The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive


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Minneapolis evening performance residue 2/22/02:


(I performed, then Miekal And. I ran video/still images, wrote the
following text; all this was projected from a laptop - the text written
live - sometimes 2-3 videos would play at once - the text brackets the
audio-visual.)

my work's concerned with language, sexuality, the virtual body and
subjectivity - all of these elements interacting online and off -

i'm concerned with what happens beneath the surface, the coding, the
psychoanalytics, the substances

i'm concerned, i'm very concerned thank you! It's r-rated, not X-rated -
the difference I think is based on penetration? I'm not really sure...

I do codework and what might be considered virtual -body work online. For
example - sorry about the errors - they accumulate - for example the mime
piece I showed yesterday - please exit through that door over there!!!
<===== sure!!! well, we know nothing about mime. we do know that hmmm...
there are glass boxes and ropes and things and sometimes the hula =-
you've got a bit of all this here - it's like a language mapped across the
body - for that matter the hula is really an exact mapping, azure's
smoking again -

down the stairs, up the stairs, etc. etc. so this seemed a bit boring and
we sent the mimes to hell - heh heh the fire's really hot!

but the digital layer does add something else to it - a kind of sign
imposed on the body from outside - it's through the framework - it's not
present in the space we're performing in... these are darker works...
about a year ago we were at the experimental television center in owego
upstate ny and were able to create a piece i'd wanted to do for a long
time - exploring literal writing on the body - in a kind of presencing of
both sexuality and inscription - that comes next - that's here - the sound
triggers the cameras through an analog synthesizer... we write chinese
ideograms on each other - from an early period of the development of the
characters - we come together, erase them through our contact - we're
apart - we stamp each other with hanko - one at the beginning and one at
the end - I seem to be making less typing mistakes than usual for this
kind of stuff. i showed this in Buffalo and Loss Glazier thought that I
was hmmm... like it was a big movie done but you know better, Minneapolis!

anyway the ideograms are those for breath, circulation, respieration
(heh!), turning, - and above the genitals, a symbol for negation - it's
the same in contemporary Japanese - I'm in the wrong font here...

I'll skip about - to show how this works...  Azure's a lot younger than me
but we're married. we showed some images in the university in Florida and
the students thought she was my daughter... you can have absolutely no
idea what that led to.

this piece with foofwa d'imobilite also uses the five camera setup - he's
a brilliant dancer from switzerland... we did a number of works
deconstructing ballet and emphasizing both the labor and the sexuality
involved -

then of course there are the extensions of these body issues through
mathematics - but these are stationary images - we'll just use the sound -
that was a bit of a lacanian mystery with all those symbols...

but i began to get interested (I began to get interesting? Not on your
life) - I began to get int. etc. in transforming images into mathematical
functions and then modifying them through a program called Mathematica -
it produced the result you see above left but also could modify existing
digital images -

In all of them the body's surrounded by mathesis, a mathematical space
that heightens the contrasted areas... In the movie above left - those are
Azure's nipples mapped onto a mathematical framework, turned into a
three-dimensional mapping which is then deconstructed by transforming
positions and parameters... Azure stood at the end of the dance piece; it
was important that she stood - it brackets the relationship of the males
who were in a kind of competition - the fast guitar - the dahdahdah - the
dance - as if we could overpower each other - the vertical positioning
changed everything -

well, I worked through a character called Nikuko - "meat girl" in Japanese
- who started off as a snack-bar girl and ended up as a demiurge. Azure
played nikuko and I played Doctor Leopold Konninger in a series of texts,
videos, soundworks, and performances. Nikuko would pirouette for Doctor
Leopold Konninger or

anyway as you can see a lot of the work has to do with bodily abjection as
well - the relationship between the body and various forms of
discomfort...

what happens if you map flesh onto asteroids? or onto three-dimensional
space itself - creating convoluted spaces... -

all of this - this section - based on the near earth object (NEO) email
list I belong to - warning me, through NASA, of whatever asteroids are
about to hit the planet. there are also images of flybies (?) flybyes of
asteroids, al silent of course - so I worked on making them work for me...
this is part of a series of works using Nikuko and Dr LK - produced at the
same place using analog synthesizers - they were run as a series at
Millennium Film in NY - you see the references to piroettes here.. she
dances and dances for the doctor. the two of them are locked together like
gears or cams in a localized sexual economy written by george grosz -
there's no escape from it/them, from the obsessiveness -

how did we get here?  the deconstruction of the body, of inscription on or
around the body, of ballet, of writing on the body, of an incipient
sexuality, of machinery and functional gears... we could end with a couple
of things -

Miami Everglads and the welcome movie and then there was the mess of the
Everglades and the violent sexuality of Miami and its highest crime rate
in the country and the corrupt university and civic government and and and
and about Miami, as someone said, Trust me you don't want to go there

but this isn't about Miami so much as about deconstruction and the body
and inscription and sex and language and and and and and ...

just one more runthrough - the "new one" btw (by the way) refers to a
computer i got from the place to use while I was there - it's not THIS
machine - THIS machine is a lot better - I can really DREAM on this
machine - and as you see it allows a lot of movies to play at once.

testing one two three can you hear me?
testing one two three can you hear me?

I'm azure Carter's neurotic husband, welcome to -

Cyberspace (If I were Miekal I could make that really big and move all
over the page!

Alan ..


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