansondheim.org/ aabod series - 1-7 images used in body
mapping; a-f beginnings of hypertrophia (some quite nice)

my end of a conversation with  Miulew Takahe  in Second Life:

[14:48]  Alan Dojoji: If you're in the outer section turn the video
on -
[14:49]  Alan Dojoji: I've been tuning it.
[14:49]  Alan Dojoji: That's a LONG time in SL
[14:49]  Alan Dojoji: I've been changing the space almost daily
[14:50]  Alan Dojoji: I've been here a lot - I don't know how long
I'll have to use the space (Sugar's been out of touch)
[14:50]  Alan Dojoji: and there's a lot I want to do
[14:51]  Alan Dojoji: I hope so - I have performances coming up and
want to carefully deconstruct the space, not take it down quickly
[14:56]  Alan Dojoji: Fairly often. It's gotten more confusing/denser
as time goes on
[14:56]  Alan Dojoji: I keep adding the physical attribute to some of
the objects to watch/record them going off-world
[14:57]  Alan Dojoji: And I'm trying to make the space a kind of
liquid architecture/malleable space/deconstruction, whatever, doing a
lot of writing about it
[14:57]  Alan Dojoji: :-) it's hard to create density in such a small
area - so I don't intrude on other works in Odyssey -
[14:57]  Alan Dojoji: It's like Manhattan
[14:57]  Alan Dojoji: it goes up and down, not sideways
[14:58]  Alan Dojoji: Manhattan is HUGE underground with subways
pipes water conduits archaeological remnants, fairly amazing
[14:58]  Alan Dojoji: But it doesn't move like this and it weighs
[14:59]  Alan Dojoji: That's part of the idea, a kind of negotiation
[14:59]  Alan Dojoji: My avatar is almost impossible to move at this
point - I can't see around it -
[14:59]  Alan Dojoji: but it writes in the sky
[15:00]  Alan Dojoji: No, I think text would ruin it - it's more a
landscape without signage, some sort of wilderness
[15:01]  Alan Dojoji: it connects directly with the writings which
are kind of a naturalist's take on the thing. like looking at
[15:04]  Alan Dojoji: I collected them when I was youmnger - a kind
of reading you have to do in an archaic landscape
[15:05]  Alan Dojoji: constantly with video and images, but it's hard
to get the details.
[15:05]  Alan Dojoji: I'm running video now -
[15:05]  Alan Dojoji: I'd like to get a decent record but it's
[15:06]  Alan Dojoji: On the other hand we're making a cd, some of
this music will be on it.
[15:07]  Alan Dojoji: Yes if you run the music in the space - there
are different songs in different regions
[15:08]  Alan Dojoji: I think the sounds adds but I've heard it too
often - I don't change it as much as the rest of it
[15:11]  Alan Dojoji: Wow - it kept your avatar that long! I'm going
to log off myself at the moment; I want to edit the video
[15:11]  Alan Dojoji: Nice seeing you as well! Perhaps in Sweden -
[15:11]  Alan Dojoji: Do look down below the exhibition space and in
the skysphere above if you have tihe time - they're different
[15:11]  Alan Dojoji: Thanks - talk with you soon -
[15:11]  Alan Dojoji: bye now
[15:12]  Alan Dojoji is Offline

| Alan Sondheim Mail archive:  http://sondheim.rupamsunyata.org/
| To access the Odyssey exhibition The Accidental Artist:
| http://slurl.com/secondlife/Odyssey/48/12/22
| Webpage (directory) at http://www.alansondheim.org
| sondheim {AT} panix.com, sondheim {AT} gmail.org, tel US 718-813-3285

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