The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

This is an archive of works sent by Alan Sondheim to various mailing lists. The most recent messages (also available as an Atom feed) are below.

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timemission in the West, uncanny shudder of the landscape of
the West, temporal shudder, epistemology of the observer,
temporal emission, epistemological spew, the very _breathing_
of the landscape of the West, the inert beauty of the West,
the long take of the West, the longer take of the Western
landscape, authentic dream of timelessness, the inhaling of
the stillness of the Western landscape, the vector, the
land, murmur... an emission, a spew... a sign... something...

murmur... an a spew... sign... something...


packets, and so forth) results emission or spew. A spew
develops, rather, integration this act articulation, is
emission. The datum wobbles uneasily between spew; its end
cluttering; always clutter, exhausted.  Emissions spews are
sources reading; Data as articulated into praxis, becomes
clutter. imaginary fissures, locus emissions spews. appear to
concepts, such _rewrite, protocol, ghost, address, ten,
spew...the cloaca cyberspace...stuttering spewing, abjection.
hole cave - i'll semiotics replace signifiers transform vector
flow turbulence neural spill mental activity, electrical, image
storm, continuous splay, violence, virtual psychology, one
flows/flux/spew/emission well (my notion decay pyou decyourself
emissions, spews, absented languages, starting think about
writing. Is there meditation here, that sourceless except for
combustion engine. I speak which bodies, true world scatterings,
radiations. And Genesis, (spew, inscription) have subject,
grain, murmur, exhausiton, obdurate, uncanny, recognition,
imaginary, web inversion, violation (For reason, we tend
symbolic _emissions_ _spews,_ _spew_ _emission_ theory. nary
tracts across uninhibited absen- If simulacra represent
imaginaries symbolic, sprays signifiers, burying both them much
dissipation materials after chemical nuclear mouths, openings,
speakings, murmurs, vectors, not map when chaos by noise,
substance, flows, flooding clutter part-objects exist from
theater...that it thea- flesh, only 'defuge' split, splayed
modification, universe fundamental consequence; Ground zero
ground debris, hurricane, 5 6 turbulent latter inherently
vectorless analog, violence fucking corrosion, residue,
dissolution, dissemination, has wider origin than implies some
sort God implies, what? psycho-physical processes, thick
Dissipation sense grit hatred human bodies vile i'm thinking
broader metapsychology, (in spite of) corners We will consider
aftermath, destina- among all this, Nikuko flies, swoops, vents
smokers, form, convolution languaging inscribing trauma
inconceivable but i can't feel it. Where there's /\ spray spawn
slough swamp cleansed hairless presses breakage irruption
ciation Radiations way that's almost Radiations. cepts, inscri-
barbarous; terms, spewed slip against same. This volume. these
develop analysis based vectors destination; order pornography,
emanation Heidegger's got shape.) shakes. brief irreversible
cellular violent, full sulphur Nightclub Your media, topologies
topographies cloned grotesques. tearing ------>ed, ------>
everything. inscription,_ end-point thickness 'the characterize
inchoate, dribbling temporary articulation same, wobble,
repeatedly, over, one or another spew, emission. just the
murmur... an emission, a spew... a sign... something otherwise,
with emissions or spews. the exhibition is just the murmur... an
emission, a spew... a sign... something

(floodwall still)
(floodwall video x10 speed)
(floodwall video)

Description of the piece; Background;
Commentary - The light display; Culled debris text --

Description of the piece:

The light display uses 'modern' Morse to code three tiers of
distress calls: SOS, QRRR, and MAYDAY. These flash slowly, at a
close to unreadable pace, playing off of timing and memory among
the tiers. Morse is already close to obsolete, and I don't think
anyone is using QRRR (part of the Q-code repertoire) today.

After the calls, there is a slow light 'wash' over the bridge,
as if flames were rising (this was suggested by Shelley
Johansson); this represents the between 30 and 60 acres of
debris that slammed and burned against the structure on that
fateful day in May. (Estimates vary as to the number burned
alive, but a rough figure of 80 is likely. See David McCullough,
The Johnstown Flood, Simon and Schuster, 1968.)

Then the cycle repeats. There are black intervals between
segments and code events. There are trains running across the
bridge. The display is on one side only, the side that retained
the debris (the other side is in darkness).


"The Johnstown Flood (locally, the Great Flood of 1889) occurred
on May 31, 1889, after the catastrophic failure of the South
Fork Dam on the Little Conemaugh River 14 miles (23 km) upstream
of the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The dam broke after
several days of extremely heavy rainfall, unleashing 20 million
tons of water (18 million cubic meters) from the reservoir known
as Lake Conemaugh. With a volumetric flow rate that temporarily
equaled that of the Mississippi River,[2] the flood killed
2,209 people[3] and caused US$17 million of damage (about $450
million in 2015 dollars)." (Wikipedia)

I was given the opportunity to create a light-show program for
the Stone Bridge: "The Stone Bridge spans the Conemaugh River in
Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The bridge is a seven-arch stone
railroad bridge located on the Norfolk Southern Railway
mainline, built by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1887-88. Its
upstream face was reinforced with concrete in 1929.[1] This
bridge survived the Johnstown Flood of 1889, but the bridge
blocked debris, which subsequently caught fire and created an
inferno covering 30 acres (120,000 m2). The bridge is visible
from Point Park in downtown Johnstown." (ibid.)

And: "A bridge restoration project was developed by community
leaders, to include cleaning and physical and aesthetic
improvements, resurfacing of the south side, and new lighting
with energy-efficient LED lighting adjustable to different
colors and intensities. Estimated to cost $1.2 million, the
project was initiated in 2008 as part of flood commemorative
activities." (ibid.)

Michael Brosig, co-chair of the Stone Bridge Committee, said,

"The significance of the Stone Bridge is that it stood its
ground against the flood waters and altered the future of
Johnstown completely and forever. It created the backdrop for
the event that put Johnstown on the map. Restoring the South
facade of that structure and casting LED lighting on it will
certainly showcase the triumph of the human spirit in a
spectacular style for all to see, enjoy and be proud of their
heritage. Based on its strategic location, it is the lynchpin of
the historic district of our city." (ibid.)

Commentary - The light display:

The light display parallels miscommunication, warnings too late,
muck, murk, the bridge as signifier and vector, the intensity of
the mess at the base of the structure (which increasingly rose
into the air), the indescribable chaos, the negligence, the
violence of the water, the fury of the storm and conflagration,
animals and people caught unawares, the subsequent pawning off
of responsibility by the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club,
the mudflats, the dynamiting of the debris pile, the spread of
typhoid, the screams of those burning alive in the pile, Clara
Barton and the Red Cross, the accounting of The Reverend David
J. Beale, the tree through the house, the leveling of Woodvale,
the yellow press, the eyewitness accounts, the emendations, the
mythos, the symbols, the descent into print, the ascent into
action, the muscle, the care; the light display parallels all
and none of this, the entanglements of an event occurring over a
century and a quarter ago -

Coded by Shelley Johansson, with documentation by Jeremy Justus,
Marissa Landrigan Justus, Azure Carter, and myself

Thanks to
Shelley Johannson, Jeremy Justus, Marissa Landrigan Justus,
and Azure Carter

Culled debris text:

_flooding_what_does_it_mean,_this_grey_ body...:wonder
flood-flog flooded. again. personal_ws english gertrud in the
sandgranularity of phallocentrism you say, "& soon those
memories flooding, that inert event, signs, costs, water
overruns, cracks cracks. floods, tree, 'out side,' broken, who
wouldn't. fires with which other remains or a lapse into
(floods, hurricanes, tornados, droughts, etc.) night all lips
engorged leg-hinges flooded dark waves people died susquehanna's
held back by dikes floods anyway coffins they floated down
river/ our house as fog, ... fog calls forth avatar, hungered,
making things. /*...acters*/ /*may*/ /*be displayed*/
/*incorrec*/ /*you*/ /*flood*/ /*apocalypse.*/ /*me...'t*/
/*bother*/ /*a.*/ my window /s can't stop flood, flow sorry for
looking blood toor ted a instead metaphor, literal prior, came,
still has it's gone through two one together; from hurricane
agnes devasted parents' home 1972, collections, now swallowed
basement large susquehanna rose 42.66 feet, stage, upper
supplemental held. $thing cal @sways @de "waste" @s transforms
have fly _nikuko internally coherent. an emission is sourceless,
net flood; spew towns where inhalation-exhalation perfection
begins and ends, out. thinking skin. holding absorbed debris,
war-battered enclave. gaza floods: un declares state chicken
hawk put up tail" tail four strips, then there write about him
such good style! style ground am am! does! wet straight very
happy angry jove hurls h groan'd benea fire, when s he ah,
zarathustra, words, what "they"? "are"? tears) (and world
tears). goal: to disappear inside truth said it before, flooded,
drowning, i was attacked photographing evidence, devastated
exiting, i've written about; external literally flood. kristeva,
draw peta, save manatee, environmental organizations. valley;
despair irony, nikuko-oozing, noh medieval theater; pretend
alan_s this secret. not even valleys great storms would make
once; storm becomes slow emission, widening interior, teeth. are
injured reality things!!!" prospect park paths driveways
overflowing split flood-flooding wiped v roots school, debris,
disease. bcc called _book_ it. seagulls come clutter
a-historicity etc.), neutrality. spillways occupy fields,
discursive marrow tomorrow! standby:the grit gorges, control,
formal fire, debris, oozed around marks, _things_ at, food its
awake we'll mirror, thin, nails back. long, parallel, slew names
everywhere mudra-shifting, shaped, visible. space pulses, plain.
we inhabit it, haunt dwell there. words eaten giving gagged
iridescent wings. wet-world runtime beetles flesh. rides, rides
wet, high. nimbus shallow voices, probes. t participation,
bodies _flood_ calling glacial sea-change terminal, loading
transparency, providence flooded; lost terminal. horizon; sheet
closes world; abject symbols. piepel? thrusting offer-proffer
you, circum-stantiation, circumlocution abyss: defuge/flooding,
gathering accumulations, momentarily within them stuttering
<everything acid>flooding impossibility where</everything
acid>in across semantic plateaus participants' time well, "all
adjacent mines uncanny afterimage affect flows floods. strip
after days heavy rains air, radio pulsing bodies, her voice
termites, air-conditioner, ripped-up flooring, ceiling... first.
said. alive. look chatrooms, shooting. threw question encoding,
decoding; contradicted presence language another almost got
caught flash death valley. myself already verge. pool; tragedy
flaw usually fuge upgrade among numbers numbers, fissures,
abjection identities liquid midnight, sound wood stork scabs
bites; cuts; nail parings subjectivity, consciousness
communication. travis loop chunnel dangers flooding. observed
act more liquids; skeins flood-plains > < woe desiccation
starvation;  rivers stories over century. world's record-setting
droughts enormous tornado information floodwall forthcoming
mississippi generally leads me @abort before get room,
ordinarily separates interior flotsam jetsam, debris sea selves:
who's speaking, manic tongue many times water shooting-space ::
violent milking millions killed. living bad areas against meadow
moraine! civilization thine arms legs, else {sleep(1); print
"\nfirst flooding\n";:if ($sign=fork) {print ourselves another**
negation shadowing eyes, ** news, antenna just "in case" names,
stuff; sound; apparent flood-reader simultneous texts, results
the lid of the grey sky, appearing sky, viscous fluid, coating,
flow, flux, flight, empty gone, gone


With Maria Damon!!! and Alan Sondheim!!!

Please share!!! More (or less!!!) soon!!!

the trip video complete! (completed)

"upon me, your seven women of technical prowess, your triple
double-you, photos from our trip number eight hollow road on our
trip across the country, you may have fun following us - is true
for your trip is mine upon me, your seven men of technical
prowess, your triple double-you, our trip so far upon me, your
seven women of technical prowess, your triple double-you"

- that text going nowhere, the trip finally over, or rather a
slide perhaps into another leaving, another flight, roughly
16320 km, the video from stills at 10 fps, everywhere, among
friends, relatives, drives, performances, hikes, talks,
discussions, demonstrations, throughout ten weeks on the move or
or stasis-static, or on the run, or among british columbia and
any number of states in the u.s.a. or what passes for the
u.s.a., the floodwall coming soon, the punctuation of may 31,
1889 just around the corner, and thanks to everyone who
contributed to the video, i look out the window and see thunder,
i listen and hear lightning -

gamespace / edgespace / blankspace, projection and phenomenology
among immersive / definable orders, structured entanglements
among objects, arrows, morphisms, dreams of lethargy now,
lethargic dreams, untangling the dynamics the rest of my
untethered life, collapse all poetics, increase rigor, but after
the video above, and before armageddon

flutework at floodwall

freight train, stone bridge, flute, floodwall piece
shot at the base of the floodwall piece

more information and floodwall forthcoming

"The Stone Bridge, located on the edge of Johnstowns downtown,
is an arched bridge built by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1887.
On May 31, 1889, its seven arches blocked tons of debris,
including miles of barbed wire twisted through it from the
destruction of a plant; all were carried by the waters of the
Johnstown Flood, but the bridge withstood its force. An enormous
fire broke out in the debris at the bridge, killing scores of
people trapped within it, and burning for three days."

the floodwall project is located at the bridge

*/we're returning tomorrow to rhode island/*


on the road again
i've been on the road
god's on the road again

nikuko says: i'm on the road, i'm traveling in a strange land.
nikuko says: hello alan, i'm on the road, i can't see anything
any more.

The United States. We're on the road. We're falling. :we're on
the road, it's deep-eco spring-and-summer season, passed. The
apt word makes one famous, i.e. on the road to fame. I'm going
home, I'm on the road, on the plane or boat or train. She's
_going_ home, she's on the road, on the plane or boat or train.
An animal dies on the road, chance are a family's destroyed, or
water, a body more than halfway on the road to death.

Towards Sata. It's not surprising that I met myself on the road,
Nikuko Outskirts of Miyazaki. Down from Kamogami, Death met
Nikuko on the road.

i'm on the road - i'm invisible here - have to stop to enter the
wires - mind - :back on the road towards death again - boat
truck with boat - dying on the road towards death - i'm dying
invisible here - have to stop i'm dying on the road towards
death - i'm dying invisible here - least for the second they
appear before your eyes, on the road quick thell and back. There
are bodies on the road, on the road of total dissolution, along
which a stream wandering.

Daishin Nikuko meets the Buddha on the road. The Buddha says,
kill me. Meet her later on the road and kill her. You're nature,
I'm culture, she says.

On the road where meditation occurs. Everything proceeds from
nothing. Kill it, it is not quite human.
Jenny and I do go on the road. Jenny logs the road.
Did you ever wake up on the road, and think.

on the road again
i've been on the road
god's on the road again

When the body encounters the sign on the road, there must be

still faster sullen

nothing here indicates interactivity or blockchains, no
augmented images, instead an imaginary which rides obdurate and
abject, a surface we have all seen before throwing us into the
world we have been thrown into, , ,

_those_ branches and leaves, irretrievable in space, _those_
intervals irretrievable in time, we're constant up against the
blunt of stoppage time, as if there were reprieve, all of us
live in alterity, this is fundamental, this misrecognition among
and through the familiar which appears almost dismissable, the
everyday always within and without, the virus of the everyday,
the faster and still faster an illusion, the still slower leaked
into the muted terror of decay, everything underlies everything,
everything without grace, everything grayed out, no monstrous
effects can change this sputtering of bodies, this _this_ that
asserts itself among spectators of motion artificially
compressed and entangled, call this the _hurtle_ of the world,
seize nothing, die, already dead,

and so forth and so forth, the word that comes to is _sullen,_
on this grey Nebraska day, but that's no excuse for bad video,
for useless repetition, for schoolboy or schoolgirl pranks,

i am warding off a return of any sort,

I was picked up. I ascended. He was picked off. He is picked out
and descended. She was picked up and she ascends. She will
ascend. She will run fast. She will not catch her. She will run
faster than she will run. I descended. I am "this schoolyard

then making story

down, beneath

I am lying on the floor, in the ground, underground, where the
animal lives, I am going to lie down on the floor.

Where the red horse lives, that is where I am going to lie down.
In the red horse, in the belly of the red horse. It might as
well be in the moon. It might as well be in the well.

the existence

I'm the one, it's me, I am born. We're the one. But the red
horse, it's yours, or is it mine. It's not a house. But I have
no house. I have a red horse. I don't want anything else.
There's nothing to eat, there's nothing here to eat at all.


Then the red horse was away for a long time and just recently
she came back, just recently. And I was born. And she gave birth
to me. And I was born and there was nothing to eat.

They say I was born in Oklahoma. I was born in Oklahoma. They
say that.

making story

half the women went in that direction. half the women went in
that direction.

i am holding it. have several knives. no coat on. put him to
sleep. sleep all the time. on. throw a stone at him. rubbed
with my foot. in nine places. hit cow so she would go away. got
up before sunrise. already walking. about now going die. kill
them right now. not killing it is hot. neither of us won either
side. what do you call this stone, "stone" called? fall
constantly. come pretty near falling. fall. tomorrow shall fell
into water and star there are lots stars falling mocked quail.
sun dead. looked watch. his thigh. her backside how many nights
ago. was tonight. did he shoot with? kind color? person came?
don't know doing. want some water? will be severed? why didn't
him? "the buffalo hooked threw me I way over where dog standing.
then came they were singing. tired. saw people make out mud.
just then. lived there. wrote times there." marry man. woman.
mouth. sing. get enough eat. finish stood pencil end. erected
pole. lift lifted coughed up. getting burnt house down. afraid
return. burn lying floor. rock bottom water. lost red horse.
pray. swing. swing high. half men went that direction. open
still alive. man strong. wood hard. stones hard times. thrown
away thing. ruled. kingdom. stone. stuck. finger sew shirt.
shirt has hole center. river. turn back. see woman die next
summer. bring sun. happen. women.


i am holding it. i have several knives. i have no coat on. i put
him to sleep. i put him to sleep all the time. i have no coat
on. i throw a stone at him. i rubbed him with my foot. in nine
places. i hit the cow so she would go away. i got up before
sunrise. i am already walking. i am about to put him to sleep.
now i am going to die. i am going to kill them right now. i am
not killing them now. it is already hot. neither of us won on
either side. what do you call this stone, what is "stone"

i fall constantly. i come pretty near to falling. i am about to
fall. tomorrow i shall fall. i fell into the water and a star
fell and there are lots of stars falling and i mocked the quail.
the sun is dead. i looked at a watch. i looked at his thigh. i
looked at her thigh. i looked at the backside of the thigh. i
looked at the backside of his thigh. i looked at the backside of
her thigh. how many nights ago. it was tonight.

what did he shoot with? what kind of color? what kind of person
came? i don't know what he is doing. now i don't know what he is
doing. do you want some water? it will not be severed? why
didn't you kill him? why did you kill him? "the buffalo hooked
and threw me and I fell way over where the dog was standing.
then I came to where they were singing. then I was tired. then I
saw the people make the dog out of mud. then I came just then. I
lived there. I wrote many times there."

i marry a man. i marry a woman. i have it in my mouth. i did not
sing. i shall not get enough to eat. i did not finish it. i
stood the pencil on end. i erected the pole. i did not lift it.
i lifted it. i coughed it up.

i stood up. i am getting up all the time. i burnt the house
down. i am afraid to return. i did not burn the house down. i am
lying on the floor. there is a rock at the bottom of the water.
i am lost in the red horse. don't pray. i am going to swing. i
am going to swing high.

half the men went in that direction. half the men went in that

i shall open my mouth. i am still alive. the man is strong. the
wood is hard. the stones are hard. the people are going to have
hard times. i saw the thrown away thing.

i ruled. i saw the kingdom. i shall throw the stone. i am stuck.
my finger is stuck. i am about to be stuck. i return. i am going
to sew my shirt. my shirt has a hole in it. my shirt has a hole
in the center. i go to the river. i turn back. i see a woman and
turn back. the sun is dead. the sun will die next summer. i will
bring the sun. i will bring a stone. it will happen.

half the women went in that direction. half the women went in
that direction.


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