The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

August 23, 2008

fully opened, fully closed

Julu Twine was tuned and retuned; the particle spew was moved from abdomen
to chest - the bvh files had more movement in that region than in the
pelvis, which was near the root node, and therefore fairly quiescent.
Once the move was made, the invisible generator attachment was slid back
into the area of the womb, since birth occurs in the tuning and retuning.
What then? For the most part, a simulacrum or masquerade of a womb or
pelvis or abdomen node. Symptoms develop: on occasion the source of torso
generation moves from womb to a position outside the body of Julu Twine;
it's following the chest, not the womb, and therefore a displacement
occurs. Now with spawn - which is just that, spawn from loins as displace-
ment from chest - it's possible to see Julu Twine in mid-air with full
movement, and Julu Twine confined in an enclosed watery depression between
building and earth. In the confinement, there is shuddering; in the shud-
dering, there is masquerade and continuous torso production which appears
to emerge freely from the space, a signal or at the very least, a sign.
But this emergence, this torso, itself is a fantasm; it's nothing more
than a texture, a detailed square patch which appears, from certain
angles, to possess weight, dimension, volume. So this is one fantasm among
many, but a fantasm which goes nowhere; it can't be grasped in Second Life
and such couldn't be grasped anywhere. So the shuddering, this apparent
simulacrum of sex, this byproduct of confinement according to the codes
and protocols of Second Life, produces a signal and a frisson among non-
existent bodies, perhaps among viewers, perhaps a thrill or shudder,
again, at the birth of a symptom. It's this symptom, this excess of desire
in confinement and plein air, that disturbs, is read, goes nowhere - and
goes nowhere because of its autonomy, autonomic nervousness, autonomic
neurosis, railroad kidney and railroad spine and the like. It's what
appears to be a chance result of programming; it's in reality the uneasy
confluence of programming and interoperability, and collisions among
programs. I take full responsibility, at the same time releasing Julu
Twine to her own amazing ends. Now I dream Julu Twine, I no longer know my
own sex, but I own to no other and know no other, nor an other; it's all
uncomfortable and dis/eased masquerade, something tawdry that I simultan-
eously turn towards and away from, something in my character, a virus or
parasite, a parasite of alterity, dreams of others, incandescent.

Technical note: To go to any of these files, it's not necessary to go to and scroll down. Please go to the webpage and,
at least in Foxfire (other browsers may differ in details), click on "Last
modified" - this orders the directory by date, with the earliest at the
top. Click on it a second time, and the latest is at the top; at the
moment this is the spawn.mp4 file. You can always find the latest files
this way - they're at the top when "Last modified" is clicked wise - and
they're the ones that are referenced in the latest text as well.

this has been replaced by

which was originally entitled

openclosed.mp4 - see above.

To access the Odyssey exhibition The Accidental Artist:


i apologize for my arrogance.

Liminal, slow

There are liminal moments when real and virtual intersect in a contrary
and wayward matter, when Second Life, or any other program, isn't quite
loaded, is only half present. Like the older work of, the user's
attention turns half towards immersion, and half towards anomaly -
simultaneous tacit knowledge and paradox. Usually these moments are quick;
sometimes they are slow, even permanent. There are also liminal spaces,
which might be defined as equivalent, but there are also liminal spaces at
game's edge, whether formed by island or height. Again, anomaly occurs;
everything is problematic.

As I type this, I look out the window; there are light cumulus clouds in
the dusk sky, reminiscent of Second Life dusk - but only if the Quality
and Performance slider is set high; otherwise, the sky is blank, tawdry,
unreal in any life. Here is yet another limit, and there are similar
limits built into the software itself - details aren't all that fine, but
as usual with avatars and landscapes, blank out into pixel-mania, no
matter what the bandwidth. (And dreams? How are these configured; if one
spends hours in Second Life, what happens then, if anything?)

Below are some images recorded on the Asus pc EEE 701, which loads and
renders slow. slow jpgs

( Again, go to; click on Last Modified twice, and
the most recent files are at the top. And again - to access the Odyssey
exhibition The Accidental Artist, sign up on Second Life and go to .)

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