The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive


I've been going through old text archives tonight and found the following: [July 1995] It's somewhat
embarrassing, groping, tawdry, more literal than I'd like, blind-folded,
cauterized, decrepit, awkward, centered somewhat around the event of
Michael Current's death, stylistically poor, owing too much to various NY
schools, gone down the hatch, occasional bursts of something, occasional
John Giornoesque-manque, lurid, murderous story-telling, Ballardic,
oceanic for obscure reasons, despairing, suicidal, neurotic, eurocentric -
in other words check it out. And I forget what READING it was used for -
where the words died in the air, what futility led me to think these
things could be pronounced in an interesting way...

Then there are these two old course descriptions, might be of interest -

for UNIX commands: [from 1996]


[April 1994]

Alan Sondheim                         
432 Dean Street
Brooklyn, NY, 11217



With public attention drawn to the 'information highway,' camcorders,
multimedia, and a host of other information technologies, it is
apparent that a revolution in communications is underawy. We will
examine this transformation, using postmodernism and contemporary
media theory. In so doing, we will focus on both past and future,
from the history of television and radio to the 'transparent' virtual
reality world of the next millennium.

This course is a must for anyone interested in contemporary modes of
entertainment or communication. Everything from a brief non-technical
overview of the technologies involved, to the actual content of these
modes, will be presented, including the new forms of subjectivity and
personal communications (such as computer bulletin boards) that are
emerging. Issues of space and time in virtual reality will also be

Topics include digital vs. analog communications, the internet, the
'new information order,' gender and communications, postmodern
geography and telecommunications, computer bulletin boards, camcorder
aesthetics (including issues of privacy, sexuality, oral history, and
personal expression), multi-media at home and business, the emergence
of new `languages' of expression, ELECTRONIC SUBJECTIVITY,and an
overview of recent (1895-the present) communications history.

Reading Materials:

Because of the fast-changing media landscape, texts will be chosen
several weeks before the course. The following list of references
is tentative:

1. Mark Poster, Mode of Information
2. David Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity
3. Thomas Docherty, ed. Postmodernism: A Reader
4. Geoffrey Reeves, Communications and the 'Third World'
5. Avital Ronell, The Telephone Book: Technology, Schizophrenia,
         Electric Speech
6. Alan Sondheim, ed. Future Culture issue, Art Papers, (available
         as texts before 1995 publication)
7. Alan Sondheim, Internet Text in Perforations 7
8. Donna Haraway, Simians, Cyborgs, and Women
9. Downloaded texts from the Internet, including Jack Frost on
         cyberpoetics, and (with permission), material from
         Postmodern Culture magazine.
10. Magazines include: Mondo 2000, Wired, Perforations, and
Boardwatch and other computer magazines.


[February 1996]

Internet and the Information Superhighway, FVA

Six Sessions:  Alan Sondheim, 718-857-3671,

Please note: No previous experience required!

First week: Introduction to the Information Superhighway. The Internet:
Email and email lists, Usenet. The nature of discussions. On-line issues.
Censorship, business, and art issues. Getting set up, access. Practice.
Difference between analog and digital. Introduction to the digital world.
Demographics of the Net. Present and future. Commcercialization and the
World Wide Web.

Second week: The Internet: FTP, Gopher, Telnet, Finger, and beginning
with the World Wide Web. Different sites available. The materials
available on-line. Please bring a 3.5" disk if you have one. Going over
the file information. Getting materials on-line.

Third week: Continuing with World Wide Web, various search engines
(World Wide Web Worm, Archie, Veronica, Wais). Images and image-coding/
decoding. Mosaic, Netscape, etc. Future of sound/moving images on the
Net. Mbone and other advanced technologies, ATM. New search engines:
Inktomi, IAF, Altavista.

Fourth week: Electronic Conferencing. Various systems such as Caucus.
Artnet and the thing. Different forms of bulletin-boards, Fido-
net, other alternatives. Talk, ytalk, IRC, chats, MUDs, MOOs, and so
forth. Demonstrations. ThePalace. Possible trip to my setup in Brooklyn.

Fifth week: Social and political implications of cyberspace. Issues of
virtual reality, sexuality, virtual subjectivity. Future multi-media.
Possible trip to cybercafe around the corner. Iphone, CuSeeMe, Vdol,
Xingstream, etc.

Sixth week: Review of material. Internet practice, current demographics
and statistics. Arts, literature, and sciences on the Net.

Be prepared to take extensive notes. It would helpful for you to be as
familiar with your own computer system as possible.

Some books of interest: Sherry Turkle, Life on the Screen; William
Mitchell, City of Bits; Steven Levy, Hackers; Wired magazine; Michael
Benedikt, Cyberspace: First Steps; Internet Secrets; Howard Rheingold,
The Wired Community; Peter Salus, Casting the Net.


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