The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

August 5, 2005

Live Performance: No Audience: Recorded Screen for Playback


First try (not really satisfed with this):

open for business, this performance is open for business.
this is or is not a performance. this is a moment in the
history of western art. this is the distortion or social
distortion of the movement of culture or cultural movement.
hello hello out there can you hear me. i can't see you. i
am blinded by the beauty of the united states of america.
i am blinded by you. by your beauty.
every day the world soars aloft into  the sky. the sky is
welcoming, the sky turns sound into chaos. hello, i'm tired
and hiding out in this corner of the world. can you see me
here. hello hello (this is what one can say in the corner
of the world.)
come in and stay awhile.
come in and stay awhile.
you might be aware of this as an improvisation. i am
writing this just about at the speed you are reading this.
now we'll see something. moving up and down affecting the
atmosphere. you are seeing the atmosphere under effect. you
are seeing just what - just what is that woman doing in the
upper corner of the screen. it gets harder to hear things
as things compress, join uselessly together, as if there's
a message coming from the upper atmosphere. i am afraid
there is, this is the message. something there is that does
not fear the flesh, highspeed and in motion, this is the
furious gaze of the onlooker of america. you get what I
mean? we're twelve minutes into the _thing_ and it's hardly
clear yet, neither to you nor to me. Degas' dancers have
always disturbed me...
something there is that does not love the flesh, yes yes,
what is the world but a series of emanations? the world is
indefinite, the world is a series of emanations, things in
constant motion, nothing fixed, nothing present but in the
imagination's temporary hold on you.
and you'll disappear soon enough.
hello, are you enjoying this? I hope you're watching this
(personally I think it's terrific- but why wouldn't I?) -
large and electronic manipulation.
God, I'm trying to entertain you - I hope you can at least
appreciate that? the sun sets furiously. no, the black sun
sets furiously over the islands of greece. This is the
running of all forms of emanations, atmospheric sounds,
ghosts, wraiths...
later that night, they considered this a sombre moment,
something unthought-of in the history of human culture.
"It was the machine in them that did the talking, it was
the machine in them that did the talking."
Hello, please come in, join us. We are PRESENTING at the
everyone is watching the train-wreck of the twentieth
century. the world horrifies in the wreckage. Come in,
please be my guest, you're welcome to sit and watch the
videos for as long as you like. Thank you for coming! I'm
glad you're here, I really am. Ah, perfect, how we
stumbline through our beautiful lives.
one might say, "We're really "meandering" through the
twentieth century?" or not....
Somehow these images seem incredibly sad... one, I
gathered, nothing was heard. but here, that proved to be
impossible; in fact, sound was everywhere, one just had to
At this point, the room went silent. Nothing made any
sense, certainly not now. He had nineteen minutes to go, at
least that, before "the world ran out."
Samuel thought, I'm being suffocated and I'm not sure why.
The mah-jong game burned itself into his memory. Time and
again, he'd go over it, but to no avail. It was all the
same. The world! How beautiful! Only... something was
The mountain doubled back with tremendous fury, driving all
other landscape into oblivion.
I know that when they entered the space, they knew that
something was going on.
2/3 the way over, but it will begin again. Thanks so much
for coming!
I know, it's not the same thing as if you see me here
typing live, but that's the beauty of
Okay, I know you saw the car-wreck.
It's late at night, I'll just, I don't know, LEAVE YOU
SOMETHING comfortable...
Every movie has another movie...
How long can I hold your atention?
Really, thank you for staying; it's been wonderful. I hope
some of the more... risque offerings didn't offend you,
believe me! There are more risque offerings that I didn't
dare show, with the open window and all. Still, one can
breathe deeply, can't one?
Late at night... Was anything happening... in the darkned
Hours passed... they didn't know what was happening to
them... On the left, it's almost as if... as if ... as if
... as if     ....
the dots were getting away from him.
all right, there are three minutes left.
I want to end with... I'm not sure, really, I'm not, almost
just about two minutes now... Of course thank you very much
for coming.


Second and Final Try (quite satisfied with this):

Welcome Welcome Welcome! This is my friend, he is a very
great dancer. Please don't be shy, please come in. Take a
seat - over there, there should be some room, hardly anyone
has shown up at this point. Maybe, ah well. In any case,
I'm beginning, this is the world of emanations - you can
CLEARLY see something is happening here, something...
extraordinary, almost one might say, supernatural, the
whole earth is full of radiations.... You can hear them,
preternatural perhaps would be a better world, they're just
beyond your pleasance... I record these, these emanations,
these ghosts, there are more of them than are alive, more
of them than are here in this room, right now. This woman
is dancing to 'em. She is listening to the ghosts and
making the ghosts appear. It is the saddest thing, as
as the ghosts, as the ghosts, the ghosts,
witness the disappearnce of their kindly earth... Such
things as are destructive, as are deadly, for example the
electronic substation across the street, what is that all
about. More and more we are dominated by electronic


please please come in and sit down, have some time, spend
some fun time with this, enjoy yourselves. You are
witnessing, you are witnessing, the chaos of the world,
what the world was like when ghosts roamend, those were
They are furious, these ghosts. They are furious with us.
They are sucking us dry.
WE, WE, WE, WE, WE. Eliminate the comma: WE WE WE WE WE -
we join together in our flight towards destruction, our
personal best / fury:
We will become THESE MATTERS.
The machine in them is writing this. Or writing these,
every writing is plural.
The body is its own machine. The tendency towards
repetition... "is the greatest force for good in this
universe." Please, I beg you, have a seat, stay a while,
there's nothing frightening here, nothing untoward,
whatever was sacred
is still sacred. And WELCOME! Please join us in our
project. Look carefully, examine the interstices of the
composition, what goes on before, and what comes
afterwards, when least expected. These are times   when it
is almost    dangerous to remain   alive.
We must    We must    bear
bear   these consequences   We must
We must    Measure    TO HONOUR
We are calling for help, these ghosts, they they, DESCRY us
late at night
late at night
Surely if they are coming for me they are coming for you.
Surely if they are coming for me they are coming for you.
PLEASE PLEASE COME IN, make yourself at home as if this
were YOUR HOME and these were YOUR THOUGHTS
please please pardon me you were
you were not meant to see this.
ah, you are wondering perhaps - Wait a minute, I'm sorry,
give me a second -
You're perhaps wondering (that's better) what happens, what
is the story?
There are a man and woman in the room.
The man holds up the woman. The woman falls. The man has
contact with the woman. The man begins to fall. Someone is
watching this. (You can hear the sounds of the future.) If
we remain on this planet, after the nuclear war, this will
happen. And this. And this will happen as well. A black sun
will illuminate the sky and the sun will fall down over and
over again. How sad it is to see the dusk.
As I was saying (before I interrupted myself), this is the
time to come on in, no, "Come on in!" and make yourself
comfortable! How sad the world is!
How comfortable!
Now Hello, Hello, to the weather. Each will swell in turn
and disappear. You will know "the weather." See how foreign
planets tell so little when they have, have more than
enough time, more than enough chance. This is no. 1. This
is number 2. And this is "The Stormy Day" of number 3. And
this is Titan, a very distant moon. Which is number 4. And
this is number 5. "In the Water."
You are hearing, honestly, very low frequency (VLF) antenna
coupling with the metal strings of a musical instrument.
It's enough to raise the dead. The dead are being raised.
There are lessons to be drawn from this.
"Nervousness is no excuse for the innocent, just as calm
provides solace for the guilty." Once a pon, no, once upon
a time in America. If you don't love this country, please
leave it. Thank you. WELCOME! Come in and watch the show. I
am making this show ESPECIALLY FOR YOU. I am not making
this show FOR ANYONE ELSE. This is your special show. LOVE
IT OR LEAVE IT. A momentary interlude while you
This appears to be an armageddon moment. I honestly wish
you would stay, I would give you something worth it, honest
I would. Don't go away! I'm working on it! I'm still
working on it!
You can see how the ... emanations... the machinery of the
universe... all at work... all at once... Yes, yes, yes, I
want to thank you, I want to thank you for coming.
"I think we have all learned something here." (Exeunt all
as the plane crashes in for a landing.)


Category of the Natural

The natural here and there and in-between. Since post-structuralism (if
not earlier), the natural is always coupled with re/mediation. In any
case, to date I've taken about 1800 digital pictures; I went through them,
retrieving the 'natural' - 513 frames - and stacking them in a video.
Consider this the gestalt (personal, structural) of the concept. No longer
'natural,' the 'natural' requires redefining for political-environmental
reasons. This process is constant; too much is at stake to allow the
'natural,' and its related terms 'wilderness,' 'environment,' etc. - to
disappear into a deconstruction in which human stewardship is given the
primary role (in relation to the interiority of the in-itself); beyond
use/exchange value, consider the value of valuelessness, releasement..
Simplistic as this sounds, without this continuous requesting,
re-examination, what is left of the world's wild places will disappear,
replaced by waste populated only by a few generalists and ravaging humans.

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