The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

Track 16 Performance Text May 27 06

(Real-time typing/improvisation laptop performance with A/V files. We
had a fine audience.)

ST this is an 'abrupt start' usually i begin outside a gallery context
or in some other context, this is a difficult situation, after all the
gallery's overdetermined i went to the Joan Jonas show today and for the
past few days hope you saw it - by the way the image above is the
Ukrainian revolution - anyway - the show was about memory and display and
masquerade and gender but it was also about $180000, I think that's the
right amount of zeroes, well that doesn' t matter but I'd have liked to
have a copy of the DVD - artists tend to exchange dvds and poetry books
(we're all fucking poor) and here within the institutionalization (love
that word, it's like deterritorialization) of the gallery system we're
barred, so damnit we should go ihn, but the show's closed and then - oh,
the mp3's almost over - and make a bootleg of Jonas anyway if anyone has a
bootleg we'll pay about ten dollars for it that's twice the new york
street price - so - the doctor piece usually comes up later - somehwere
about halfway through the piece - it just appeared early this time, i'm
sorry, i hope it doesn't throw you off - it takes a while, I'm beginning
but just beginning -- to sink into the images - that is, it's cranial -
something will emerge, it might just take a while, please be patient and
if not, well you've waisted only a little bit of time - every so often we
try and _get on the screen _ = make some sort of connection - what this
work is about, this work in general, screen images, that's all you're
seeing here - connected with bodies in displayed or inconceivable
positions - bodies appearing out of nowhere - bodies representative of
empire - of broken desire - of things gone horribly wrong - if you read
the history of the late roman empire - it becomes a history of chains, of
tortures, of factions each intent on ravaging countrysides - it's not true
people can live through anything - agriculture must have been destoryed -
all for foreign wars - these were in - these were in main for the most
part - Iraq - Persia then - toomany resources - what was going onat home -
rome wasn't the ceneter any more - there were lots of emperors doing the
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED bit back then - most of them were killed falling on
their own swords - the Goths came in - other groups - that was about i t-
now - it's about the same thing - different weapons -d own from the analog
to the digital - things coming apart in pieces - inconceivable fucking --
bodies in untoward positions - there's no return - you just can't make
heads like this can you? unless you're at war in which case you can make
them any way you want -
Azure (on the right thank god) is dancing - you can hear her footsteps -
so what - so what you're hearing - what's coming through - is radio -
radio waves - this show is about transmissions - emissions - radiations -
pollutions - so you're listening - that's the radio - the white box - you
can hear very low frequency radio - she's interfering with the planhte'
planet's atmosphere - literally - changing the radio patterning - that's
what you're listening to - this is the sound - all of this - of the field
telephone - in the tent in front of you - connected to Leslie Thornton's
tent in the other room - when the batteries are in it - I shipped the
batteries - they exploded on the way here - i didn't know it - I unpacked
them - my hands were covered with acid, well I thought, we should just
LOOK at them - this is a true story by the way - I don't know if you're
paying attention - oh oh the phone , the tiny phone in the tent, loves
listening to itself, it can finally have a mirror, it can say - this is
what I sound like, LISTEN TO ME! - across the country we looked for places
to record very low frequency radio - you have to be away from
civilizaiton, specificlly the power grid - the electircal grid which
interferes with it - that's what we're doing - going wherever ther's not
that buzz, that interfering buzz - in any case - and in this image - in
this image - there's something taken aparet - there's - a distortion,
tension in the fac e- the face can be pulled apart - whjen you play:
1. war
2. digital
you can pull apart faces. Now I'm not saying that
war = digital = botox
nothing like that - but that all of these - it's like character trates -
this is the conclusion of a silent film which I thought you might enjoy
since th eonly voice here is my own - if yo haven't been in the trolley
car - but first, notice the masts in the water - this is a sunken
lightship off brooklyn - this is an `897 trolley - that's eighteen ninety
seven - trolleys keep following me - they're the subject of this space -
of bergamot - this is being moved - it's an electricla trolley - a book in
the case - actually case two I think maybe not - in the room on the left -
is called Benedict Arnold and is part of the Electrical Series - I think
1858 - not sure of the date - it's next to a very old 1897 or thereabouts
telegraph receiver - these are I think maybe in the same case? as the
spinthariscope which contains radium from 1903 just around when it was
discovered - the thing still works - and in the next cage - older analog
behaviors - there are slides, perhaps you've noticed them? of
tuberculosis, diptheria, plague, I forget the rest - things that rot your
insides out, parasites, dead men walking - I think the slides are harmless
now - I hope so, I've been handling them - they've been leaking - it's
always worth while: DOUBLE YOUR YODEL (this is an aside) (to what?) - here
comes Azure and myself at home - you can see we're losing focus here - but
at least, wow what modelling!!! - the performer on the right - she'll be
out in a moment - she's not performing - she's tuning - the sound - is
from work I've done - somewhere in NY - not NYC - somewhere else - it's
Anja Schmidt - who - I think - can become trance/en-tranced/entranced
quickly - you will have to wait - it's there - there's always smething in
the ditgital domain - iv'e worked with dancers - continue to work with
dancers - first, dance is something I can't do - I'm impossible, I can't
move at all - I'm traumatized - it's like war - it's like Speer walking
round and round the prison after the war - I admire people who can move -
who are free to move - who don't worry about it - who don't think about it
- so I hve these opportunities - it's as if the world were murmuring -
somewhere else beyond slaughter - somewhere into water - that is Maud
dancing below - she gets tired - she repeatss herself - she can't continue
repeating herself - she falls out - falls over - falls into line - falls
out of favor - what fascinates me - in other words - is always,
everywhere, the inconceivable - what possibilities exist beyond
possibilities - what nestings are possible - for example - within the
tents - within the fabric of the tents - outside the realm - of any other
possibilities - outside the realm of slaughter - if I could assassinate -
if I had the courage - I'd put an end to things - but behind every killer
is another killer - I admit freely here - I'm a coward - I'm afraid of
pain - afraid of killing - I wouldn't know how - wouldn't know what I was
- this is radio radio - this is antennta azure - this is the sound of
atmosphere - this is the fury of wire - and this - moreso - this is Foofwa
d'Imobilite - working the wire - the same wire - it's antenna connected to
vlf to recording device to speaker back into room back into wire vibration
so where were we = within the analog realm of the real, nothing but
slaughter: NOTHING but slaughter - within the digital realm of the real -
REAL not VIRTUAL - nothing but REARRANGEMENT - tensor calculus -
inconceivability - it returns to slaughter with a longer loop -
this show is called em/bedded - em/bedded with slaughter, bedded with
slaughter - embedded in Iraq - following the troops of Rome into Persia -
into slaughter - into inconceivable analog torture - EM/bedded - that dash
or hyphen of the typographical - dividing words - leading you on -
crashing against itself - as if there were somewhere to go - there's
nowhere to go - I do hope you like the show - why am I here at this point?
- this is where I'd rather be - THIS is where I'd rather be - by the way
we're NOT in the trolley car now - there are usually two more projections
ther e- if you haven't wandered in - this is somewhere else - what I can
do - while speices are being slaughtered (three to four an hour, the
verdict's not clear) - I can combine things - just as here - as if babies
could do that: think of it - babies can't do that - CAN'T do that - but
dancers CAN do that - and I can't do much of anything - earl
Earlier today I saw the Joan Jonas shhow again and - what was amazing, I
thought, she's an artist, it's made to look easy, she's breathing that way
- it's that way so smooth - kind of like Coleridge in fact thought about
Wordsworth but that's another sotry - and then I thought - kind of like
Coleridge - perhaps I should give up art altogether - at least this THIS
kind of art - which makes no money and is CONTRIVED in relation to Joan
Jonas - at least in relation to her =- and is orders of magnitue smaller
than one hundred eighty thousand UNITED STATES DOLLARS - so then, well,
I'd give away the dvds...
that's US on the right, and PREFAB on the left....

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