The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

October 5, 2004

here we are inside or beneath southern california
frosted-glass seabed of simplicity
seabed of disbelief


(periodic notice on my work)

Internet Text: Philosophy and Psychology -             10/04
                                                        (last was 11/26/02)

Recent work has been building on hardware software wetware outware issues,
especially the phenomenology of the virtual, motion capture, the current
political state of the nation; I have been moving into new realms of
representation in which body and substructure are mutually problematized.
I am also working on extending some theoretical work dealing with
cybernetics and (non) aristotelian logics.


This is a somewhat periodic notice describing my Internet Text, available
on the Net, and sent in the form of texts to various lists. Some URLs:
WVU 2004 projects
recent related to WVU
Trace projects
partial mirror at

The changing nature of the email lists, Cybermind and Wryting, to which
almost all of 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 150 files, or 15,000
printed pages. It began in 1/1994, and has continued as an extended
meditation on cyberspace, expanding into 'wild theory' and literatures,
symptomologies of the edge.

Almost all of the text is in the form of short- or long-waves. The former
are the individual sections, written in a variety of styles, at times
referencing other writers/theorists. The sections are interrelated; on
occasion emanations are used, avatars of philosophical or psychological
import. These also create and problematize narrative substructures within
the work as a whole. Such are Susan Graham, Julu, Alan, Jennifer, Azure,
and Nikuko in particular. Most recently, texts are created which are
aligned with still or video images, texts which surround them as uneasy
allies, texts which speak for the silence of representation itself.

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

Overall, I'm concerned with virtual-real subjectivity and its manifesta-
tions. I continue working on cdroms and dvd+s of my work, creating
samplers and live performances.

I have used MUDS, MOOS, talkers, perl, d/html, qbasic, linux, emacs, vi,
CuSeeMe, etc., my work tending towards embodied writing, texts which act
and engage beyond traditional reading practices. Some of these emerge out
of performative language - soft-tech such as computer programs which _do_
things; some emerge out of interferences with these programs, or conversa-
tions using internet applications that are activated one way or another.
And some of the work stems from collaboration, particularly video, sound,
and flash pieces. Recent software used has included Blender, Gimp, Poser,
motion capture, Audacity, Cooledit, perl and awk programs, Calculon and
other Zaurus (linux) pda applications, and audio/video input from a
variety of cameras and other devices.

I have been working in collaboration at times, most notably with Azure
Carter, my partner, and Foofwa d'Imobilite, perhaps the artist/dancer I
feel closest to, in terms of concerns about exhaustion, injury, speed,
flight, politics, history of the body...

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.

The texts are roughly in the order written; the last-entered at the moment
is ns. They may be read in any order, and distributed in any medium;
please credit me. I would appreciate in return any comments you may

DVD+ Sampler available: close to five gigabytes of texts, images, video.
$25.00 which includes shipping. Please write me.

Other books etc include:

Sophia, published by Writers Forum, 2004
.echo, published by Alt-X, e-book and publish-on-demand, 2002
Being on Line, Net Subjectivity (anthology), Lusitania, 1997
Jennifer, Nominative Press Collective, 1997

Forthcoming books from Salt and Blazevox.

Alan Sondheim 718-857-3671 or 718-813-3285 (US)
432 Dean Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11217, USA


late-night jean-paul-gaultier and

set up bbs -- one inbound call at a time - certain hours? rest of the time
callers & no one else gets full range
social experiment etc. -
barely lucid dreams

-- i don't know if i'm coming out of this
life or going into another one--
they're too real--apartments with terror
just beneath the surface--
my dizziness isn't willful--it's a prelude
to death--i mean it's already there in
the worid--you just have to look for it--
all hidden in the plasma--i can't do
more--it's not historical--it's as
grounded as it's possible to be -
right now the tinnitus is screaming--
you can hear myself think--

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