Alan Sondheim on Wed, 3 May 2000 03:02:57 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] intro to my work -


Internet Philosophy and Psychology -                              May 00

(Because of my mother's death, this hasn't been sent out in a while. The
Internet Text is being issued on a cdrom in June, by Railroad Earth in
Atlanta; the cdrom will include audio, video, image, and other files as

This is a somewhat periodic notice describing my Internet Text, available
on the Net, and sent in the form of texts to various lists. The URL is: which is partially mirrored at (The first
site includes some graphics, dhtml, The Case of the Real, etc.)

The changing nature of the email lists, Cybermind and Fiction-of-Philoso-
phy, to which the texts are sent individually, hides the full body of the
work; readers may not be aware of the continuity among them. The writing
may appear fragmented, created piecemeal, splintered from a non-existent
whole. On my end, the whole is evident, the texts extended into the lists,
partial or transitional objects.

So this (periodic) notice is an attempt to recuperate the work as total-
ity, restrain its diaphanous existence. Below is an updated introduction. 


The "Internet Text" currently constitutes around 100 files, or 4000 print-
ed pages. It began in 1994, and has continued as an extended meditation on
cyberspace, expanding into 'wild theory' and literatures.

Almost all of the text is in the form of short-waves or long-waves. The
former are the individually-titled sections, written in a variety of sty-
les, at times referencing other writers/theorists. The sections are inter-
related; on occasion emanations appear, avatars possessing philosophical
or psychological import. They also create and problematize narrative sub-
structures within the work as a whole. Such are Julu, Alan, Jennifer, and
Nikuko, in particular. 

The long-waves are fuzzy thematics bearing on such issues as death, love,
virtual embodiment, the "granularity of the real," physical reality, com-
puter languages, and protocols. The waves weave throughout the text; the
resulting splits and convergences owe something to phenomenology, program-
ming, deconstruction, linguistics, prehistory, etc., as well as to the
domains of online worlds in relation to everyday realities.

Overall, I'm concerned with virtual-real subjectivity and its manifesta-
tions, in relation to various philosophical issues. Recently I've been
working with body issues such as sickness, health, and death, as well as
a phenomenology of cancer; I've also been exploring issues of exhibition-
ism and the ontology of transparency. (See file lj.)

I have used MUDS, MOOS, talkers, perl, d/html, qbasic, linux, emacs, Cu-
SeeMe, etc., my work tending towards embodied writing, texts which act and
engage beyond traditional reading practices. Some them emerge out of per-
formative language soft-tech such as computer programs which _do_ things;
some emerge out of interferences with these programs, or conversations
using internet applications that are activated one way or another. And
some of the work appears from collaboration, for example with Barry Smylie
(flash) or Azure Carter and Foofwa d'Imobilite (video, dance).

There is no binarism in the texts, no series of definitive statements.
Virtuality is considered beyond the text- and web-scapes prevalent now.
The various issues of embodiment that will arrive with full-real VR are
already in embryonic existence, permitting the theorizing of present and
future sites, "spaces," nodes, and modalities of body/speech/community.

It may be difficult to enter the texts for the first time. The Case of the
Real is a sustained work that may be of help. It is also helpful to read
the first file, Net1.txt, and/or to look at the latest files (lf, lg, lh,
li, lj, lk) as well. Skip around.  The Index works only for the earlier
files; you can look up topics and then do a search on the file listed.

The texts may be distributed in any medium; please credit me. I would ap-
preciate in return any comments you may have.

I should mention you can find my collaborative activities at and my conference
activities at - both as a result of my virtual 
writer-in-residence with the Trace online writing community. The last
trAce project, the Lost Project, is at .

See also:
Being on Line, Net Subjectivity (anthology), Lusitania, 1997
New Observations Magazine #120 (anthology), Cultures of Cyberspace, 1998
The Case of the Real, Pote and Poets Press, 1998
Jennifer, Nominative Press Collective, 1997

Alan Sondheim 718-857-3671 
432 Dean Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11217
mail to: 


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