The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

April 16, 2000


-



crumbling slate of silent worlds

the blank world, the slate, there i will draw one or another,
constancy:words are transitional objects between silence and silence;
between one silence and another, disturbances on the periphery,
as-if:juncture of stars-neutralization, intention, huddled, maintained,
in erasable memory, taut like lines are, these are the rooms we have left,
written and lost, written and lost:nothing:nothing

does juncture of stars-neutralization, intention, huddled, maintained, in
erasable memory, taut like lines are, these are the rooms we have left,
written and lost, written and lost turn ours, the blank world, the slate,
there i will draw one, or another, constancy, to you, azure, of shorter
evenings?

and there between silence and silence, there the rooms we have left,
there, the blank world, the slate, there, erasable memory, all such
memory, written and lost, words hungered, lost, nothing:nothing:nothing


-


Thematics


I write in a relative vacuum, almost no feedback; so it comes about I lose
track of thematics, corrections; so I wander over unforgiving territory,
ignorant; today I look back at double files, the current and the last,
looking across death, among other processes transparent to the world. For
it was during this period, after six months, that my mother died; this is
recorded, across the files, an extended meditation on death, which has
always encompassed me.

What is there elsewhere in these files? Transparency, invisibility, the
slight, weakness, everywhere, accounting for our presence in absence, and
in fact an inversion of death and life: for it may be that we already are
of the death, descended from the living replete in dark matter, a far more
ethical world.

"Texts on bagkeys, relation of protolanguage and performativity of the
body to keystroking - end users, the three lamps, lake texts below, cancer
texts etc." say my reminders - bagkeys being a key capture program, recor-
ding keystrokes - in other words, the incessant movement of the fingers
across the keyboard. Somehow this references another hysteria of the vir-
tual-real - creating a mathematics of Press, Release, Move, Hold, leading
to a phenomenology of contiguity. It's as if the text were primarily a
coding or decoding of bodily movement, not an autonomous production or
computational emission. What can we do with this? We can look at proto-
language or pidgens, we can find our way clumsy in the world, the enmeshed
and performing body, the body in movement, breathing through the text.

There there are the texts of the lake and the light spilling, meandering -
waters and lights, the body suspended in the midst of the former, opening
up to the latter. The insertion moves back and forth from screen and key
and computer to water and light, but it is the same dispersing of selving
at work in the death texts, in virtual existence, in media emissions.

There are also the texts of the rectification of names, thinking again
through issues of designation and harmonies, names disappearing as quickly
as any other worlds. And a long text on the phenomenology of the projects
I designed for the Trace virtual-writer-in-residence position, projects
which were organized around backbone pages, writing/scrawling, disappear-
ances.

All of this reflects a position of waning articulations, translucent
structures which may or may not present themselves. The phenomenology in-
sists as well on its lack of positionality, on its self-effacement, on its
spew or flow - such are its grounds. Again I return to thinking through
contiguity, the ephemera of touch, of passing-by.

I write the theory of the three lamps, of open circuitry, batteries using
the universe as broken linkage; I write of kludges in the world, things
coming together primarily as bricolage, making-do, held together by lines
of code going nowhere, inflated, almost correct, reporting errors at best
to /dev/null. And I write the theory of the end-user, oblivious to machin-
ery and undercurrents, and the philosophy of cancer and the stereotypic-
ality of death, and the stories of death, the meaning and meaninglessness
of stories.

I write about my mother's death and cancer as dispersion and online com-
munities as dispersions, no longer organized around particular applica-
tions or sites, but constituted (as the very first probably were) by loose
associations and a kind of mobility - one seeing, for example, old
friends appearing in all sorts of places. 

I return endlessly to the binding of names, to those names that should
participate in creation, but die stillborn, as if there were something to
learn from empathetic magic:
   every file leaves itself space
   unfathomed, between one and another domain;
   it's here that wings, terror terrified
   holds to the semblance of the real
I write as well about phoric meaning, meaning carried on the back, holding
oneself as if against death, and I write up against the wall of death, as
if it were transparent, and I return to transparency and meaning lost and
not regain, a continuous contemplation of death:
   i'm tired of making meaning, i'm tired of meaning and making meaning,
   tired of all of this, of carrying the necessity of language,
and as well:
     1 i have not experienced death; death is not an experience. THIS IS 
A TEXT
     2 FOR A MASSACRE. for to one, then the other. THIS IS NOT A TEXT.

There are gaps, there is a funeral, a period of mourning after a death,
there is Nikuko returning. Mixed, technology: A discussion of the rack-
over viewfinder, the implied doubling of vision and the displacement of
time in favor of the singularity of space, an inversion of our binding to
temporality and its singularity. So philosophy appears even in this rela-
tion, just as the phenomenology of contiguity appears at first in terms
of an analysis of the stylus-pen used with hand-held computer touch-
screens. Everything reduces to a motivation of primary constituents -
space, time, motion, stillness, touch, release. And as usual, all such
constituents are seen, first, as constituted, granted meaning by the human
articulation of semantic domains, and second, as interpenetrated, proble-
matized by the real (as well as careful analysis).

A philosophy of characteristic forms, drawn from thinking about Boas, is
hinted at; such forms fall between structuralism and post-structuralism,
are represented by fuzzy logics in every direction, and indicate as well a
wavering position between real and virtual, constituted and deployed.

More return to ourselves as ghosts invisible, writing within and without
the floating world, dark matter and the thickness of the real always
beyond our grasp; we are on the verge of discovering the real, finding
ourselves always already displaced from it; culture told us so. A text
emphasizes the "shimmering ontologies of transparency":
|   dream / real / constituted virtual / the gnawing of dark matter
|    - symbolic - imaginary - idiocy of the real (practico-inert)
|                          imaginary / as if
|                              imaginary
as displacement takes hold, as a form of suturing occurs, and I am brought
back from one realm to another, all within the same. Philosophy mingles
with the therapeutic; I find solace in certain positions I, perhaps, wish
to find - these also appearing, as if natural, from one or another source
located in the murky articulation of unbounded thought.

Finally there is an analysis, once again, of the nature of parable, to
which I ascribe these texts, and a final:
  and there between silence and silence, there the rooms we have left,
  there, the blank world, the slate, there, erasable memory, all such
  memory, written and lost, words hungered, lost, nothing:nothing:nothing

Such is the process which continues through my work, through my avatars,
through Jennifer, Julu, Nikuko, and the rest, through the programming,
through the conferencing and discussions - a process which is singular
insofar as it is based on constitution upon constitution, problematic upon
problematic, and interpenetrations, fuzzy phenomena, exculpations, the
breathing of a body reciting, praying, creating, telling - such a body of
love or death, such a written body, such a body writing.


-


The Passage (lit. op. cit. 'natural artifact,' Bridging Worlds)


She would come to me in the garden (lit. she rounded her feelings, op.
cit. 'nature'), asking as if she were pursuant to flower unfolding (lit.
asking because she liked the spring), would the bamboo present itself
circumstantially to both of us, entwined, as if we were real (lit. there
are stemmed plants, op. cit. 'cultural artifact,' growing wild in such
shadows so that our shadows are knotted and bound by their untoward
growth). Every evening (lit. op. cit. 'nature,' of the death of the sun,
she would weep constantly, praying for its return as the darkness closed
in upon her), we would spend many hours (lit. op. cit. 'natural artifact,'
deaths of amphibia, lingering note of the flute) together; (lit. ;'',)
thus did skeins contribute to the cascading waters enmeshing of what might
have been planktonic follies, caught alive, drowned in pure air (lit. and
so our lives passed uneventfully, full of love and happiness). (lit. op.
cit. ::./)

_


The Vapid

Ju16lu% date Ju17lu% Sat Apr 15 17:23:29 EDT 2000 _ cit. ::./) have been
planktonic follies, caught alive, drowned in pure air (lit. and so our
lives passed uneventfully, full of love and happiness). (lit. op. thus did
skeins contribute to the cascading waters enmeshing of what might Sat Apr
15 17:24:34 EDT 2000 How did it come to this, words cascaded, in disarray,
memory of older orders lost and drowned with them, words poised in slow
and circling waves between surface and bottom, sludged and slurried lay-
ers, all in the space of a night, dull morning, gloomy afternoon? Time
hurries without us, works its slow unravelings; letters lose their violent
hold on meaning. Remember that, meaning is always caught alive or not at
all, the monstrosity of noise, shrill echoes blanking out the remnants of
the world around us.

Just as I write these words, they begin their incessant decay; already I
picture transpositions, occlusions, vapors, the vapid...

___

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: majordomo@bbs.thing.net and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime@bbs.thing.net

Generated by Mnemosyne 0.12.