The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

April 4, 2009

Purblind newanimal pngs

If you're interested in online politics and the political economy of
virtual worlds, you might want to go to and
check out the Forum discussion on Odyssey's future. With my usual pess-
imism I wonder if Odyssey will survive all of this.

In the meantime I build hysterically, experimenting with new spatial
configurations and negotiations. In this installation (newanimal), very
large flats (thanks to Ian Murray) with images from motion-capture and
modeling research, are rotated at very high speed. The flats sense avatar
presence, have sound, emit particles, glow slightly, run askew in two
differentiated groups, and portray irresolvable and irresolute topologies.

This is why I'm purblind, unable to see beyond the texture of denouement.

Date: Fri, 3 Apr 2009 11:05:38 +0200
From: Geert Lovink <>
Subject: <nettime> CopySouth Report on Horacio Potel
Message-ID: <>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=WINDOWS-1252; format=flowed;

From: Roberto Verzola <>

Dear friends,

Please circulate widely this story about how a philosophy professor in
Argentina is being persecuted for making available on his Web site
Spanish translations of Jacques Derrida, a French philosopher who died
in 2004.

Thanks and greetings to all,

Roberto Verzola

*Argentinean professor charged criminally for promoting access to

By the CopySouth Research Group

A philosophy professor in Argentina, Horacio Potel, is facing criminal
charges for maintaining a website devoted to translations
of works by French philosopher Jacques Derrida. His alleged crime:
copyright infringement. Here is Professor Potel?s sad story.

?I was fascinated at the unlimited possibilities offered by the
internet for knowledge exchange?, explains Horacio Potel, a Professor
of Philosophy at the Universidad Nacional de Lan?s<
  > in Buenos Aires. In 1999, he set up a personal website to collect
essays and other works of some well-known philosophers, starting with
the German Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger. Potel?s websites
? *Nietzsche in Spanish <>*, *Heidegger
in Spanish <> * and *Derrida in
Spanish <>* ? eventually developed
into growing online libraries of freely downloadable philosophical
texts. *Nietzsche in Spanish <>* alone
has already received more than four million visitors.

One of Potel?s best known websites, focused
on his favourite French philosopher, Algerian-born Jacques Derrida
(1930-2004) <>, who was the
founder of ?deconstruction?. On this website Potel posted many of the
philosopher?s works, translated into Spanish, as well as discussion
forums, research results, biographies, images and the usual pieces of
information typical of this type of online resource. "I wanted to
share my love for philosophy with other people. The idea was
disseminating the texts and giving them some sort of arrangement"
declares Potel.

To Potel, what he was doing was what professors have done for
centuries: helping students to get access to knowledge. ?It is not
possible to find the same comprehensive collection of works that was
available at Derrida?s and Heidegger?s websites either in libraries or
in bookstores in Argentina?, says Potel. In fact, only two bookstores
in Argentina?s largest city, Buenos Aires, carry some books by Derrida
and many of his works are seldom available to readers. Potel spent
decades visiting libraries and bookstores to collect the material he
posted on his online library. ?Many of those texts are already out of
print?, he says. Books that are out of print cannot be purchased, but
they are often still protected by copyright laws.

Furthermore, Potel finds the prices charged by foreign publishers,
such as the Mexican companies Porrua <> and Cal
y Arena <>, ?prohibitive? by
Argentinean standards. He gives as an example the price of a recently
published booklet of a conference given by Derrida. Printed in large
typeface, the booklet has about eighty pages, although the text would
certainly fit in twelve. It was being sold for 162 Argentinean pesos,
around 42 US dollars at current exchange rates. Even at that steep
price copies were very hard to find within two weeks after they
arrived in Argentina. Potel relates how he had to walk around Buenos
Aires for an entire afternoon in order to find a single copy of the

But the price of foreign books is not the only concern in this case.
For Derrida?s works to be accessible to the Spanish-speaking
world they have to be translated. While the Spanish versions of the
texts available on the website were not done by him, Potel made
corrections to a few of them, since some of Derrida?s Spanish language
books have been quite poorly translated. To make the texts easier to
understand for readers, Potel also linked each translation to the
original text, as well as to other works cited by Derrida.

Eventually, Potel?s popular website caught the attention of a
publisher. A criminal case against Potel was initiated on December 31,
2008 after a complaint was lodged by a French company, the publishing
house Les ?ditions de Minuit <
  >. They have published only one of Derrida?s books and it was in
French. Minuit?s complaint was passed on to the French Embassy in
Argentina and it became the basis of the Argentina Book Chamber <
  >?s legal action against Potel.

The Argentina Book Chamber <>boasts of its
doubtful precedents of having been responsible for a police
raid at the Faculty of Arts and Letters of the University of Buenos
Aires and for having managed to condemn some professors for
encouraging the students to photocopy books and articles. ?The view of
the police entering the Pu?n building is remembered with astonishment
by many members of the academic community? says a report. The next
possible effects of the legal action against Potel are the wiretapping
of his phone line, the interception of his email accounts and an
incursion into his house to ?determine the
actual place where the illegal act occurred?.

Potel has already removed all the content from his website, a decision
which he regards as a tragedy. ?These websites are my best work. They
are the result of many hours of work and have been entirely funded by
me?, he says. Those who access today find a
warning: ?This website has been taken down due to a legal action
initiated by the Argentina Book Chamber?. Potel insists that he ?never
intended to make a profit? out of Derrida?s works. Yet he faces a
possible criminal
sentence of one month up to six years in prison for violation of
Argentina?s intellectual property laws, according to a February 28, 2009
by the online version of Argentina's largest newspaper,
Clar?n <

If Derrida was alive, he would probably be thanking Potel for bringing
translations of his texts to millions of Spanish-speaking
readers, who otherwise would never have had the opportunity to read
the works of the French philosopher. Here?s what the founder of
deconstruction said about freedom within the university:

?And yet I maintain that the idea of this space of the academic type
has to be symbolically protected by a kind of absolute immunity, as if
its interior were inviolable; I believe (this is like a profession of
faith which I address to you and submit to your judgment) that this is
an idea that we must reaffirm, declare, and profess endlessly. [...]
This freedom of immunity of the university and *par excellence* of its
Humanities is something to which we must lay claim, while committing
ourselves to it with all our might. Not only in a verbal and
declaratory fashion, but in work, in act and in what we make happen
with events.? (Jacques Derrida, ?The University Without Condition? in
*Without Alibi*, ed. & trans. by Peggy Kamuf, Stanford University
Press, 2002, p. 210)

Those who profess to ?protect? Derrida?s ?intellectual property
rights? are now persecuting a professor who is simply following
the French philosopher?s teachings and popularising them in the
Spanish-speaking world.

The CopySouth Research Group calls on the Argentina Book Chamber <
  > and the government of Argentina to drop these criminal charges
immediately and to respect and protect professor Potel?s academic
freedom in providing popular access to philosophical works. In any
conflict between intellectual property and the right to education and
to access knowledge, we choose education and we urge those who share
the same concerns to spread the word widely and rapidly.

You can send letters to Les ?ditions de Minuit <
  > (7 Rue Bernard Palissy, 75006 Paris 06, France, email:
), the Argentina Book Chamber <> (Av.
Belgrano 1580, Piso 4, C1093AAQ Buenos Aires, Argentina, email:
) and the Argentina Federal Council of Education <
  > (Pizzurno 935, P.B. of. 5, C1020ACA Buenos Aires, Argentina, email:


#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime>  is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info:

End of nettime-l Digest, Vol 19, Issue 4

battery yy pngs

this is the culmination of the recent series (some images and video
has been removed to make room for this) - please check it out live
if you can - or above.
rectilinear elements of yamantaka fold in upon themselves. if you go
to the space, turn the audio on, and video on and off. move in among
the elements, twist in them. fly among them, turn in them. here are
theory, deconstruction, phenomenology, in action. so much to say but
you may discover it at the site. oh please have a look! (by the way,
probably, with suitable suturing, a knot in four dimensions.)

<Su_Graham> the battery was running low i had a nice sundress, a
battery-operated computer, with built-in modem, some reasonable and
emotional battery, until the battery dies or the power turns off. a screen
and a good battery, an hypothesis. oh so faint, this battery's life..

Taut by the computer battery, itself winding its way to exhaustion, and
the skin, melting among the realms; battery-charged Alan forays once again
into the coming storms.

Consider a battery on a planet. The the planet is an open circuit in
relation to the battery, unless the battery is part of a closed circuit;
even in that case, one may what? Make a loop of some sort, and there's a
measurable potential between what? Between the battery and its vision.

<Su_Graham> the battery was running low i had a nice sundress which
worked after we replaced the battery and something will get us there!

Not always well. Anyway, think of his use of battery power because of the
electrical real.

your battery tongue your generator dynamo
your battery tongue your generator dynamo
your battery tongue your generator dynamo

an energetic life!

the language-battery says things like this
"things like this are said by the language-battery"
no idea whatsoever and excellent language-battery

close to my body, keeping it warm, the battery charged
close to my body, keeping it warm, the battery charged
close to my body, keeping it warm, the battery charged

(thanks to Sugar Seville - see talkingwithsugar pngs)

Generated by Mnemosyne 0.12.