The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

December 4, 2008


notes towards the series here


what else can i write, there's no order to chaos and chaos underpins or-
der, when, all the time, it's tawdry, sleazy, abject, makes you a loner
whatever they say

you log onto the site and sometimes you'll find you're not where you think
you are

then there's http://www.alansondheim.org/nitewalks.mp4

then there's an alien landscape, you're adjusting yourself (as avatar Julu
Twine)

trying to find your away around, what are these things

you think these might be prims/textures/objects half-grown

not yet downloaded from the cache, but that doesn't seem likely (there's
something else going on)

but the thing's full-grown, already formed, the cache filled quickly

so it's something else, it's a re-marking of what you've already created,
an unexpected display of inscription (in other words you inscribe, the
program reinscribes)

you can always right yourself (come to an even keel) - in the meantime
you're seeing the unexpected

metaphors dangle you into another geography (say an arctic wilderness
here) - you're too tired to focus, the cold seeps through your bones

http://www.alansondheim.org/nite1.jpg
http://www.alansondheim.org/nite2.jpg
http://www.alansondheim.org/nite3.jpg
http://www.alansondheim.org/nite4.jpg
http://www.alansondheim.org/nite5.jpg
http://www.alansondheim.org/ surge jpgs

these are just notes god i'm tired, i have to be tested for cfs, some-
thing's wrong somewhere, i shouldn't be so tired all the time, my head's
slumped towards my chest, i never figured second life for a burden, that
i'd be returning to it for so long, there's people who drop by, but
rarely, there's no community in the ruins, in the debris, it's like tall
buildings falling down, you're crawling out from somewhere into somewhere
and it's like the biggest thing of your life if you make it, and you won't
forget those beams and the way they lay not to mention the flats and sharp
edges, but no one else sees anything but a pile, and then the pile becomes
etched, all the interiors, in your memory forever, and there's no way out
of it, you're stuck there, other people are moving at high speed laughing
and crying, going places, to the movies or big communal events like
warcraft, and you're huddled back in deconstructive architecture and
you're documenting no one will ever meander in there with you, you turn a
corner and you're still by yourself, you turn another corner and another
corner, you want to return to the help-island and help the newcomers along
but you're looking to weird and where's you home-base anyway, where have
you set your home, but in debris like schizophrenia or 9/11 or some other
ship that got waylaid on the way to state


diff


http://www.alansondheim.org/ surge jpgs watch the tuning. what's wrong w
ith this picture. connect the dots. before and after. what what what.

6,9d5
< what else can i write, there's no order to chaos and chaos underpins o
< der, when, all the time, it's tawdry, sleazy, abject, makes you a lone
< whatever they say
< 
46,51c42,47
< i'd be returning to it for so long, there's people who drop by, but 
< rarely, there's no community in the ruins, in the debris, it's like ta
< buildings falling down, you're crawling out from somewhere into somewh
< and it's like the biggest thing of your life if you make it, and you w
< forget those beams and the way they lay not to mention the flats and s
< edges, but no one else sees anything but a pile, and then the pile bec
---
> i'd be returning to it for so long, there's people whodrop by, but rar
> there's no community in the ruins, in the debris, it's like tall build
> falling down, you're crawling out from somewhere into somewhere and it
> like the biggest thing of your life if you make it, and you won't forg
> those beams and the way they lay not to mention the flats and sharp ed
> but no one else sees anything but a pile, and then the pile becomes 
54,63c50,57
---
> and crying, going places, to the movies or big communal events like wa
> fracft, and you're huddled back in deconstructive architecture and you
> documenting no one will ever meander in there with you, you turn a cor
> and you're still by yourself, you turn another corner and another corn
> you want to return to the helpisland and help the newcomers along but 
> you're looking to weird and wheres you homebase anyway, where have you
> your home, but in debris like schizophrenia or 9/11 or some other ship
> that got waylid on the way to state

( Some recent images of Julu Twine (Alan Dojoji with Sunflower Aichi and
MinDBlinD Setsuko dancing in SL w/ avadance movements (these are quite
beautiful) - http://www.alansondheim.org/ dis png series ). )

The Accidental Artist installation in Second Life

Opensource Obscure suggested I send a description of the SL installation
to the SL blogs; s/he offered send it hirself, if I provided a descrip-
tion. I've been thinking about this - the description is below. I might
add that this is probably one of the few times - if not the only time - an
artwork in Second Life has been tended for such a long period (half a
year); that its constant deconstruction provides a way of thinking about
being-virtual in the first/last place; that it dies into thinking about
the relationship between inscription and culture; that it develops a
poetics of the virtual as well; and that it might be fun. I'd appreciate
it greatly if you would pass this description along. The exhibition will
be up in one form or another until the end of February.

====

Alan Sondheim has been working on an installation which changes almost
daily at http://slurl.com/secondlife/Odyssey/48/12/22 . Called The
Accidental Artist, it's based on a deconstruction of the Odyssey gallery
space and a phenomenology of 'utterly alien' objects which can't be easily
assigned symbolic meanings. The piece is huge and has five layers to it -
an undersea space with high-speed movement beneath the gallery floor; the
exhibition space itself; the outdoors space in front of the exhibition
space (up to the sea-wall); a 'sky-sphere'; and a series of objects above
and below the sky-sphere. Almost everything moves in the installation, but
Sondheim has stilled most of the objects in the exhibition space itself,
so it becomes a kind of archaeology of past movement. Some of the objects
in the sky and beneath the gallery flee from any avatar in the vicinity;
they can be pushed indefinitely high up in the sky.

Sondheim says the work represents a sexualized space, a mind-space, a
space which always has to be negotiated (it's not easy to get around, but
there are any number of objects that teleport you from one place to
another), a space dealing with the phenomenology of the body, and a space
which can only be realized in Second Life - none of the movements and
objects could exist outside a virtual world. Sondheim also makes it
difficult to say what is an object, and what's not - almost everything
emits peculiar particles that rise lazily like smoke in long trails. The
sound itself mirrors this, with eerie songs about avatars by Azure Carter
competing with local sound emitters presenting bits of Sondheim's music.

At times, Sandy Baldwin and Sondheim (or Sondheim solo) perform in the
space; the avatars are also complex with their own sets of movements.
Sondheim has worked extensively with motion-capture equipment at West
Virginia University - this included Gary Manes' rewriting of the mocap
software itself and remapping the sensors. The result is that his avatars
(Julu Twine and Alan Dojoji) perform movements and choreographies drawn
from real life, but impossible in real life - arms and legs fly through
themselves, for example. The resulting 'dances' have been used by
performers in real life as either backdrop or choreographies themselves.

Do check this out - there's nothing else like it in Second Life, and
because of the constant changes, it's hard to know what to expect next.


=====

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