The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

Frontier (additional after 1st two paragraphs)

I like to believe I'm working on a frontier and all I can tell you is
what's on the normative side of things; the rest is yet to be seen,
unabsorbed. Once brought in from the Pale, it's of lesser interest, but
beyond the Pale there's nothing but the agony of shadows. Defuge takes
over and the frontier, always an imaginary, shudders and reconvenes.

The videos/choreographies exist between human and human - someone was
there making the original files with motion capture, and someone is at the
other end, watching and using them once again. The virtual is a shadow of
the real, the real is a shadow of the virtual, and within the true world
superimpositions, gestures, and the fading of ontologies characterize what
remains of the fixity of inscriptive practices of the classical and modern

Distinctions are blurred through embedding and filtering. Avatars and
humans - together, emanents - are embedded in online virtual worlds, in
spaces which are simultaneously physical/inert/analog and virtual/mobile/
digital. Every seeing, every being, is a filtering; existence and copula
are interwoven. A current collection of texts is called Messays; in a
Messay, there's no leading sentence, no orderly sequence of ideas, no
summings-up, no conclusions. The essay is to classical narratology as the
messay is to future true world genres which seep into one another, head-
less and tailless - meandering on the one hand, problematic obeisance to
protocols on the other.

What we started with is the body which is inscribed with scars, scratches,
tears, wounds, blemishes, abrasions, cuts, and all other debris carrying
analogic history into the symbolic. What we continued with are tattoos,
incisions, fashion, gesture, languagings, and what continually emerges is
the body harboring technology as self retreats or withdraws, puckers, from
the wild symphonics of externally-applied filters digging ever deeper.

The walk or arm-swing becomes gesture becomes anysign becomes trade-off,
translation, transformation, exchange, interoperability, reified territor-
ialization. One sits at a console and breathes through sheave-skin,
another begins vortex stage-center with flesh-electric, a third wanders
memory of others airless, unbreathing, peripheral wanderings mediated at
mind's back. From the airless, flesh-breathers are attracted, gather,
project and introject, their selves flowing, flooding, abjecting, full of
scent and coagulation.

We take our tiny community of people up and down mountains, in and out of
clubs and iced fields, across the chiasm of cut bodies and body cuts,
mines and other extractive industries across the flesh of land and bodies.
What we bring back is always new, even if only in the slightest detail, a
brush of the hand or turn of the head that was never seen before. And we
keep to our goal of understanding filtering and embedding better than
before, and understanding bodies in the always future anterior world, the
true world of emanents and anysign where we're living, breathing, writing
and wryting, this and any future day.

(notes for upcoming Millennium show, NYC, 3/15, details later)

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