The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

November 3, 2008

Plateau Reached aaa series - video kanji stills on complex
hypertropied objects (very beautiful) - reworking the hermaphrodite
(short, dark) - aaa series in video (fairly
interesting) aabod series - 1-7 images used in body
mapping; a-f beginnings of hypertrophia (some quite nice)

my end of a conversation with  Miulew Takahe  in Second Life:

[14:48]  Alan Dojoji: If you're in the outer section turn the video
on -
[14:49]  Alan Dojoji: I've been tuning it.
[14:49]  Alan Dojoji: That's a LONG time in SL
[14:49]  Alan Dojoji: I've been changing the space almost daily
[14:50]  Alan Dojoji: I've been here a lot - I don't know how long
I'll have to use the space (Sugar's been out of touch)
[14:50]  Alan Dojoji: and there's a lot I want to do
[14:51]  Alan Dojoji: I hope so - I have performances coming up and
want to carefully deconstruct the space, not take it down quickly
[14:56]  Alan Dojoji: Fairly often. It's gotten more confusing/denser
as time goes on
[14:56]  Alan Dojoji: I keep adding the physical attribute to some of
the objects to watch/record them going off-world
[14:57]  Alan Dojoji: And I'm trying to make the space a kind of
liquid architecture/malleable space/deconstruction, whatever, doing a
lot of writing about it
[14:57]  Alan Dojoji: :-) it's hard to create density in such a small
area - so I don't intrude on other works in Odyssey -
[14:57]  Alan Dojoji: It's like Manhattan
[14:57]  Alan Dojoji: it goes up and down, not sideways
[14:58]  Alan Dojoji: Manhattan is HUGE underground with subways
pipes water conduits archaeological remnants, fairly amazing
[14:58]  Alan Dojoji: But it doesn't move like this and it weighs
[14:59]  Alan Dojoji: That's part of the idea, a kind of negotiation
[14:59]  Alan Dojoji: My avatar is almost impossible to move at this
point - I can't see around it -
[14:59]  Alan Dojoji: but it writes in the sky
[15:00]  Alan Dojoji: No, I think text would ruin it - it's more a
landscape without signage, some sort of wilderness
[15:01]  Alan Dojoji: it connects directly with the writings which
are kind of a naturalist's take on the thing. like looking at
[15:04]  Alan Dojoji: I collected them when I was youmnger - a kind
of reading you have to do in an archaic landscape
[15:05]  Alan Dojoji: constantly with video and images, but it's hard
to get the details.
[15:05]  Alan Dojoji: I'm running video now -
[15:05]  Alan Dojoji: I'd like to get a decent record but it's
[15:06]  Alan Dojoji: On the other hand we're making a cd, some of
this music will be on it.
[15:07]  Alan Dojoji: Yes if you run the music in the space - there
are different songs in different regions
[15:08]  Alan Dojoji: I think the sounds adds but I've heard it too
often - I don't change it as much as the rest of it
[15:11]  Alan Dojoji: Wow - it kept your avatar that long! I'm going
to log off myself at the moment; I want to edit the video
[15:11]  Alan Dojoji: Nice seeing you as well! Perhaps in Sweden -
[15:11]  Alan Dojoji: Do look down below the exhibition space and in
the skysphere above if you have tihe time - they're different
[15:11]  Alan Dojoji: Thanks - talk with you soon -
[15:11]  Alan Dojoji: bye now
[15:12]  Alan Dojoji is Offline

| Alan Sondheim Mail archive:
| To access the Odyssey exhibition The Accidental Artist:
| Webpage (directory) at
|,, tel US 718-813-3285

Dance and Gravity

For gravity is everywhere, loving us bone by bone, cell by cell, atom by
atom; think of gravity as strings everywhere in a dream, caressing and
tugging the world into shape. [...]

I envy Foofwa who travels with his body, observing the movement of the
scenery, the great wheel of the world, within the atmospheric, untoward
stars and constellations. Teleporting not only collapses distance; it
implicates space itself in fraud, the clearest evidence of database. I
long for the seamlessness of the real world, its inconceivable vulner-
ability, its joy and suffering in our darkest hours, its fantasms and
hallucinatory quality. In Second Life, one never wakes from the dream,
dream is all there is; in dance, gravity surrounds and infiltrates the
body - Foofwa travels to Lebanon on a plane whose wings suck it up into
the sky, where comfort, great circles, and vectors reign. It takes time
and shadows of dawn and dusk, morning and evening, to achieve anything.
It takes rehearsal time, stretching and turning and other movements and
parallelograms of force, the soft speaking of gravity, the hardness of
silence, among dance and a communality of dancers, audience, presenters,
choreographers, as if the world momentarily separated into categories.

In Second Life there is nothing to see; it is all visible, all present,
even give members-only barriers. It is flat, simulacrum and hyperreality
all in one; it goes nowhere. Something drops from the sky, founders, but
nothing breaks, there is no wear-and-tear. Even the text-based MUDs in a
sense were more realistic; one's avatar had to eat and drink, wore out,
perchance to sleep, but the MUDs were game-based and one can't fight
forever. Dance is brilliant burning; bodies wear out, and even today
documentation of choreographies is insufficient: What goes, what leaves
the earth in exhaustion or death has placed memory at the heart of the
world, and memory is the most vulnerable of all. Still, memory seeps into
the mind, into the very bones, of the spectator, who moves and thinks
differently, however slight; her body's muscles carry the evening, even
from the silence of a chair. It is a ritual of inhering; the scopic act,
I think, is always already ikonic, always at work with the dancer, in a
way one only dreams about in Second Life. Second Life's simulacrum is
binary, either on or off; the screen is illuminated or dark, sound and
video present or absent, and so forth; these doors don't wear out, but are
replaced by newer versions of the software brought down to hard drive by
the mother company.

Second Life seeps into the first; being in Second Life, as anyone will
tell you, is being in the first, and Second Life's dreams are tableaus in
first life's night. But still there's a difference which goes back to the
negation of the planet, negation in the world as one turns away from
another, as a species dies or a forest is logged or a community is
slaughtered. I think this is at the heart of the real and oddly at the
heart of Second Life itself, which is pushed into modes of surrealism and
the fantastic, as if it were possible to keep dis/ease at bay. I am sure,
though, that Second Life, like MUDs or MOOs or other populations, will
have its death off-screen, silencing every and all, returning these to
memory as well. (I remember the 'QRB' - quota review board - on PMC-MOO:
who even knows what I'm talking about?) By the time and space of that
death, only a virtual world will disappear, one whose weight is zero, and
whose gravity may be turned on and off at will. Or at the will of another
in physics calculated, not from the very inhering or substance of matter,
but in the matter of a suitable abstraction intentionally built-in.
Falling is no danger; and Foofwa, on his way to Lebanon for choreography,
dance, presentation, warmup, rehearsal, blocking, teaching, learning, is
up there above a game-space from which there is no escape, the 'idiotic'
and inert real of a world of given without a giver - a world whose
resource use is already above its carrying-capacity, and therefore a world
of zaniness and suffering. This is a world always at war with itself with
greater and greater fire-power, while we avatars fall and fall from the
sky, always landing in interesting ways, undamaged and somnolent while we
take a break for dinner.

| Alan Sondheim Mail archive:
| To access the Odyssey exhibition The Accidental Artist:
| Webpage (directory) at
|,, tel US 718-813-3285

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