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<nettime> sondheimogram [7: theory, breaking, all less, prolegomenon, ou
Alan Sondheim on Mon, 30 Nov 2009 05:33:33 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> sondheimogram [7: theory, breaking, all less, prolegomenon, outline, rough, blowing]

Alan Sondheim <sondheim {AT} panix.com>
     Breaking New Ground 
     all less what we can do  
     Short prolegomenon to philosophy 
     Outline, thinking through film, a brief formal/informal analysis  
     rough guide 
     Blowing My Own Horn      

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Date: Wed, 29 Jul 2009 04:42:39 -0400 (EDT)
From: Alan Sondheim <sondheim {AT} panix.com>
Subject: theory   


i don't understand the language
models must have a stop
if you get it from the bottom
uninscribe the top

too many words are granted
the aegis of the ground
language is always haunted
words  emigrate from sound

what's reified's forgotten
the spectres in a cloud
dispel their flesh and blood
and vowels are bestowed

as murmurs of the world
while phonemes stumble out
then fall and  dream and lie
the throat clogs in the shout
the spectres speak and die
no theory to descry

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Date: Wed, 5 Aug 2009 02:58:06 -0400 (EDT)
From: Alan Sondheim <sondheim {AT} panix.com>
Subject: Breaking New Ground 

Breaking New Ground 

all circumstances are extenuating.

"if you want to understand what they're about, perhaps these works
will open up the vast chasm of comprehension on the edge of falling
apart - I can't think of any better pieces in this regard, and, for
that matter, in the sheer beauty of fractured movement"

works based on choreia, return, withdrawal from broken edges (before
one is cut) (before the sound loses its grasp) (before one is cut
out (of the world) (of your acquaintance) (your grasp) (your body)
(of your body my own)).

how does one write or circumscribe the body of movement within
horizons defined by mappings of hyperbolic geometry in the circle?
the edge isn't just asymptotic; from the outside, it's a bad pill.
what looks like chance is a battlefield; what looks determined is
incandescent birth.

"the battlefield is your last chance of being-alive, just as your
birth is your first-chance of dying."

there are so many things these movements and sounds are not: listing
narrows sublimity: just look, it's almost drained away. think of
dance as a draining, symptom as style, medication-technique, how to
get out of the hospital.

don't follow or recognize avatars, don't follow or recognize symptoms.
they start with dim memories of body, with landscapes that accompany
us, we're hounded.

we're hounded by death, but we're also hounded by disease, troubles,
fevers, forgetfulness, wrath, rage, ecstasy, visions, poverty, money,
obligations, lovers, ennui, hallucinations, speed, crime, frustration,
cataclysm, heat, cold, hunger, thirst, nightmares, mutilations, panic,
neuroses, economies of attention, economies of the body, excretions,
garbage, wounds, scars, allergic reactions, insect bites, age, bad
eyesight, bad hearing, shudderings, shiverings, fear, belongings,
jealousy, loathing, disgust, addictions.

the playing-field of hounding, playing-field of the hounded.
one hounds, is hounded; the hounded hounds, hounding is hounded.

or like this: playing-field of haunting, of the haunted. one haunts,
is haunted; the haunted haunts, haunting is haunted. "these texts,
they are haunted."

if i write this sentence, thus; if i write this sentence beneath or
within the sign of fever, migraine, incipient diabetes, tumors
malign-benign. if i write this sentence beneath the symbolic of
medication, bandaging, radiation treatment, dialysis. if i write this
sentence gagged and splayed.

if i write this sentence to control you, if i write this sentence
under your control. the order to work: persevere.

to persevere, endure, maenad-dance of self-devouring, maenad-music of
self-control. how can that be, except to ensure that the beat is
periodic, that repetition hungers.

the maenad feeds, hungers for repetition, desecrates it (the repeat-
ing). they passed it on so far down the line that gender-sex and sex-
gender change. they passed it down farther.

Who were they? Who's haunting us?

See involdance: 

Foofwa d'Imobilite, dance/choreography; Azure Carter, song/dance;
Alan Sondheim, various

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Date: Fri, 28 Aug 2009 19:11:41 -0400 (EDT)
From: Alan Sondheim <sondheim {AT} panix.com>
Subject: all less what we can do  

all less what we can do

incredibly small in relation to the universe, our lives are as nothing, 
our minds work for a limited period, there's nothing outside of the planet 
we can breathe, enormous energies just to get to the local satellite, too 
many trillions of words, exhaustion setting in every day around the same 
time, we comprehend nothing, we're stuck with vision in three-dimensions, 
we're small primates with overly-wrought group dynamics and violent urges, 
we won't last as long as the robin, as stromatolites, our minds are sick, 
poisoned, devastating, distraught, we're lost in the cosmos, there isn't 
any cosmos, we're decentered from ourselves, we're self-inscribed, 
autonomic, we haven't bootstrapped, our energy mapping's muddled, we're 
working desperately at the command of dna-inert, we're spewing everywhere 
in reach, nothing's in reach, we're the harbingers of the apocalypse, 
we've bootstrapped the apocalypse, bootstrapped death of the other, we 
can't tell other from others, our screams are silent, we destroy 
everything around us, we scorch the earth, we invent fictions about how 
we're so important in the universe, we promulgate random tiny laws, we 
enforce penalties, we've got the cosmos locked up in daydreams, we've got 
no idea what's out there, we can't read the simplest truths, we abjure 
relativisms of all sorts, we postulate absolutes, we call ourselves fierce 
iron, we think whatever's written is inerrant, we can't imagine emptiness, 
we populate ourselves with gods, we bootstrap gods, we haven't got a clue, 
we think A = A, we think we've got identity pinned down, we think we know 
the rules, we move furiously until death, we think we've got a chance to 
survive death, we're running before senility, we're running around 
disease, we're running as if disease isn't running as well, we're 
bootstrapping disease, we postulate the finitude of infinitesimals, we 
play around with number systems, we think we're hammering number systems 
into the universe, we're using nails of flesh, body-hammers, pliers of 
tooth and bone, we bite and think we're biting fiercely, we're pulling our 
nails with levers of skin, we're crawling around, we can't face what's out 
there, we can't face our face, we've got theories before us, we've got 
theories of inscription, axiomatic theories, abject theories, we think 
we've got a hold on the truth, we think there's truth, that truth matters, 
that something matters, that there's meaning beyond us, we're bootstrap- 
ping truth, we're bootstrapping meaning, we're furious without it, we've 
got meaning our drug, we're addicted to meaning, we turn out reams of it, 
we're meaning-factories, we're inscribing everywhere, we think we're 
inscribing everywhere, we think we're languaging, we think we understand 
language, that we're the ones with language, that we're spewing sense, 
we're blind to our bodies, we're blind to the world, we're blind to 
inscription, we're blind to bootstrapping, we're blind to existence, we're 
blind to non-existence, we're blind to dimension, we're blind to space and 
blind to time, we're around the aeons of death, we're around the agora of 
ignorance, we're abyss/mal, we don't see any of this, we mouth this, we 
think we're understanding something, we think we're accomplishing some- 
thing, we're ground to dust, we're bootstrapped to dust, we're always 
already gone, we're always already dead, there's no coming back, there's 
no other places, chains of beings, compensations for lives led one way or 
another, our lives lead us, we're bootstrapped to our lives, nothing 
bootstraps us, nothing cares one way or another, we don't care one way or 
another, we're lying to ourselves, we're always lying to ourselves (what 
we can do)

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Date: Wed, 2 Sep 2009 02:53:21 -0400 (EDT)
From: Alan Sondheim <sondheim {AT} panix.com>
Subject: Short prolegomenon to philosophy 

Short prolegomenon to philosophy

Who hasn't noticed, in the midst of her dreams, that philosophy is already 
a withdrawal? She begins with the intercession of consciousness, as if 
from a distance; objects dissolve in a manner dissimilar to negation. For 
negation already has its object, and all one begins with is a sense of 
unease, that something might be missing; in this sense, philosophy begins, 
and ends, on the peripheral. The peripheral of what? Think of philosophy 
in this sense, modeled by the parallel transport of a vector in curved 
space; what is thrown off is the slight dissimilarity of fit as the 
circuit is completed. Everything is contained in this dissimilarity, which 
effects neutrality, but is in fact the punctum of the world: what doesn't 
fit isn't differentiable at this place and time, not now, not ever. The 
withdrawal occurs among slopes; dissimilarity is the residue of such.

Dissimilarity implies comparison, more than one term, distinction, non- 
integration. Here dissimilarity is against itself; the substance on one 
set of slopes is equivalent to that on the other, but the suture twists; 
in other words: the withdrawal of philosophy implies a twist. The twist is 
not a knot; it doesn't (necessarily) turn in upon itself. Instead, it is a 
twist in a metric which contains everything conceivable in eidetic reduc- 
tion, and therefore announces presence, which can only be that, or rather 
is fundamentally that, of gravity. With the use of a modified anthropic 
principle in this regard, it's evident that gravity occasions philosophy; 
it is of the order of a first occasion, inclusive of space-time and the 
whole apparatus of the cosmos.

Let us think through the philosophy of a covariant derivative which occa- 
sions both geodesics and the curvature of this space, announcing gravity, 
but philosophically also announcing paths of least resistance. What are 
the geodesics of a landscape of withdrawal? Think of these as tendrils 
tending towards metaphoricity - for how can this alterity be understood 
except as (inauthentic) alignments with the commonplace? Tendrils them- 
selves, in fact the whole structuring implied here, exist as metaphor - 
this implies a form of bootstrapping of comprehension, as it is metaphor 
("withdrawal," "intercession," "dissimilarity") that has brought us here 
in the first place. By which I mean, enabled us to reach this level of 

Think of structure, number, types, as idealities, "as much" ideality as 
anything else present in this wildness/wilderness. Think of the distinc- 
tion, again, between immersive and definable structures - the latter 
time-reversible if chaotic or relatively determinate, and time-irrever- 
sible otherwise. Definability implies clarity, even if that clarity exists 
only within definable tolerances; certainly the objects - eigenvalues or 
quantum numbers for example - are clear as to association. Immersibility 
implies otherwise; what's sought is thought, what's thought is sought, 
embedded in consciousness, embedded in time, fuzzy. Neither position is 
clear even in relation with the other; I tend to think of immersivity as 
associated with the analogic, definability with the digital - but even 
these meet and entangle at the limits, which pervade the whole.

This is the point: that where there is philosophy, there is contamination. 
What is within or among or beyond the withdrawal, is entangled with a 
dissimilarity, that, by its very examination, forms a knot; this is an 
overlay among the twist, inhering or cohering with or within the twist. 
While a knot may be entangled (specifically, a tangled line in three- 
dimensional space) by passing ends through loops (which may take an 
infinite amount of time in monstrous or fractal knots), this unraveling is 
only an erasure of inscription beneath the sign of inscription; in other 
words, it is thought itself, raveling and unraveling, as both operations 
become, themselves, raveled and unraveled, and so forth; there's no end to 
the levels, to the thought of the sought or the sought of the thought.

What goes forth by day goes back by day intermixed with everything and 
everyone, everywhere and everywhen, conceivable; one can continue philoso- 
phy indefinitely, or abandon it, anytime, however philosophy is conceived 
in the midst of the withdrawal of dreams, or the dreams of withdrawal. It 
is that gnawed edge of the curvature of space-time, never aligned in flat, 
Euclidean space, that keeps us going in whatever infinitesimal slice of 
the cosmos we find ourselves in. And we can't go nearer, or farther, than 
any of this, all we can do is continue writing and thinking, uselessly 
inscribing - all the while turning inward, heading towards that horizon of 
no return that might as well be black hole, geodesic, annihilation and 


Others have demonstrated the absurdity of mathematical or physical model- 
ing in philosophical or psychoanalytical discourse. If issues of capital 
are on one side, and fundamental cosmological structure on the other, I 
side with the latter. Hence the issue of parallel transport of a vector, 
"borrowed" from general relativity theory, is problematic; what I need to 
do here is translate this into a series of autonomous semiotic operations 
that cover the same ground; these operations may be considered operators 
in the sense that a discourse or sememe might be subject to them. 

I began with the idea of constructing a closed curve on a surface; I now 
transform this into an _inscription_ in the classical sense, which, as a 
phrase or sentence for example, inheres within a fuzzy domain of discourse 
- in other words, the inscription _translates_ one way or another - it is 
a discursive moment among many - it has no particular bounds, but it has a 
subject, or rather it "subjects" for different subjects, it behaves as a 
fuzzy operator. Thus every inscription is _dynamic._ Now consider a 
circumscription of a particular inscription; this does not mean that an 
inscription is a member of its circumscription in the sense of a set, but 
that, for some grouping within some socius, the circumscription carries an 
inscription with it. Inscription: "This sentence is a tree." Circumscrip- 
tion: "I consider the inscription 'This sentence is a tree.'" Again, 
circumscription: "We consider, for the purposes of analysis, whether 'This 
sentence is a tree.' can adequately represent the potential of a sentence 
referencing, not a mathematical tree (where it might apply to grammar for 
example), but a physical tree, an oak for example." 

So a circumscription in this sense is a reinscription of, pointer towards, 
or objectification of, an inscription: it is a mentioning which is also an 
operator. Oh there are so many loopholes here! Close them up!

Now consider the space of the semantic domain, discursive domain, sememe, 
within which this is an occurrence. What does it mean to create a closed 
curve in relation to circumscription?

Well, one way, you might think about an analysis which seems complete - an 
analysis as a space-time event, from which one proceeds. In this sense, 
the analysis is constructed as a temporary totality in memory, that is, 
within the discursive enunciation and phenomenology of the subject, who 
proceeds from this. 

All of this is construed to some extent as a rough guide to cause and 
effect, classical domains, limitations, vectors, enumerations of relation- 
ships, organizational structures (Knuth for example after example). By 
classical domain, I mean the closure that occur in the distributive laws 
of Aristotelian logics; I imagine even Bohm's implicate order follows 
through here. 

So that I can think of inscriptions, circumscriptions, and analyses, all 
as dynamic objects with porous and fuzzy boundaries, with a "sense" of 
closure, which lends itself to phenomenological psychoanalytical analyses 
"beyond" in the sense that the Lacanian objet petit a is "beyond." Let us 
assume that there are namings, meanings, intentionalities, and semiologies 
within consciousness that open even for Husserl, reams of text and the 
appearance of _something being done._

The closures are twisted, which means, here, that moving through an analy- 
sis or circumscription always arrives _somewhere else_ that is inherently 
at odds with what was perceived to be an origin or originary inscription. 
The sememes or discursive formations themselves are non- Euclidean; they 
are simultaneously vectorized (in the same of trees) and n-dimensioned 
with n > 1, which means there are closed 2-spaces, 3-spaces, and the like, 
of interpretation. These spaces are striated, multiply interconnected, not 
smooth, possessing singularities - a kind of topological foam. So on one 
hand, there is the _appearance_ of closure - on the other - the continuous 
and inherent opening, spewing within and without (in the sense of fractal 
current transports) any region, an conceivable circumscription as well as 
the circumscription of circumscription, and so forth.

So from the beginning to the end of analysis, I return to somewhere else 
with a twist which, in this case, does not permit the recuperation of the 
original inscription. What does this "somewhere else" tell us? For one 
thing, it is here that the play of deconstruction occurs - within the 
foam-like curvature of inscriptive domains, however defined. For another, 
the modeling itself parallels that of the World Wide Web's holarchy, in 
the sense that tangled skeins can never be recuperated, but continue a 
journey which is _impossible to bring to closure, impossible to bring to 
an end,_ no matter how exacting the analysis appears to be. In yet other 

One is always beside oneself, one is never a totality nor a shifter, nor 
that of the other, but always elsewhere, elsewhen; "I is not an Other" but 
always a twisted opening. Look at the periphery - the twist becomes 
visible, and analysis collapses - even continuous Freudian analysis - 
there is never a mark to be found, there is no demarcation. While the 
space of relativity is classical in the sense that it's topologically 
coherent, the space of discursive formations, of enunciation, of the self, 
of analysis and self-analysis, is inconceivably complex: Every analysis, 
every critique is _a priori lost,_ - at the same time tending towards the 
uncanny/fictivity of _an_ originary inscription, _an origin,_ as if the 
word were Word, said anything, made anything at all. 


In the Zen koan there is a severing and no return; in the Oxherding images 
there is a representation of this. The emerging geodesic is an opening 
elsewhere and elsewhen under erasure and the twist is that evidence 
which continues the duration of the novice until it is recognized that 
what appears to be a setup is no such thing. The analysis is a perception 
of the failure of analysis. In Tantra there is a similar occurrence with 
generation and completion, a severance which is not a severance. Nagar- 
juna's contradictions emphasize this on the plane of a logic which 
nonetheless remains bound to its analysis. Without such, there is Tao one 
does not contend with; Tao follows a geodesic. What is missing in all this 
is the twist per se; the twist carries information, that of the semiotic 
foam, information inherently tangled, but information that is not annihil- 
ated. The physical gravity of space-time is presence as well; it is within 
the fine-tuning of analysis that withdrawal and severance appear obdurate. 
Neither withdrawal nor severance is complete; the twist, diacritical 
curlicue presences itself in analysis or not in analysis. In relativity, 
the twist is measurable, a measure of local curvature; in philosophical 
analysis, it is the objet petit a, the horizon and so forth, which resists 
annihilation, continues the project of being-human. What about the curva- 
ture of space in the Flower Ornament Sutra? There must be some such thing 
for perception to occur; even so the Sutra's insistent and continuous 
exfoliation fills every void, as if one could talk of an energy-momentum 
tensor at work. The geodesic clots, is slowed; perhaps this is the case as 
well in any severance or jump; the ground, what one falls into or through, 
is never as clear as it seems to be. Shades of Hegel's porosity come to 
mind. And what comes to mind and disappears is mind, but always with a 

One should be careful about rolling everything up into zero or one; the 
fit is not a fit, harmony not a harmony. In a stringed instrument, tension 
constantly varies, and decisions are reached, when something is in or out 
of tune. The beat frequencies slow, but never reach the zero point; there 
is always a literal twist left over, and on a quantum level the string 
frequency must vary to some noticeable degree. What degree is character- 
ized by both human perception and tuning, and by fundamental constants of 
the universe. One always plays against noise, tuning (a) is never the same 
as tuning (b), but neither is it zero nor one.


Analysis in this context says nothing whatsoever about physical theory, 
its direction or relation to the humanities. It occurs as metaphor, 
indicative of parallel operations within a critical phenomenology, but 
also as an approach, keeping in mind the obdurate, the broken, the 
wayward, and the lack of return; in curved space, a parallel transported 
vector in general does not return to itself, a measure of curvature based 
on dissimilarity. In theory, the object, like the author, continually 
shifts against a foam-like holarchy of inscription and information. The 
twist as kernel continually changes as well; thus interpretation occurs 
within a hermeneutics of stochastic/chaotic flux. Philosophy never ends, 
and one might well be suspicious of fundamental philosophies that reify an 
obdurate positionality from which everything is generated; the holarchic 
entanglement of information on the horizon of a black hole is indecipher- 
able. I think of philosophy always plural, always broken, part-object 
philosophies without end, that advance only to the extent that scientific 
theory tends towards a form of increased knowledge. Philosophies continue 
and constitute an endless dialog in retreat and circumscription, a dialog 
of phenomenologies of being-in-the-worlds, ranging across inscriptive 
fields and domains; every moment of stasis is deconstructed, and every 
moment is superseded. Philosophy does not talk to itself; it talks to and 
of the world, and ought listen: just as narratives are constructs useful 
to make sense out of chaos with a surplus of contrariness and noise, just 
so philosophical groundwork is useful, but undercut by surplus. One small 
advantage of postmodernity was the recognition of the inherency and import 
of undercutting; the "myth of eternal return" is found lacking, as every- 
thing, everywhere, everywhen, twists and is always shattered, always 
other, even if only to an infinitesimal degree. It is only within the 
realm of quantum physics and below that absolutes reign, in the sense that 
quantum numbers and fundamental particles are described by finite sets of 
numbers, wave equations, probabilities, and the like. The combinations 
among anything constructed from these - atoms, molecules, fields, and the 
like - tend towards the foam; by the time one reaches the temporal or 
spatial scales of being-human, it becomes impossible to return to, or
postulate origin. And _this_ is semiotically related to other spaces 
embodying sememes, semiotic domains, and fields of inscription, however 
defined; in short, they don't compute, except dynamically, lost like any 
weather system, losing any philosophy.



It became clear to me, why wasn't it earlier, that the twist shares a 
relationship with the abject, and with suture it is an almost-closure, 
almost-alignment, that fails by the very nature of the world. The abject - 
indecipherable, entangled - lies at the juncture of organism and analysis. 
A lure, it's impossible to eradicate; it's of the nature of space-time 
itself, for the twist is produced by _any_ circulation. This is, for 
example, the meat underlying the virtual, which on one hand is a canopy, 
and, on the other, is the very constitution of inscription. For we deal 
with an entanglement of inscription, beginning with ourselves, which are 
simultaneously everywhere, and nowhere, and in terms of phenomenology, 
part and parcel of curvature. The "dirty little secret" of the world is 
the world, which analysis flies in the face of, to the extent that 
analysis insists it has any relation to the foundational.

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Date: Fri, 18 Sep 2009 03:33:49 -0400 (EDT)
From: Alan Sondheim <sondheim {AT} panix.com>
Subject: Outline, thinking through film, a brief formal/informal analysis  

Outline, thinking through film, a brief formal/informal analysis

Spatially, there are x and y coordinates for each frame. (Take for example
the lower-left corner for the origin. Temporally, there is most often a
constant frame-rate f. Consider frame [z] at time t and frame [z+1] at
time t+1. Then (t+1) - (t) = T = the time between [z+1] and [z], and 1/T =
f. For example, [z] = 1 second and [z+1] = 1.01 second. then the differ-
ence is 1/100 of a second, and the frame-rate is 100 fps.

There are several 'temporal orders' in film:

1. Frames per second of the projected film.

2. The speed the film was recorded at. Generally this the same as the
frames per second of the projected film, but need not be; there are all
sorts of instances of overcranking/undercranking in silent film, not to
mention slomo or fastmo shooting.

3. The speed of the original action. This generally assumes the obdurate
nature of the real somehow determines a 'natural' speed - for example, the
time it takes a train to pass, tree branch to fall, and so forth. This
also assumes there _is_ an original action, and that the original action
is related to real-world timing and events.

4. The speeds set in editing: a sequence may be rendered at any speeds (by
'speeds' plural, one take varying rates of speed into account).

In summary, all of these are supple; the speed of film in the projector
can be creatively altered during projection; the speed of original
recording can be altered during recording; the original action-subject can
occur at variable speeds (i.e. a performer might speed up or slow down,
hirself); and the speed set in editing can vary as well.

Note that we're referencing the relatively simple situation of apparently
recording real objects and events, one way or another: for example all of
this applies to animation, rotoscoping, 3d, and so forth.

In terms of individual frames - the internal rectangular _field_: each
frame possesses (x,y) coordinates; each point may be assigned a color and
brightness value. One might consider each frame as (f(t), {x,y, {c,b}});
define the film as: F = {(f(t), {x,y, {c,b}})] - in other words, the set
of frames and their 'internals.' (Here c and b, today, are digital/hex.)

In terms of the phenomenology of cinema, and in parallel with Reichenbach,
consider a notion of 'visidentity,' paralleling genidentity; the latter
references the identity of a physical particle or assemblage through time
- in other words, the identity of a world-line. Visidentity then
references the identity of an assemblage from one frame to another. It is
within the aegis of visidentity that the supple temporal layering of film
is presenced; the viewer sees continuity or discontinuity from one frame
to another. Visidentity is fundamental in viewing a film; one must follow
the apparent appearance of identical objects from one frame to another.

Visidentical objects, for literally all practical purposes, possess their
own trajectories, their own apparent physics. The appearance of a bat
appears to hit the appearance of a ball, and the appearance of the ball
appears to recoil from the appearance of the bat, appearing to fly in what
appears to be a trajectory cohering to the appearance of common, ordinary,
physics, in the real world. (Given the digital nature of cinema today,
'appearance' here is tripled in terms of verisimilitude - for none of this
need occur at all. So the primary appearing is that of the projection of
light and darkness, the secondary appearing is that of visidentity, and
the tertiary appearing is that of an original, and (potentially) digital

In terms of the phenomenology of viewing, it is clear that the simulacrum
of motion in film is not the result of a 'persistence of vision,' but in
fact stems from the ordinary viewing of motion in the real world, which
has everything to do with the continuous 'jump-cut' saccadic movement of
the eyes, and the like. Thus visidentity in the real world is 'usually'
identified with genidentity, and in ordinary narrative film, visidentity
implies the projection of genidentity, which is an introjection: the
actor, actress, object, appears within the preconscious as if real, and
for the duration of the film, is assumed to be real. This parallels the
function of symbolic actions in Bharata's Natyasastra, in which image-
actions on stage project/introject emotions and 'relative truths' within
the members of an audience literate in the conventions.

Now of course experimental film may cut through any and all of these
layerings, which are not written in celluloid granite; they reference the
complexity of cinematic phenomenology, from the obdurate-physical (frames
per second), to the perceptual-psychological (visidentity). Thus cinema is
a slice through and among intersecting sememes. One might briefly note
several orders at work here:

The _digital_ in the gap between frames and the independence of every
frame from every other (in other words, absence of genidentity). The
digital also appears in the very fabric of the frame, to the extent that
the frame possesses a raster and specific digital encodings of color
values. The digital also appears in the encoding of sound.

The apparent _analogic_ within each frame (to the extent that raster is
invisible or absent), and the analogic of sound, as digital sound,
transmitted through speakers, takes on the characteristics of the theater
or viewing room.

One might thus consider an _analogic smear_ with digital bases, on a
formal level. On an informal level, there is the analogic of the psycho-
logy/phenomenology of the cinematic experience, as well as the analogic of
visidentity, which is, of course, a formal suturing of objects, in terms
of projection and introjection, within the viewing of the film.

Two other orders, intertwined with the above, are the _immersive_ and the
_definable._ The definable references formally definable, within given
tolerances, and temporal absence. This applies even to the temporal
sequencing of frames, since one might embed [z], [z+1], etc. into a
three-dimensional space-time manifold; one can examine each frame indep-
pendently. In this sense, the definable also applies to each frame as an
independent _object,_ whether projected or not; much formal film analysis
deconstructs particular scenes, for example, on a frame-by-frame basis.

The _immersive,_ on the other hand, references the embedding of the viewer
/subject within the experience of watching the film projection; thus the
immersive is within the aegis of time and the phenomenology of internal
time-consciousness. Immersion is often a form of abandonment, not to a
willing suspension of belief, but an (un)willing acquiescence of belief in
a naturalized motion of visidentified objects within the film. (un)willing
acquiescence equally references the subject in what might be considered
hir natural attitude of being-in-the-world; thus the film is within the
world, part and parcel of the world, a 'natural artifacture' or artifical
nature. I am not hearkening back to Bazin here, but to the very obdurate
nature of film, projection, visidentity, and so forth; this nature holds
even in the most experimental work.

Finally, these categories are rough at best; all they do is point to
various semantic and physical regimes, and their intertwining, and to the
extent that they do this, they're applicable to scientific film, video,
and other recording modes and media to one or another extent.

References - Bazin on film, Reichenbach on the direction of time, Susskind
on relativity theory, Riemannian geometry of curved space/curved metrics
(and this opens up a whole other area of invstigation), Metz on cinematic
language, work done on the cinematic apparatus, my writings on analogic
and digital regimes, as well as immersive/definable hierarchies, the films
of Leslie Thornton, Dziga Vertov and Second Life 'machinima,' and so

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Date: Tue, 20 Oct 2009 15:00:37 -0400 (EDT)
From: Alan Sondheim <sondheim {AT} panix.com>
Subject: rough guide 

rough guide to connected / disconnected society 

(more wholes and holes here)

stages of networking:

A degree zero to telegraphy: cohering with the obdurate/analogic real. to
get from here to there: move from here to there. cross the rubicon. slip-
pages: smoke signals, voice, military bugles, etc. but not enormous. this
is the world before the jump-cut. industrial revolution. local knowledge.
bullae, tablet, mail. analogic truth values located in obdurate-inert.
there is here here. use value conflated with exchange value.

B degree 1/2 to telephony: linear non-redundant communication, voiceless,
abstracted. where wire is, communication is; the obdurate/analogic appears
in the form of linear connectivity: from here to there, is wire. morse and
other codings tending on one hand towards universal standards and on the
other towards local compaction. mass industrialization. regional know-
ledge. visual telegraphy, telegraph, pony-express. digital loom, early
digital constructs. diorama, inert real-time special effects. concepts of
class consciousness, alienation. truth values located in obdurate-inert -
hermeneutics of truth. there is there there. exchange value, capital.

C degree 3/4 to internet: multiplexing, voiced, incipient digital communi-
cation. beginnings of satellite technology. party-lines, cb and ham radio
- carriers are abstracted, but voice returns the analogic, presencing of
the body. connection almost always appears to be one-to-one. start of
internet, fidonet, bbs, buffered news including radio and television. the
social characterized by intensifications and delays. fordism, beginnings
of post-fordism, communication-mode community. nation-centrism, patriot-
ism. airmail, telegram, tickertape. vacuum tube, mercury delay lines,
mainframes, beginnings of protocol suites. role-playing games. inert and
buffered special effects. concepts of mass society and culture industry.
truth values entangled with media, embedded in obdurate-inert, protocol
statements. there is here there. abstract exchange, trans-capital.

D degree 1: internet: universal abstracted digital connectivity, construc-
ted truth and truth values. web 2.0, beginnings of universal interfacing,
community, connectivity. hidden costs of industrialization 'elsewhere':
universal exploitation as well. (inauthentic) transparency of time and
space, collapse of histories into micro-histories. what might have been
the simulacrum or society of the spectacle becomes everyday life. capital,
communication, data-base, and body are one. universal knowledge for those
who have both economic and cultural capital. email, online communities and
virtual worlds. digital special effects, buffered and non-buffered.
concepts of identity theft, conspiracy, matrix, singularity. truth values
sublimated, ostensibly located in obdurate-inert, protocol statements.
truth values surface as binary constructs. on one hand, digital universal
abstraction - on the other, the truth (setting) of the pixel or smallest
element. the analogic returns in the form of the pixel within its
potential well. there is no there there. there is no here here. phantom

E degree > 1: information-mass, mass individuation, encapsulation of
history, tottering eco-systems, populations, massive extinctions, mass
starvation, and so forth. 'the wobbling pivot.' truth values mediated and
remediated from the obdurate inert. there is no there. there is no here.
remediation of capital, phantom capital.

degrees of disconnect: this is a mapping of 'degrees of separation' with
dual tendencies:

1. towards the elimination of alterity in favor of protocol-relationships.
complex relation with capital, personal accumulation; local, national, and
international knowledge, sequestered fundamentalisms. accommodation to
power. (exceptions abound.)

2. towards clandestine, hidden, or effaced alterity and analogic labor,
governance, regional knowledge. top-down multinationals, regional con-
flicts, gangsterisms, overpopulation, open fundamentalisms. (exceptions

as with lyotard, we find entanglement among 1, 2, and network degrees A-E.

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Date: Mon, 23 Nov 2009 14:10:13 -0500 (EST)
From: Alan Sondheim <sondheim {AT} panix.com>
Subject: Blowing My Own Horn      

Blowing My Own Horn


Early on, around 1994-5, I developed the concept of 'rewrite,' the enunci-
ation/announcement of online presence - an ontological performative funda-
mentally changing the way humans communicate.

I developed the concept of 'defuge' to indicate a kind of disinvestment or
staleness that psychologically characterizes aspects of online and offline

I worked through the 'inscribed body'/'body of inscription' in relation to
'culture all the way down,' placing the semiotic register across all
species, and this in relation to an examination of the phenomenology of
culture itself.

I worked extensively with the idea of 'third sex,' produced solely through
the dynamics of a linguistic register in various social applications; in
this respect, I further developed the concept of lag as seductive lure.

I did early work on MOOs and talkers, creating what would later be called
codework pieces, by manipulating the database labels of both; I also
worked on a phenomenology of talk/chat applications, ranging from MOOs to

I created a number of codework pieces, interfering in IRC channels,
rewriting talker and MOO databases, and so forth.

I created the word 'codework' to reference a style of writing in which
code-bones are apparent, scrabbling the surface and depths of texts, and
in this regard was a forerunning of flarf, early on google-scraping and
working with perl programs and unix/linux scripts to reconstitute texts,
drawing new extended meanings out of them.

With the help of Florian Cramer, I extended the structure of the Chinese
Thousand-Character Essay into other texts, using a perl program that kept
only the first instance of a word, in its proper order; I operated upon
Genesis in this fashion.

I have worked with one of the longest-running art projects online - the
Internet Text, which I add to daily, and which was started at the begin-
ning of 1994.

In Second Life, I have constructed a new and extreme style of artwork, in
which real-life textures are combined with 'alien' shapes and spaces,
having no basis in the real world.

With Foofwa de Imobilite and Azure Carter - we have pioneered a form of
dancework called 'avadance' from avatar movement, and this movement itself
has been pioneering, using software- and hardware-altered motion capture
equipment to create 'inconceivable' mappings of human behaviors.

Through Gary Manes, I pioneered in the creation of dynamic filters for
motion capture processing; these parallel graphic filters in image-proc-
essing programs, but they transform both time- and space-coordinates.

Using Blender, I have created avatars without any human or organic feat-
ures whatsoever, adding human behavioral patterns to them, in order to
examine the phenomenology of behavioral 'reading' without cues from a body
image itself.

In music, I have pioneered new guitar techniques, as well as extended the
possibilities of instruments such as Alpine zither, hegelung, and cobza.

I have written one of the first extended works dealing with body abjection
and discomfort, centered on cancer, through the use of codework and other
textual manipulations.

Early on, I created a series of raw texts from net-sex - texts which led
to the concept of 'wryting,' inscribing the body itself as projection and
introjection; this led to the concept of 'jectivity,' indicating the
psychological and psychoanalytical flows between agents, screens, desire,
and programs.

Along the same line, in an extended text called Textbook of Thinking, I
created a 'ruptured' analysis of the obscene and the abject as existing in
a different register, within or beneath the linguistic - this deeper
register (related to Kristeva's 'chora') underlies human communication and

Early on, I wrote on textual interfaces in linux, and their phenomenolo-
gies; I also analyzed talk and ytalk in linux/unix as representations of
the body on-screen, in terms of screen 'real estate.'

Through textual avatars such as Nikuko, Travis, Alan, Jennifer, and Julu,
I worked through psychological and psychoanalytical issues of projected
identities; these characters appeared anywhere from talkers to IRC to
email to newsgroups to Second Life.

In terms of philosophical issues, I wrote extensively on the relationship
of the 'analogic' and 'digital' registers, using the abacus as a starting
point; this also has led to a series of purely philosophical texts, such
as Sophia and Philosophy, which utilize conceptual organization as a way
to structure analyses of the real.

I have written as well on the fundamental entanglement of the real and
virtual, within the phenomenology of inscription - an entanglement that
virtualizes and mirrors any ontology, within any other.

I have written what might be the deepest analysis of Second Life from
within - that is, an analysis of virtual worlds and worlding, in a series
of texts gathered in The Accidental Artist.

In dance, I have created a series of 'possibilities' using VLF (very low
frequency radio) in order to create a dialectic between choreography/
movement and the 'invisible' radiating world at large.

(I should mention my early video- and film-work, based on new techniques -
for example, in the early 1980s, I created a 16mm (sound) film a week,
using multiple in-camera processing, layering optical soundtracks on the
fly, and so forth.)

Within the sociology of postmodernism, I have analyzed the social in terms
of radiations and dusts, using these to model transmission (both basic
and parasitic) and reception across a variety of spectra.

Along the same lines, I have written on the phenomenology of VLF, short-
wave listening, and similar things which emphasize hunting virtualities in
worldings that are always already continuously evanescent and vanishing.

Early on, I created artworks using Quickbasic and Basic, to create images
that scattered from within, as well as fractal traces using a phenomenolo-
gy of measurement - these led to considering the boundaries of the visual
in relation to the boundaries of the world, which was also built upon a
re-examination of inscribing between x and -x in set theories.

Earlier still, I created pieces that involved 'driving in 4-space' -
moving through four-dimensional space - the image was flattened to a
2-space vector screen.

And slightly later, using UCSD Pascal, I created 'active-editing' programs
that would take textual input and transform it on the fly; this led to an
analysis of parasitism and noise in situations where it seemed imperative
to transmit a message through a hostile environment.

These same techniques were used, within the past few years, as a way to
interfere with three-dimensional modeling programs, so that it became
almost, but not totally, impossible to reconstitute the original image
from the scan - and this led, in turn, to reworking avatar bodies them-
selves in second life, producing anomalous and unreadable structures
motivated by avatar 'intelligence' within them.

And so forth.


So where is this work? Scattered among chapbooks, print-on-demand books
(which are never available for review or perusal), within the Internet
Text and at the website I use to temporarily store files (temporarily -
given the limited storage I have). There are archived materials at the
Ohio State University in Columbus; there are materials that will be
archived at New York University in Manhattan. There are over twenty-five
hours of films still at Filmmakers Coop, where they sit and decay. There
are several cds, and three non-publish-on-demand books, none of which
discuss any of the above. There have been a number of manuscripts which
continue to gather dust. At one point I self-published several dvds and
texts, but that proved impractical.

What happened? My work is difficult to grasp; it moves too quickly among
disciplines and (artistic) communities; almost all of it is non-academic
in style; it's unsellable; it's parasitic on email lists, and appears (as
this text appears) only as noise; it's sent to /dev/null one way or ano-
ther; at times it appears too neurotic, sexual, intense, moribund, diffi-
cult, or depressive; it takes far too much time to read and/or process; it
seems to short-circuit itself; I'm socially awkward, etc. etc.

What will happen? Very little... :-)


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