The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

April 25, 2007


There are certain misapprehensions in relation to my works in various
fields - music, sound, photography, film, video, texts, media in general.
I am assumed to be a producer bypassed or deflected, that my work refuses
steadfastly one genre or another. In fact, I neither produce masterpieces
nor specific works, and am uncomfortable with the thinking that references
a litany of key objects in my career. Instead, I construct discourses,
albeit with myself - discourses of such a nature that it seems irrelevant
to complete those things that might complete a career - a series for
example, or critical moments. I insist on discourse, because this is the
means of progress, of thinking itself; to stop at the wayside of this or
that thing cluttering up the environment means a waste of energy and a
good deal of the limited time we are all given in the first place. As far
as funding is concerned, I believe that such thought, such discourse,
should be rewarded in particular by granting agencies or good samaritans,
since there is little change of sales or recompense for the creation of
working-through streams of thought occasionally resulting in partial
reconstructions of philosophy, phenomenology, or any other and all modes
of conceiving the world. What is the world, but scaffolding which
constantly is renewed, destroyed, forgotten, abandoned at death, crudely
stumbled upon at birth? To examine this world, to truly occasion studies
and thinking without compromise, I am forced to forgo stases, strange and
familiar attractors - forced to avoid these at all costs, however
seductive they might appear. This is not to say that I remain aloof from
the marketplace - only that I appear deeply unfit for it, and am forced to
search elsewhere for financial support. But everywhere I look, it is the
same story - give me the goods, and I might consider, on one level or
another, rewarding you - but nothing further. There are no gifts in this
life, but only exchanges, and even these come at high psychological cost.
I honestly try to acquiesce; it is useless, tawdry; nothing seems to come
of it - something in my character. Given this, I plod onward, carrying my
sickness with me and an insane desire to believe that reward exists
somewhere through the journey itself, rather than the destination alone.
However, the thrust of this memo is elsewhere - a counter to those who
critique my working as a contamination of site, cite, and sight - those
who are blind not to see value in the difficult motion of thinking among
the ongoing world. This is what I do; I think, give signposts, memoranda,
exempla, and inhabitants of the imaginary, and this, I believe, is the
goal and guise of the true artist, never to rest, never to complete what
is already known, but to search out elsewhere for whatever knowledge might
be gained along the ways.

at least no one else is doing this stuff at least on a daily basis.

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