The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

June 7, 2007

Virtual, not Real

Two modes of writing, most likely among others: Well, I demonstrate (x);
well, I demonstrate (myself). The first compresses, contains, confuses the
object; the second smears the object within or against the code/work of
the text. To smear the object implies an onto-epistemological corruption
or breakdown; it is abjection that determines the problematic relationship
between self and object. To demonstrate (x) is to clarify an indexical
mapping between symbol and object; to demonstrate (myself) is to dis-em-
body both object and self; the ontological breakdown is between organism
and signifier; the epistemological breakdown implies that knowledge itself
is problematized across the boundary. Of course there isn't any boundary;
this is all non-sense - in other words, senseless, one can't make sense of
these things, there's nothing in the sense of sense as direction - can you
sense which way to go? The discussion itself leads to abjection; a w/hole
body has no need of dis/splay, dis/comfort; it's there inhabited, sutured,
one with inhabitation and self, powerful, commanding, desiring, desired.
The body tending towards discussion is already embedded in a futile
attempt to construct existence out of shifters, pronouns; the discussed
body is already a crude form of empathetic magic, which never works but
which constantly requires both sacrifice and repetition. Then one reads
it, the same, the differentiated, as autobiography; what is being
described adheres to, seems to adhere to, the events of the day, those
contortions or fits (fitts) of the writer, and thus replete with projec-
tion; this holds as well for fictional characters, but everyone recognizes
that avatars at least have no history. The avatar is intermediary/sluice
between clarified object and smeared self; its skin labors skin in one
very singular direction, that is, from an acceptable exterior distance -
but its skin labors space within or close to within. Within what? The
prims fall away, replaced by space which mirrors, maps external space, all
the way to the ends of the game, game-space, or beyond; mirrors, by asso-
ciation, space itself in the real, which is already virtual, the closer
one approaches quantum or fundamental particle levels. In this very real
sense it is the avatar which is real, and our selves, bodies, our organic
existence, which is virtual, dependent among other things on an Aristotel-
ian logic that holds only on _this_ level in the holarchy, among others.
For the law of distribution, so important in the application of classical
logic to the world, breaks down in favor of the gestural, once the logic
is examined closely, once appearance and the reading of the world, such as
it is, virtual-real, is foregrounded. We defend ourselves against this
through a whole phenomenology of pain and suffering, as if death consti-
tutes the undeniable presence of the material world. That this isn't the
case is clear, not by considering death itself virtual, but by recognizing
death as the termination of processes in the middle-zone, in the middle-
way - and processes them- selves, are by virtual of the ineluctable ontol-
ogy of time, virtual in their constituation.

In lieu, place, virtual or real, of this, I speak like a madman, like a
hungry ghost, already a contradiction, since what would fulfill a ghost,
hungry or not, except an internal transform among ghost-organs, ghost-
perceptions, ghost-epistemologies? Madness always carries the tinge of the
virtual with it, and thereupon the real, just as what one considers the
real in everyday life, appears as a dream, false, masquerade, sham, fac-
ade, theater and theatrical performance, all of which is true, recognized
in every movement or body-speech of an avatar, in one or another world,
more real than virtual, as ours is more virtual than real. To write of an
object: "Two modes: Well, I demonstrate (x); well, I demonstrate (myself).
The first compresses, contains, confuses the object" - is to write of
oneself writing of an object; this is elementary. And it is also elemen-
tary to realize that "writing of oneself writing of an object" is an
aporia, useless, exhausting, falsely-recursive; one might as well stop
there and recognize that the smear (stutter, cough, text, pause, punctua-
tion, page or screen) is behind, within, inherent in, every utterance
whatsoever. The psychoanalytical loss of object or good object or bad
object is founded on no object at all - none, but food in the eyes of the
hungry ghost, or the hungry ghost in the eyes of its prey. Nothing is
simple, everything melds within the hallucinatory, and rational action is
the apparent ability to 'freeze' those moments, as if they endured beyond
the momentary glance or description.

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