The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

August 16, 2006

History of Seduction

narrative true-real of derivation
practice chora
firestorm the breathing
you? are what but am I know I
ay? choice, de ray beauty! o
story of storey first or non
underground city york new
Derivation of Ruins The
ruins derivative
say. to me for easy that's

Interior and Absence (notes on recent work)

In an attempt to explain my recent work...
This is such an attempt, the attempt already referenced -

Every surrounding space is non-existent, that is, every embedding space
should be construed as invisible, unless vectored outside of the frame -
i.e. perspectival vanishing-points or obvious extensions of line segments.

The invisible space is less than a frame, paregon, peripheral, only a
demarcation necessary for the transmission of the central object or
figure, or syzygy of connected nodes or interconnected figures. One must
strip away space in this regard.

Likewise one must strip away time, in order to reassemble temporality;
what it takes to see or process is widely at variance, turned loose, from
what is presented in the screen, this or that figure or figures.

Such figures descend from a series of asteroids I modeled, allowing one,
that is myself, to fly across their surfaces, as if polygons were
geological figures; it was the surround skeins, skins, that constituted
the measure of the infinite in the small, a form of perspectival geometry.

The asteroids themselves have as antecedent certain works or preparations
I constructed for scanning electron microscope imaging; these works were
either prepared natural specimens or etched figurations, sculptures
smaller than the wavelength of light, using a Cambridge Stereoscan which
did exactly that.

The concern or cathecting, investment, I have in the current objects, and
their potential or real transformations, to the extent they can be
considered objects, is based on psychoanalytic and general vectoral flows
across their surfaces - surfaces which may be penetrated or interpenetra-
ted by vision, revealing the hollowed skein or scaffolding of model

The objects, whether closed manifolds or not, I consider closed manifolds
of projections and introjections, manifolds whose surfaces are inscribed
much like a cuneiform tablet, open to readings, not reading, and open to
interpretation. The reading is visceral.

The objects are not, nor are intended to be, portraits, nor do they occupy
a branch or sub-branch of portraiture; they are not singularities in
space, but spaces themselves, whose anxieties triumph, whose psychoses
play like storms across their surfaces.

I inject my concerns into safe, part-objects, transitional objects, half-
formed, maternal, wary in the construction of language, of languages, wary
in the construction of difference, differance. Such objects reference the
analogic from the digital, a digital which is embedded in the analogic, in
the hermeneutics of analogic reading and inscribing. What may for example
begin as dream or hypnagogic imagery, transforms within the pressure of
the machine, into those apparent fluidities which may be indefinitely
shaped. To shape meaning without the ostensible pressuring of language,
without the inscription of ostensible inscription - this is a goal,
meaning which, submerged, emerges, from less organized perception, which
may or may not be read as wonder in relation to the world or worlds. Every
image a world, every world, an imaginary.

The _scan_ permits the uneasy rupture/rapture among code and uncoding,
real and irreality, image and imaginary; the rupture/rapture of the scan
itself construes the fluid or abject at the heart of culture, universe,
world. Every reading is our reading; every writing is our writing; every
scan is ours and ours alone.

The _motion capture_ permits the internal tearing, torsion, tension,
tensor of the cohering body, always taken for granted, in order that
death, violence, sexuality, language, and body re-emerge as dissipated
punctum, within or without any circumscriptions.

The _access grid echo_ constructions create and reproduce the flattening
of space and thereby time that constitutes defuge, that state always
generative by deferral of other states. A face resembles, reassembles,
itself, and such contiguities or echoes are embedded as well into
generating configurations that might as well not be there.

In all of these instances, the embedding spaces are the symbolic; are the
chora; are ourselves to the extent that our senses devolve first and
primarily into the seepage of our own liquidities, bodies, sexes, deaths,
ruptured and irreparable enunciations.

The symbolic surrounds the symbol, which is symbolic to the extent, or
within, circumscription.

All inscription is circumscription.

Culture is the absence of embedding.


Today I would have given you the Bretz materials, the result of scanning 
the coke-ovens down the hill to the right across from the post office down 
the hill to the left. But failure lured, ruled; it waited until the tripod 
was set us, the yoke was mounted on the tripod, the laser housing was 
secured to the yoke, the cables were connected to the laser, the laser was 
connected to the power supply and data control, the data output was cabled 
to the laptop, the laptop was powered by a battery, the battery was dead. 
The battery was charged at 10:30 in the morning, the laptop wouldn't power 
up, there was no data output or input or control to or from the laptop, 
Nick and George and Don and Azure and I paced, George worked the laptop, 
the laptop was quiet, quiescent, peaceful, there were no birds flying, 
there was a snake discovered in one of the few images taken while we wai- 
ted, the video turned out for four minutes, there was no scanning, there 
would be no downloading, no processing, no stitching, no post-processing, 
no warping and merging, no scaling and coloring, there would be no Bretz 
directories, no Bretz digital images of scans, no Bretz videos of rotating 
scans, no post-processing of scans in Blender, no transforming of selected 
points, no fly-through and no digital video or still image output. There 
would be no discussion of Bretz coke-oven beehive architecture, no consid- 
erations of the histories and generations of local brick-work, no evidence 
and no history, no written or spoken speculations on historiographies 
merging digital and analogic worlds, techniques, equipment, organisms, 
processes, languages, cultural and financial economies. There would be 
discussions of budgets, of equipment wear and tear, of obsolete software, 
obsolete laptops, obsolete batteries powering a laser otherwise capable of 
scanning an entire statehouse in West Virginia, an entire Buddhist temple 
in Japan, an entire archaeological dig, but not this local archaeology, 
not here, not now, not these deteriorating coke-ovens whispering in the 
mountain-topped heat, in this humidity problematic for the scanning unit 
itself, flat or matte-black in coloration, gathering sun against the hills 
and flowers, what flowers, what amazement of flowers, in the distance, or 
the mine number thirteen or number twelve sealed above the SUV and the 
tripod, and Don, George, Azure, Nick, and i somewhat below the ridge which 
may or may not have been constructed by other than God, within which still 
remain the maws of one-hundred and forty coke-ovens, the last working site 
of beehive construction, only stopping in the 1970s or 1980s and then 
abandoned against this peculiar meadow, the result of surface mining, 
depredation, of the mining company, resulting in an exhausted land, an 
unproductive land, a land of poisons, but for this glorious meadow and its 
neighbors writing ATVs useless around in circles or into and out of the 
surrounding woods, guns and ammunition hanging off the back. We looked at 
each other, Azure standing with her sun-umbrella, uncomfortable in the 
heat, and Azure, Nick, Don, and George proceeded to begin to pack up the 
tripod and yoke and laser housing and power supply and cables, placing 
them carefully back in their large metal cases, filling the back of the 
SUV while I videotaped in NTSC a slight, a very light segment of failure, 
with a graceful camera capturing a moment simultaneously lost and recor- 
ded, present and impresent, all of us gaining a ride back in the now- 
crowded SUV back across the dirt road, up the hill to the post office 
somewhat across from the exit, where Nick, Azure, and I changed vehicles 
and drove back, following the SUV, through Masontown, Manon somewhere in 
the vicinity, through Sabreton or Saberton, or Manan and Monon left behind 
us, on Route 7, up through and past the Mile Ground, still wondering what 
mile and what ground, down and back into the Evansdale campus and the 
Virtual Environments Laboratory, the VEL, where we unloaded the laser 
cases, the tripod, the laptop, our video and still cameras, went into the 
cool of the room, comforted by the hum so nearly like our own. Here was 
the edge of success and failure, of the many things which could go wrong 
but needed a password or keyword for the witnessing; here we were, there 
we were, tired, used, with little to show for our efforts, no residue 
beyond three or four minutes of videos, some stills of the outside of the 
ovens - and how beautiful! - some images of coming and leaving, some sky.

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