The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

June 4, 2009


Check these out; both platform and cube move slowly; the viewpoint also
went askew, everything tilted against the horizon. A performance might
tilt just like that, certainly if some activated the stuff visible and
invisible. So it goes. constallation pngs

-rw-r--r-- 1 jubqsrsu jubqsrsu 207638 Jun 4 03:35 constallation01.png
-rw-r--r-- 1 jubqsrsu jubqsrsu 531749 Jun 4 03:35 constallation02.png
-rw-r--r-- 1 jubqsrsu jubqsrsu 474761 Jun 4 03:36 constallation03.png
-rw-r--r-- 1 jubqsrsu jubqsrsu 418522 Jun 4 03:36 constallation04.png
-rw-r--r-- 1 jubqsrsu jubqsrsu 579207 Jun 4 03:36 constallation05.png
-rw-r--r-- 1 jubqsrsu jubqsrsu 692203 Jun 4 03:36 constallation06.png
-rw-r--r-- 1 jubqsrsu jubqsrsu 738938 Jun 4 03:36 constallation07.png
-rw-r--r-- 1 jubqsrsu jubqsrsu 214701 Jun 4 03:36 constallation08.png
-rw-r--r-- 1 jubqsrsu jubqsrsu 228914 Jun 4 03:36 constallation09.png
-rw-r--r-- 1 jubqsrsu jubqsrsu 531024 Jun 4 03:37 constallation10.png
-rw-r--r-- 1 jubqsrsu jubqsrsu 662728 Jun 4 03:34 constallation11.png
-rw-r--r-- 1 jubqsrsu jubqsrsu 775463 Jun 4 03:35 constallation12.png
-rw-r--r-- 1 jubqsrsu jubqsrsu 679420 Jun 4 03:35 constallation13.png
-rw-r--r-- 1 jubqsrsu jubqsrsu 693321 Jun 4 03:35 constallation14.png

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 4 Jun 2009 09:07:24 -0700
From: Michael Gurstein <>
Subject: [stuff-it] Michael Moore: Goodbye GM

Monday, June 1st, 2009
Goodbye, GM Michael Moore

I write this on the morning of the end of the once-mighty General Motors. By
high noon, the President of the United States will have made it official:
General Motors, as we know it, has been totaled.

As I sit here in GM's birthplace, Flint, Michigan, I am surrounded by
friends and family who are filled with anxiety about what will happen to
them and to the town. Forty percent of the homes and businesses in the city
have been abandoned. Imagine what it would be like if you lived in a city
where almost every other house is empty. What would be your state of mind?

It is with sad irony that the company which invented "planned obsolescence"
-- the decision to build cars that would fall apart after a few years so
that the customer would then have to buy a new one -- has now made itself
obsolete. It refused to build automobiles that the public wanted, cars that
got great gas mileage, were as safe as they could be, and were exceedingly
comfortable to drive. Oh -- and that wouldn't start falling apart after two
years. GM stubbornly fought environmental and safety regulations. Its
executives arrogantly ignored the "inferior" Japanese and German cars, cars
which would become the gold standard for automobile buyers. And it was
hell-bent on punishing its unionized workforce, lopping off thousands of
workers for no good reason other than to "improve" the short-term bottom
line of the corporation. Beginning in the 1980s, when GM was posting record
profits, it moved countless jobs to Mexico and elsewhere, thus destroying
the lives of tens of thousands of hard-working Americans. The glaring
stupidity of this policy was that, when they eliminated the income of so
many middle class families, who did they think was going to be able to
afford to buy their cars? History will record this blunder in the same way
it now writes about the French building the Maginot Line or how the Romans
cluelessly poisoned their own water system with lethal lead in its pipes.

So here we are at the deathbed of General Motors. The company's body not yet
cold, and I find myself filled with -- dare I say it -- joy. It is not the
joy of revenge against a corporation that ruined my hometown and brought
misery, divorce, alcoholism, homelessness, physical and mental debilitation,
and drug addiction to the people I grew up with. Nor do I, obviously, claim
any joy in knowing that 21,000 more GM workers will be told that they, too,
are without a job.

But you and I and the rest of America now own a car company! I know, I know
-- who on earth wants to run a car company? Who among us wants $50 billion
of our tax dollars thrown down the rat hole of still trying to save GM?
Let's be clear about this: The only way to save GM is to kill GM. Saving our
precious industrial infrastructure, though, is another matter and must be a
top priority. If we allow the shutting down and tearing down of our auto
plants, we will sorely wish we still had them when we realize that those
factories could have built the alternative energy systems we now desperately
need. And when we realize that the best way to transport ourselves is on
light rail and bullet trains and cleaner buses, how will we do this if we've
allowed our industrial capacity and its skilled workforce to disappear?

Thus, as GM is "reorganized" by the federal government and the bankruptcy
court, here is the plan I am asking President Obama to implement for the
good of the workers, the GM communities, and the nation as a whole. Twenty
years ago when I made "Roger & Me," I tried to warn people about what was
ahead for General Motors. Had the power structure and the punditocracy
listened, maybe much of this could have been avoided. Based on my track
record, I request an honest and sincere consideration of the following

1. Just as President Roosevelt did after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the
President must tell the nation that we are at war and we must immediately
convert our auto factories to factories that build mass transit vehicles and
alternative energy devices. Within months in Flint in 1942, GM halted all
car production and immediately used the assembly lines to build planes,
tanks and machine guns. The conversion took no time at all. Everyone pitched
in. The fascists were defeated.

We are now in a different kind of war -- a war that we have conducted
against the ecosystem and has been conducted by our very own corporate
leaders. This current war has two fronts. One is headquartered in Detroit.
The products built in the factories of GM, Ford and Chrysler are some of the
greatest weapons of mass destruction responsible for global warming and the
melting of our polar icecaps. The things we call "cars" may have been fun to
drive, but they are like a million daggers into the heart of Mother Nature.
To continue to build them would only lead to the ruin of our species and
much of the planet.

The other front in this war is being waged by the oil companies against you
and me. They are committed to fleecing us whenever they can, and they have
been reckless stewards of the finite amount of oil that is located under the
surface of the earth. They know they are sucking it bone dry. And like the
lumber tycoons of the early 20th century who didn't give a damn about future
generations as they tore down every forest they could get their hands on,
these oil barons are not telling the public what they know to be true --
that there are only a few more decades of useable oil on this planet. And as
the end days of oil approach us, get ready for some very desperate people
willing to kill and be killed just to get their hands on a gallon can of

President Obama, now that he has taken control of GM, needs to convert the
factories to new and needed uses immediately.

2. Don't put another $30 billion into the coffers of GM to build cars.
Instead, use that money to keep the current workforce -- and most of those
who have been laid off -- employed so that they can build the new modes of
21st century transportation. Let them start the conversion work now.

3. Announce that we will have bullet trains criss-crossing this country in
the next five years. Japan is celebrating the 45th anniversary of its first
bullet train this year. Now they have dozens of them. Average speed: 165
mph. Average time a train is late: under 30 seconds. They have had these
high speed trains for nearly five decades -- and we don't even have one! The
fact that the technology already exists for us to go from New York to L.A.
in 17 hours by train, and that we haven't used it, is criminal. Let's hire
the unemployed to build the new high speed lines all over the country.
Chicago to Detroit in less than two hours. Miami to DC in under 7 hours.
Denver to Dallas in five and a half. This can be done and done now.

4. Initiate a program to put light rail mass transit lines in all our large
and medium-sized cities. Build those trains in the GM factories. And hire
local people everywhere to install and run this system.

5. For people in rural areas not served by the train lines, have the GM
plants produce energy efficient clean buses.

6. For the time being, have some factories build hybrid or all-electric cars
(and batteries). It will take a few years for people to get used to the new
ways to transport ourselves, so if we're going to have automobiles, let's
have kinder, gentler ones. We can be building these next month (do not
believe anyone who tells you it will take years to retool the factories --
that simply isn't true).

7. Transform some of the empty GM factories to facilities that build
windmills, solar panels and other means of alternate forms of energy. We
need tens of millions of solar panels right now. And there is an eager and
skilled workforce who can build them.

8. Provide tax incentives for those who travel by hybrid car or bus or
train. Also, credits for those who convert their home to alternative energy.

9. To help pay for this, impose a two-dollar tax on every gallon of
gasoline. This will get people to switch to more energy saving cars or to
use the new rail lines and rail cars the former autoworkers have built for

Well, that's a start. Please, please, please don't save GM so that a smaller
version of it will simply do nothing more than build Chevys or Cadillacs.
This is not a long-term solution. Don't throw bad money into a company whose
tailpipe is malfunctioning, causing a strange odor to fill the car.

100 years ago this year, the founders of General Motors convinced the world
to give up their horses and saddles and buggy whips to try a new form of
transportation. Now it is time for us to say goodbye to the internal
combustion engine. It seemed to serve us well for so long. We enjoyed the
car hops at the A&W. We made out in the front -- and the back -- seat. We
watched movies on large outdoor screens, went to the races at NASCAR tracks
across the country, and saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time through the
window down Hwy. 1. And now it's over. It's a new day and a new century. The
President -- and the UAW -- must seize this moment and create a big batch of
lemonade from this very sour and sad lemon.

Yesterday, the last surviving person from the Titanic disaster passed away.
She escaped certain death that night and went on to live another 97 years.

So can we survive our own Titanic in all the Flint Michigans of this
country. 60% of GM is ours. I think we can do a better job.

Michael Moore <>

My Hubris in Writing Itselves

A description of a talk for the Subtle Technologies gathering (Toronto),
unpacking the following short abstract:

'The world, the body, the existent, have information in common; informa-
tion is always already inscribed. The real and the virtual commingle; they
appear separated only by virtue of a phenomenology of technology that
emphasizes prosthetics and cyberspace as "additional" fields of research
and perception. My work in the virtual world of Second Life describes
space, sexuality, and body as problematic inscriptions which require
negotiation within and without the Second Life environment. Inscriptions
have no beginning and no end; they're holographic in a holographic
universe. I'll explain, we'll look about.'

Information is a way of looking at the world; in-formation characterizes
the world. The body looks at the world which is of and not of the body;
the world is therefore abject, debris - almost, but not quite escaping.
What escapes is articulated by mathesis; mathesis is our window on the
existent. Mathesis grasps everything and nothing; an equation cannot
_directly_ move an object, but describes its structure to the extent that
its structure is nothing. Mathesis is what lies beyond the reach of the

The _existent_ is almost entirely unobservable, process at a distance;
beyond the imminent, the existent and mathesis coalesce. Neither copula
nor protocol statement apply, and the verb 'to be' devolves, itself
abject, inconceivable. (In fact, what is abject is inconceivable; what is
conceivable is potentially parameterized.)

Information is always already inscribed: The world as imminent totality
(which for us is a broken totality, broken immanence) possesses an onto-
logy of inscriptions and an collocation of nearly decomposable epistemolo-
gies. The ontology of inscriptions devolves as well to collocations of the

The real and the virtual commingle, since there is no split, only a
dividing-up of ontologies of the ordinary. Inscription is always virtual,
always real; inscription is _neti neti,_ Sheffer-stroke and its dual
fundamental. Don't mistake this for an ontology based on propositional
logic - that, too, falls by the wayside.

'The real and the virtual commingle; they appear separated only by virtue
of a phenomenology of technology that emphasizes prosthetics and cyber-
space as "additional" fields of research and perception.' Let us think
this through together. Technology implies progress, procedures, split,
free and bound variables, mathesis, 'materiality'; phenomenology implies a
deep and potentially fundamental structuration of 'world' in the broadest
sense possible. We can define _broken phenomenology_ as a combination of
phenomenology and heuristics of the imminent. Broken phenomenology _cannot
be extrapolated._ Prosthetics is what engenders from exteriority; what
might be diacritical, addendum; what bridges world-body and body-world;
what in-forms body, forming-body. Prosthetics is sited, gestural - as
usual in this thought, prosthetics is imminent.

All space is cyberspace, helmed, to the extent that space is _thought,_
related to the thinking-of space. All space is steerage in this sense. But
what is at stake in the quote above is that of '"additional" fields of
research and perception.' Research is not necessarily perception and
perception is not necessarily research. Fields in the sense used here are
ideological-cultural constructs, discursive formations, loosely defined
domains. Now I am questioning through this '"additional"' separations that
are explicate, not implicate (in the sense of Bohm's implicate order),
and whose entanglements can ultimately, theoretically, be separated. Let
us replace 'additional' with 'mess,' with 'more of the same,' with 'rasa'
or 'tenor' and let us think through fields or fielding as wide and wild
indefinite domains (wildernesses) of inscriptions, fields, particulations,
intensifications, strange and other attractors. Let us think of the world
as inherently _lossy,_ and by world I refer to potential 10^500 universes.

Here is the rest of the quote, which is fluff, descriptive of one project/
ing among many by many, and which doesn't necessarily map into the above:
'My work in the virtual world of Second Life describes space, sexuality,
and body as problematic inscriptions which require negotiation within and
without the Second Life environment. Inscriptions have no beginning and no
end; they're holographic in a holographic universe. I'll explain, we'll
look about.' And what 'about' this? Second Life is a 'virtual world' in a
technical sense that is a world which has a broken imminent ontology in
relation to the avatar operator organism; it's a projection based on
fundamental protocols and matheses. Within the server++ domain, SL is a
totalization, total institution, and in this sense a _seriality_ (Sartre)
as well. In a very classical sense, it is always already inscribed,
channels of information constructed from binary encoding within deep
potential wells. So my 'work' in SL is addenda, supplement - my 'work' in
SL is the appearance of installations-within-the-virtual of SL, bending
the local fabric of SL into patternings which are fundamentally the usual.
Nothing new here at all. The installation then 'deals with' - is 'about' -
inheres within the sememe - of body, space, sexuality, and deals with
these in the in-forming of abject fields of indexicalities, negotiations
of process and movement, crude effects of avatar presence or absence, and
so forth. There's nothing more than the narratology implied, which, if it
is a form of research at all, is a form depending on the psycho-analytics
of inscription and inscriptive processes anywhere at all. But there's
more: I argue that inscriptions and inscriptive processes are 'problem-
atic,' problematized, by which I mean, there are no problems and no
solutions, only the inhering _mess_ of entanglement and imminent domains.
Now the negotiations of the subject organism (not object/avatar) are
within and without the SL environment, by which I mean they are flux-
states that are basically irresolute as well, and that tend to corrode law
and justice (as well as subject and object) _everywhere,_ just as
intellectual property is corroded among reals and virtuals, duplications
and instantiations, variora and holograph editions, everywhen and
everywhere. Think of such property as extended inscriptions and remember
the old adage that there are no authors (bad paraphrase); one might see
everything inhering, and in that sense might read Dufrenne's phenomenology
of literary worlds as not only indefinite and imminent, but gesturing
towards an inauthentic immanence, and in this gesturing, corroding
everything: Literature, then, is a corrosion, not construction, of worlds
(in the sense of worlds as habitus, inhabitations).

Again, 'Inscriptions have no beginning and no end; they're holographic in
a holographic universe. I'll explain, we'll look about.' 'Holographic'
references Susskind's theory, of which I have nothing to say (not being-
physicist, string or otherwise), but it also references a modeling of
entangling in such a manner as perception (read 'theory' as well) is
blurred, domainless, holography modeling itselves within itselves. Sooner
or later these 'quick' broken epistemologies and ontologies will replace
the older classical models; sooner or later the universe (world, cosmos)
will be recognized as fast-forward fast-backward slow-forward slow-back-
ward among inconceivable (broken) orders of magnitude; psychoanalysis
pales as domains fall into alien abjections which are deeply unknowable.
The hall of mirrors requires quick-depth disorderings.

I say 'I'll explain' but there is no explanation, not on this level any-
way, nothing of the physics or mathesis of it, embedded almost as if in
defiance of the 'real.' Or the explanation is without concept of origins,
neither punctum nor 'turtles all the way down' nor mutual creating and
recursion. Or the anecdotal is all that's left.

I say 'we'll look about' this is nothing but a reference to the particu-
lar installation, 'about' the usual confine. And of course in looking, am
I not your prosthesis, to the extent that I am not?

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