The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

August 2, 2007

the mirror

everything has been said about the mirror, speech cannot reflect,
lip reading is muscle reading, speech reflects upon speech,
there is here and that, there are no scent, touch, nothing of
temperature or sound, sound may reflect, not here and now among
the eye, there are no taste, of which the pure, for example that
dirty bum over there, no need to clean her mirror cloth, brilliant,
what happens before the mirror is caught within the mirror, from a
certain viewpoint, certain angle, not everywhere, not even where
you or i are

the mirror is a form of digital memory, instantaneous release and
absence of commitment, filtered the visible within the eternal,
that is to say positioning the eternal, positing the turn away
from, away from what, from contagion, from what cannot reflect or
be reflected, there are always exceptions, less relevant than one
might think, what is the rule here, only photonic mechanisms,
absorption release, according to what, according to mathesis, to
pure form itself, to the cleansed mirror, forgetting just the rest
of things

turning the mirror off, turning away from the mirror, from mirror
or mirroring, even the shift at an obtuse angle, there it goes,
there it all goes

but the memory, that is, of the digital before its bearing, before
presage, prespeech, of a future anterior, which is what, which is
why the mirror appears to foretell what, foretell the future

which is why the future is digital

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Radio, fossils, sound, abjection

Some extremely old (crystal) radio equipment I'll be working with in
New York and West Virginia:

The cylinders are the oldest - they're called a 'loose coupler' - this is
probably an 'Arlington' type and is an adjustable inductor used for
tuning. I think the date is between 1912-1914 which is extremely old for
radios. The earphones are newer, but I'm not sure how new, since I have a
Western Electric 1903 linesman telephone set (I showed it to you ) that I
has roughly the same design. So probably around the same time. The 'box'
is a tunable spherical inductor - I have no idea how to use this (yet; I
do have schematics back in Brooklyn); I'm guessing the date is between
1915-1919 at the latest. So all of this stuff is extremely early. The cat
whisker and galena crystal mounted on the loose coupler is much later; I'm
guessing the 50s or so. The loose coupler would have attached to elements
spread out on a bench - there weren't any 'sets' that I know of from this
period, although I may well be wrong. In other words, this is a more
modern crystal that someone attached to the board to complete the set.

I want to set all of this up with an extremely long wire antenna; I don't
think it will be that difficult and I'll probably have the thing running
in a week or so after returning to NY. The eventual idea would be to
record the roar of the world, as well as VLF signals, and then to study
the result with a modern signal analyzer, either hardware or software.

Now part of the theory here - again, thinking of mirror as digital - and
then one might think of sound and its reflections as neither or both
digital and analog - 'uncanny':

Sound always within the imminence of presence - the same sound or
granularity whether present nearby or at a distance - echo etc. gives an
indication of distance (as if there were a 'distance function), but it's a
'spread' of the original which is always already spread (in time). The
original is always present. The original is always present. Sound is
always interior and exterior, it relates to abjection (as in opposition to
the mirror (stage)); it's second person, it speaks within the body, it's a
'voice in the head' - the mirror on the other hand is all exteriority,
purification -

Echoes are uncanny - they're a dislocation of granularity; at the same
time they preserve it as a kernel (within an aura). - They re/present the
kernel as if it were within the abject.

The visible has no aura.


Then there are two fossils of interest - these are belemites that seem to
be mating. (These were found in the Denver Public Library marble!)

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