The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

May 12, 2006

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Please come!

Exibition: em/bedded

MAY 27�-JUNE 24, 2006



Guest curated by TYLER STALLINGS

em/bedded brings together video projections
of cyborgian, mutating, sexual bodies and the
artifacts of battlefields soaked in banal horror.
Together, they offer a distorted beauty of the
disasters of war and the pleasures of love.


SATURDAY, MAY 27 6:00-9:00 P.M.
WITH PERFORMANCE Saturday Night at 8:00 P.M. FREE

P 310 264 4678 F 310 264 4682



For press inquiries into the project contact guest curator Tyler Stallings
at 714.552.1313
May 27-June 24, 2006Reception: Saturday, May 27, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Performance: Saturday, May 27, 8:00 p.m. Free

About the installation

In his first solo exhibition in California, Alan Sondheim, along with
filmmaker Leslie Thornton, will transform Track 16 Gallery's cavernous
main gallery into the multi-media installation, em/bedded. Sondheim brings
together video projections of cyborgian, mutating, sexual bodies and the
artifacts of battlefields soaked in banal horror. Together, they offer a
distorted beauty of the disasters of war and the pleasures of love.

Guest curated by Tyler Stallings.

Scattered amongst the video projections of furiously moving dancers, of
sexual confrontations, of computer generated "avatars," there will be
distorted graphics of bodies, spaces, and amppings; antennae, battlefield
telephones, off-kilter combat tents, photographs of battleships, trenches,
and bodies, souvenirs taken from Japanese soldiers, old microscope slides
with pathogens, and antique book editions of du Maurier's Trilby,
Confessions of a Magnetiseur, a Japanese pre-Meiji book of black and white
block prints of Westerners, Volney's Ruins of Empire, and Albert Dreyfuss
Five Years of My Life. Together they all suggest attempts at communication
amidst fortifications created around language and confinement.

Integral to the installation will be a large tent that contains Leslie
Thornton's recent video work, Let Me Count the Ways: Minus 10, Minus 9,
Minus 8, Minus 7, Minus 6. In this work, Thornton explores the social
effects of new technologies and media, but here she pushes even further
into autobiographical territory to suggest the ways in which we are all
implicated in these changes. Juxtaposing aerial footage of pre-9/11 New
York City; scientific data on genetic mutation; audio testimony about the
bombing of Hiroshima, and a home movie of her father, an engineer on the
Manhattan Project, as he is dispatched to that city, Thornton creates a
dense and compelling meditation on violence.

Like nomads, Sondheim and Thornton create an ensemble of videos and the
physical remains of history that traverse the landscape of memory and
time. The work occurs in the far future - mutations, extinctions, broken
spaces of information. The work occurs in the past - organisms huddled as
if protected against the fury of the world, primitive electrical machines
tuned into atmosphere and universe. In em/bedded, the distorted bodies are
our own of course, in the present, of course. em/bedded offers no solution
- there isn't any - but presents a distorted beauty of its own within an
image storm that is a continuous splay, spew, emission, of violence,
sexuality, and cloned grotesques.

About the performance at 8:00 p.m.

Alan Sondheim will present em/bedded (assembled performance) (45 mins.
approximately). It consists of a laptop performance that deals with
political, sexual, and cyber issues. He runs video/audio/text segments
from a laptop in combinatory fashion, typing a real-time commentary at
screen bottom. The result is an extended body, the digital problematized
by analog, purity by error, language by language-stumbling. He uses
various avatars who "live" in a world that has collapsed into pixel-
annihilation. He's embedded with the enemy; he's embedded with friendly 

About the artists and the curator

Alan Sondheim's work is trans-media; his emphasis is on writing, theory,
and digital performance. His books include the anthology Being on Line:
Net Subjectivity (Lusitania, 1996), Disorders of the Real (Station Hill,
1988), echo (alt-X digital arts, 2001), Vel (Blazevox 2004-5), Sophia
(Writers Forum, 2004), Orders of the Real (Writers Forum, 2005), and The
Wayward (Salt, 2004) as well as numerous other chapbooks, ebooks, and
articles. His video and film have been widely exhibited. Sondheim
co-moderates several pioneering email lists, including Cybermind,
Cyberculture and Wryting. Since 1994, he has been working on an Internet
Text, a continuous meditation on philosophy, psychology, language, body,
and virtuality. In 1999, Sondheim was the 2nd Virtual Writer in Residence
for the Trace online writing community (Nottingham-Trent University,
England). In 2004, he was a resident of the Center for Literary Computing
and the Virtual Environments Laboratory at West Virginia University, and
in 2005 he was resident artist/ writer at Grand Central Art Center in
Santa Ana. He produced two CDs at the latter (his older records have been
reissued by ESP-Disk and Fire Museum). In 2001, Sondheim assembled a
special issue of the America Book Review on Codework, which was seminal in
its genre. He is currently working with the Swiss dancer/ choreographer
Foofwa d'Imobilite on new work premiered in Switzerland and Italy in
summer 2006; he is also preparing several new cds and records for release,
as well as a series of texts dealing with the phenomenology of the analog
and digital. Sondheim lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Text and image of his work can be found a the following URLS:

Leslie Thornton is an internationally acclaimed media artist working in
film, video, photography and installation. Her conceptually rigorous and
lush work explores the outer parameters of ethnographic and narrative
form, and consistently breaks new ground. She was born in Knoxville,
Tennessee. She studied with filmmakers Hollis Frampton, Paul Sharits, Stan
Brakhage and Richard Leacock. Her numerous awards include the Maya Deren
Lifetime Achievement Award, the first Alpert Award in the Arts for media
and grants and fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, the NEA,
NYSCA, NYFA, and The Jerome Foundation. Thornton's film and media works
have been exhibited worldwide, in such venues as The Museum of Modern Art,
the Whitney Biennial Exhibition, Centre George Pompidou, capcMusée
Bordeaux, and at the Pacific Film Archives. Festivals include The
Rotterdam International Film Festival, The New York Film Festival and the
film festivals of Oberhausen, Graz, Mannheim, Berlin, Austin, Toronto,
Tokyo and Seoul. Thornton is Professor of Modern Culture and Media at
Brown University. She lives and works in New York City and Providence,
Rhode Island.

Tyler Stallings, the guest curator for em/bedded, is an artist, curator, 
and writer. He has been the chief curator at Laguna Art Museum since 1999. 
His curatorial projects focus on contemporary art and popular culture. 
Past exhibitions that he has organized include: The Juxtapoz School: An 
Art Movement (upcoming); Whiteness, A Wayward Construction (2003); Surf 
Culture - The Art History of Surfing (2002); Cyborg Manifesto, or the Joy 
of Artifice (2001); Sandow Birk's "In Smog and Thunder: Historical Works 
from the Great War of California" (2000); Ruben Ortiz Torres: 
Desmothernismo (1998); Kara Walker: African't(1997); Robert Williams: New 
Work (1997); among others. He is also the co-editor of the anthology, 
Uncontrollable Bodies: Testimonies of Identity and Culture (Seattle: Bay 
Press, 1994). Stallings is also an artist who has shown in Los Angeles, 
New York, and Europe. Concurrent with em/bedded, Stallings has a solo 
exhibition of his new paintings at Newspace Gallery in Los Angeles, May 
9-June 17, 2006.

em/bedded has also been made possible by additional collaborations with
Azure Carter, Foofwa d'Imobilite, and Thomas Zummer. Thanks as well to
Sandy Baldwin, Francis van Scoy, and both the Center for Literary
Computing and the Virtual Environments Laboratory at West Virginia
University in Morgantown.

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