The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

>From film history through codework (notes):

Distinction between Lumiere and Edwardian silents: (L & E) Melies (M)

L: distance - veracity indicated by modernist neutral camera.
L: clean, framed.
E: intimate, communal - veracity disturbed by biased and externally-
articulated scenes.
E: dirty, unframed.

L: telescope, stationary
E: eye, saccadic

The distinction might not be between M and L but L and E.

L: Telephone, modern
E: Internet, postmodern
M: Cyclorama, mythic, premodern

E: paralleling early history of novel, other media.

In all of these: What constitutes narrative? To what extent is narrative
related to ordinary life?
Does narrative always have closure?

M: closure.
L: continuum
E: 'ruptured' events

E: as _codework_ - exposing the bones of the apparatus
within the production - not artifice (as in Godard) but within the _real._

>From this to codework in general: If codeworks are the problematic of the
surface and the bones, aren't these read as archaeological structures -
i.e. the need for an accompanying hermeneutics? In other words codework is
_always_ a contradiction since it is _always_ within the register of the
perceived; therefore a hermeneutics is necessary to reconstitute the depth
which is presented indexically only. It's the reading of signs, but the
signs are neither graphemic nor mythic - they're procedural within a
neutralized and technological chora.

How does this relate to the real, everyday life? Argue that the graphemes
themselves are the bones - the diacritique of spoken language. The
graphemic carries its own mythos, its own procedural. Writing is always
already interpretable, which is why that writing which isn't appears
uncanny, writing itself out of the abject, but no further.

What does it mean that a message is unreadable? Distinguish this from the
illegible, which is constituted to some extent by the erasure or
ambivalence of signs; here, I want to emphasize a total legibility which
nonetheless remains silent. The silence of the unreadable is coextensive
with mythos - what is not given up within the register of X, what is
suppressed, appears elsewhere, exfoliated, in the form(ation) of
narrative. But what happens in codework is different - again, there is
legibility and the problematic of readability, but the unreadable is _not_
silent; it (as if it) insists on the reinterpretation of language itself.
Codework's neutrality, techne, is codework's refusal of mythos, ideology -
instead it remains within the aegis of deconstruction, a skewed
deconstruction attempting a reassemblage of the unknown.


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