The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

November 2, 2003

Neural Skeins and Digital Skins -- November on -empyre-

The parallels between the internet and a biological system are many.
Growth and decay, circulation and disease are symptoms of these living
systems.  In our bodies, cells, neurons, bacteria and on-line, words,
memes and code-structures are vital elements of ordered, yet chaotic
process. For the month of November -empyre- delights in presenting Neural
Skeins and Digital Skins:  code, writing, and the net as a central nervous
system, with four prominent artists and theorists.


In a pastiche of imagery and French and English text, Tamara Lai (Belgium)
spins her intimate, visceral cyber-poems from her base in Liege.  Lai's
oeuvre includes exploration of performance, ephemerality and virtual

Alan Sondheim (US), New York based net artist and poet, conducts a
continuous meditation on cyberspace, emphasizing issues of interiority,
subjectivity, body, and language.

Alessandro Ludovico (IT) publishes the critical journal in
Italian and English online.  <> and

Florian Cramer (Germany), is a theorist on comparative net aesthetics and
literature, and lectures at the Free University Berlin.


As Alan writes, We collude between death and sex, to the limits of
distortion - space-time burns around configurations of terror and the

The skin is always a skein of communication. Words are performative only
to the extent they can persuade physical reality beyond the sememe -
propaganda or persuasion of language.

How, as Florian asks, does 'codework' fit notions of text that were
crafted without digital code - most importantly: machine-executable
digital code - in mind, and vice versa. Is it a coincidence that, in their
poetical appropriation of low-level Internet codes, codeworks ended up
aesthetically resembling concrete poetry? And, apart from aesthetic
resemblances, how do computer programs relate to literature?

Join us in discussion to examine these questions and more on -empyre-.

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------------- "silent movie" == silent movie of grandeur
and civilization, desire and fear. set to repeat/loop. azure carter and
alan sondheim, two rooms on dean street. set to black background.

now with code, architecture against body and its dissolution in time.

there must be a name to perhaps "silent movie" - proscenium
advertising, marquee - "of grandeur and civilization" ... -

something or other ...


You Should See It Machine


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