The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

February 22, 2005


normal performance


>> on the left you're watching the recent revolution in the ukraine on the
right the end of empire signalled by the presence of
infinite viewpoints berlin 1939 new york 2002 in the middle anya warming up

anya goes into a trance. everything disappears. the world remains outside
of anya. nothing is inside anya. nothing.


anya believe in the world but the world is not there and anya is there in
the world.

this is the beginning of everything in the show which is not everything in
the world.

you can see
you can see how the computer makes me make mistakes

in america at the moment we are a divided nation but we are the strongest
nation in the world and 2 into one is one half. we are one half of a
nation we are crippled. in a book I am currently reading by Stefan Zweig
there is a crippled girl and the motto of the book is

beware of pity.
we are at an impasse. we are lost.

i cannot see 'what i am typing' or if i see 'what i am typing' i do not
see my speech and do not hear my speech. you have one or the other one you
either speak or you are spoken to. in the history of empire, it's one or
the Other: you speak or you are spoken to.

there is no speech in dance. there is nothing in dance, absolutely
nothing. there is the body and the body is nothing.

now about these people.

these people want you to know something about them.
these people are the victims of a 'massacre.'
i put 'massacre' in quotation marks because who can tell
what is a massacre
and what isn't?
it's all confused. fox news says it isn't a massacre. cbc says it is.
abc nbc cbs say wait and see who knows if it's a massacre or not.
very many people have died!
they are people of all colors!
they have different shapes.

animals have different shapes too and there are many dead animals.

I bet you didn't know animal species are disappearing at the rate of three
to four AN HOUR on the planet! not individual animals, but entire species.

humans are one species and they're still around. if they weren't around I
bet there'd be more species! I'd bet a lot.

but back to the massacre. maybe a lot of humans died. we don't even count
animals. did you know that hundreds of thousands of birds - birds - died
during the World Trade Center bombing and its aftermath?

after the bombing and the building collapse, a year later, there were
memorials -

huge columns of light!
beautiful light, incredible light!
where the world trade center was wonderful light!
the light went through - right through - the migration paths of birds!
50,000 *ti y try typing inthe dark!) - fifty thousand birds died because
of the light! seventeen times as many people as died in the world trade
center! it was a terrific memorial!

anya dances and she doesn't know what or why she's dancing or what the
machine is doing just outside the studio or why those people on the right
are just broken up like that.

she doesn't have a clue.
things fall apart, but the book is based on africa.
late at night i can't sleep. i have nightmares.

in this war, now, 150000 iraqi have been killed and many americans and
people of other nations and in the last iraqi war 165000 wwere killed,
beween father and son that is over 300000 people and hiroshima, the
dropping of the bomb, killed how many, perhaps 150000 killed. how many
romani were killed in world war two. how many armenians early on. when did
the species start disappearing.

i was asked to do a piece about death and i did a piece about birth and
death they are not the same but they are conne3ct and they are connect to
sex this is connect to sex this is the film over and over until you want
the body to disappear.

when a species disappear you know it's really gone, nothing can bring it
back, not all the dna banks in the world.

i'm sorry about this. i should tell you what i know about normal illinois. well there is hot water in the men's room. i know that for a fact because i tried the faucet and it went lukewarm on me. but i didn't wait for it to get hot, i didn't have time. but i'm sure it would do that if i had waited. the monument in the image is to the dead from siberia in 1031.

that was 1931.

these are the dead but things are falling apart.

you can't bury them and you can't carry on much longer. it's as if the
body's been taken away by inscription. inscription of empire. but we can
reclaim bodies, write on them:

but what we write on each other is only of interest to the censors! it
doesn't matter. what we're saying doesn't matter. it's like the koranic
interlude of reason. have you read the koran? avicenna? averroes? have you
read the bible? the sutras? upanishads?

have you written on your body? in the midst of the most secret dreams of
the world have you written on your body? in your nightmares? tattoos?
something deeper, more private? written on the inside? operations? plastic
surgeries? ways to stay alive?

in this piece of the bodies there are five cameras. the sound triggers the
cameras and creates the edits. the sound is making the movie.

now in this piece, nothing is doing the edits. it's just a shamanic body
in midair.

it's just a woman cut by glass.
she's moving the way i tell her to.
she's wearing whatever i tell her to
i told her not to wear anything at all.

now there's a skeleton behind the shaman and the shaman is controlling the
skeleton or the skeleton is controlling the shaman because the skeleton is
her animal.

i didn't tell her to dance this way but someone else did. how, alan, is
that possible. because someone else worked the machinery that made the
movements so she coulddance. and if someone else didn't work the machinery
she wouldn't move at all. she's a file and you can kill her by entering
"delete" although she's also a file and you can kill her by entering
"kill."

Hello, my object.

Kathy Acker wouldcalll this the empire of the senseless.

See wha happens, there's a glitch in the presentation - why not? and
everyone gets restless. time for lunch! or maybe say something or other, I
don't know, what would you say? this stuff is pretty weird, I'm not sure
what he's getting at, he seems to have forgotten the massacres, is it him
or the computer thats acting up, doesn't he know how to use punctuation.
damn, it just slowed again, all by itself.... just so you know this is
actually a conversastion between Sandy Baldwin and myself on the
fundamental difference between analog and digital regimes in the world.

but it got changed in the process, I don't think Sandy even knows it
sounded like this.

honest, there were no changes at all. we were busy watching these
creatures doing their thing near the ceiling.

this is what we were doing.

these made the stick imagery you see on the left. the stick imagery made
files. the files were imported into a program that clothed them into
avatars. the avatars were played against background images edited in
another program.

we can send shortly. this is stuff that was shot in the evergaldes. we had
to escape people in miami, i think anyone in their right mind would want
to escape people in miami, so we weent to the everglades. we were there in
the middle of the night talking with snakes and alligators and in the
daytime wading through stuff and taking photographs of just about
everything. it's not entertainment but it's the best we've got.

the dancer will dance for you for a little bit and we will end this piece
called
"The Derailment of Massacre"
which pretty much sums things up.
thank you and for questions now.
(somewhere along the way i got lost

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