The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive


- This is a streaming video of a performance I did recently at Miami
University in Ohio. It gives a fairly good idea of the screen (although
blurred of course compared to the original). I'm in the room, silent,
responding to the audience, and typing. The typing at the bottom of the
screen is live, as is my choice of materials to run. At times, there are
11-12 Qt files open at once. By choosing materials, typing, I shape the

I want to thank Miami University and Meshworks for putting this up. -


Alan Sondheim
Miami University, Leonard Theater, 12/1/2005

     * Multi-media performance aprox. 1 hour
           o high
           o low
     * Download the accompanying text:
           o Soundheim_text.doc

Sondheim is a multi-media artist working in written text, video, sound,
and image. For the past twelve years he has been continuously writing a
meditation on what it means to be "online" -- a meditation that has
carried him endlessly in and out of language.

His readings are a kind of one-screen laptop performance; he projects the
screen as well as sound. The images are from short looped videos that
appear to interact with each other. He writes live text at the bottom of
the screen to accompany them. The whole thing is an improvisation.

Maria Damon writes that "In performance, Sondheim, who comes from the
body-art/industrial music scene of the 1970s and 80s New York City, and
who is usually associated with artists like Vito Acconci and Kathy Acker,
has taken issues of process so deeply to heart that each time he presents
at a conference or reading he creates a spontaneous, one-of-a-kind event:
he displays videos and photographs, and plays soundtracks accompanied by
his live, real-time typing response along the bottom of the screen onto
which the foregoing are projected. The music is his own: frantically fast
guitar-playing, distorted pipe-organ drones, or other common or rare
instruments recorded and warped for use in this self-ensemble.  Often
there are four things to look at simultaneously -- more than one of them
is moving -- as well as a compelling -- overpowering, in fact -- sound
component that drives the piece rhythmically."

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