The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

April 11, 2006

performance text april 11, tyler school of art

dancer twists him in her mirror, choreography master. meanwhile the empire
procures the violence of perfect movement.  "hello hello!" can you hear
me? the way I usually proceed is this: there are images moving on the
screen / there is sound from this unit - as people come in. there are
typing errors which are part of the piece. i keep more or less silent
during the performance and then open up the room later to discussion -
these pieces are influenced by dance / by the current political situation
in the hart of empire / by sexuality / by broken language / broken english
/ there are sounds everywhere around us that like birds tend to ignore
what humans are doing, with the birds of course there are vulnerabilities,
withe atmosphere, none at all, lightning in a distance on the other side
of the globe produces many of these sounds, those of you familiar with
very low frequency radio will understand this material immediately, no
matter how much I tend to disguise it. the woman moves in relation to the
antenna and modifies the antenna such-and-such. the strings of the
instrument couple as well with the antenna. you're hearing radio waves
directly, no microphone, we work that way in relation to the planet, to
the foundation of the world. the foundation of the world lies in dance,
not through ritual or repetition, but simply through the presence of the
body in movement which seems to need nothing else for its success.
understand this about the dance: what is repeated,at the end of the day,
begins to fall apart, hopelessly, the body finally giving out. torn apart,
dissembled towards a politics of culture that produced these torn
fragments of skin and bone in the midst of the machinic, these are
production of the machinic, these are desires flattened finally into the
screen-product. ok, i'm not making much sense. think of abu gharayb,
perhaps that might help, the dissembling of broken bodies, the fury of
war, slaughter , minor elements which are past the point of any return,
chaotic debris which can't reassemble into humans or any semblence thereof
- here for example a twist which re/produces itself, falls apart,
dissembles, tries for reapplication, loses itself, no such reconstitution,
what is on the LEFT is further torn by the RIGHT. until an EXPLOSION back
into culture - i.e. into cultural DEBRIS - what we retain - those elements
of (sexual among other moments) desire that implant themselves on dance -
so that the machine has a certain rhythm characterized by the presence of

at times the atmosphere is thick - you can hear it now - the 60 cycle hum
that comes from the power grid - THIS power grid - the one in this room -
which you can tap into - in a sense perhaps of absolute despair or
catastrophe - this story is true by the way, the woman has disappeared -
now you will hear HEAR the PRESENCE of a body in the midst of RADIO RADIO
- Foofwa d'Imobilite (Geneva) dancing w/ VLF radio antenna - the room
CONNECTIVITIES - yes yes yes it's true - a second performer on the scene -
more wires/ more electrical inteference - more antenna couplings - the
consumption of what ordinarily passes FOR GRANTED or silence - just try to
listen to the stars when there are people around, nothing doing! between
the electrical and the body falls the terror - not that of the whimper of
Eliot but that of the Wolf (although personally I love wolves) - the
background is the WTC footprint in NYC a few years ago - I'm using up my
material too fast... i'm using up my best material... i'll have nothing to
give you ... nothing remaining, im spent - well i fooled myself... i'm 73
and still have a few tricks up my sleeve... i left the walker back in the
car... someone will have to help me get up later... used to be a dancer
like merce cunningham he's still choreographing in his 80s moved until
just a few years ago it's the body of the dancer - the body of the dancer
that history plays out upon/against - injuries which appear in everyday
behavior, but disappear during performance, injuries of the imaginary -if
you close your eyes you can actually believe this is a musical - at night
i dream and recently had a dream in which leslie thornton sitting
somewhere here, anyway she said that my work has no history, that it has
nothing to do with history, and i realized, this is true, it's doing
nothing but riding and writing form, it's shape-riding, it's in other
spaces altogether, btw this will continue until i stop it - it's not true
that one 'learns from history' - that history absolves one somehow of
making mistakes - history should be abolished - let it take all those
religions along with it - nothing will be lost but we might survive,
perhaps enough to write the history of the future - so these works, well
they're flat, they're just here, now, i might throww them out in a while
(files), put them up on the net, lose them in the 500 or so disks I have
storing these things - in the dance itself there's an image of a woman
with her legs spread - the boy is screaming, screaming... - it's all the
result of oil - well you get the idea - george bush drives the oil which
configures the broken body which leasd to the screaming boy which finally
devolves into the crashing airplane carrying the HEAD of the HEAD OF STATE
which might be GEORGE'S BUSH - meanwhile back home, useless home movies,
back into the dance or medium of the dance again - you'll thank me later -
this is in the midst of the narrative where an 'impasse' occurs - that is,
whatever bodies are on the screen bode somewhere else - the screaming is
done with as is the crashing plane so enough of that - maud was dancing
solo, there was no one around, nothing was going on in the auditorium. she
was just there, as if she were inside herself, in her own private space, a
room of her own, the rest of the dancers having left for the day, or
leaving the space for her imagination, what a ballet-moment for one of the
premiere dancers in switzerland, just there, internalized, against or upon
the screen -meanwhile on another continent, i asked azure to dance, not
against the screen, but within it, moving herself into that imaginary
signifier which takes bodies, makes them whole again, meanwhile in another
continent, other moves perfected, swirled, against filibert's momentum,
there are difficult times and difficult dance, these are -

now comes the difficult time,the point of all of this. let's see where we
are. the screen is absollutely flat but screaming at the sight of the body
or the site of the body. nothing else exists within the imaginary, i mean
this is all debris, three-dimensional assembled debris, which returns us
to Abu Gharayb, those photographs which were equally debris, oh why
seargeant couldn't you have destroyed these LALALA? instead, we're faced
over and over again by the sex of war which is always already an
imposition - against which each and every image i have ever created is
disposed/of - deposed - This was a dream I had. Something gave birth and
something collapsed against itself. What gave birth eliminated or
annihlated the mother. What gave birth showed in lamps showed in avatars
while the real continued to disappear. I'm watching all of this, see, this
viral display, something "coming up" as if uncalled for - ah, i can see
you're restless, there's not much more to go, don't worry, perhaps four
more minutes, these figures which are formed from torn and disheveled
motion capture equipment, the body resymmetrized, dissolved, divided, the
figures as if "hood ornament" for the Pageant of the Masters in Laguna
Beach California... - yes and to return to the electrical, you're
listening to the wifi connections around washington square park in New
York City, you can't get away from the grid easily, it's only to go away
that you can finally here, what? hear the sound of the stars themselves,
what you can hear in just a moment just a minute, hold on, the body's
finally going, finally disappearing, just the planes are left,

this is the dawn chorus, recorded at 4:am in the morning in Wilkes-Barre
Pennsylvania with a VLF radio and antenna, you're hearing the sun

thank you -

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