The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

May 28, 2011

Here's the Thing, two texts

Here's the Thing

Consider two different watches - one with a digital/numerical readout, and
the other with a traditional circular dial (digital or analog). Consider
the path swept by any of the hands - second/minute/hour - the track. The
track lies between ikonic and indexical; on one hand, it stands-in for the
concrete space traversed in a given amount of time; on the other, its very
physicality is a pointer towards duration. Consider the numerical readout;
on one hand, it stands-in for the symbolic state of an instant, which is
in reality a duration from one decimal point to another; on the other, it
is indexical, a pointer towards an instantaneity embedded in a sequence.
The philosophical position behind the numerical readout is that of the
Dedekind cut; behind the track lies a form of intuitionism embedding both
mechanism and observer, the track inhabiting or accompanying his or her
internal time consciousness. Duration is an inhabiting; one might say, for
example, looking at a circular dial, that it's almost five, that we still
have some time before dinner, that he's a bit late. Looking at a numerical
readout, one is likely to say, it's three to five, dinner's in a half
hour, dinner's in forty-five minutes or so. Of course this is exaggerated,
but the track tends towards the metaphoric consciousness of the body
described by the Lakoff's and the numerical readout portends towards an
inescapable but fictitious exactitude. I think of these as differing
orders within the real, different insertions of body and technology,
different prosthetics. The track is closer to the graft of skin or tissue;
the readout is closer to an insertion or prosthesis. The former is closer
to a fissure in the real, separating same from same; the latter is closer
to a concrete division, a separation of x from ~x, this from that. In this
odd sense, the numerical readout is classical, and the track is post-mod-
ern - anything goes, the body runs/exists anywhere among intervals which
are smeared out, abject, spewed. To read a track is always to interpret;
one searches in vain for concrete divisions. To read a numerical input is
the opposite - it is never to interpret, always to read out what is
written, not to interpret the given, but to reproduce. it.

These two models, and the transformations that have occurred from one to
the other - how subtle, what is lost and what is gained! One never thinks
about, for example, those 'vintage' windup travel alarms with their
ticking that measured the unraveling of potential energy, that ran on the
energy of the body; now one uses digital and often silently-running alarms
which are almost as disposable as the batteries that power them. One might
say that the mechanical is comprehended as levers and wheels are compre-
hended, that the mechanical clock, no matter how small or complex, runs on
principles that are readily accessible. The digital/electronic on the
other hand operates as a black box tied to corporate but common specifica-
tions. It's not just a question of scale. Ironically the electronic is
closer to the workings of the body, than the mechanical, but not closer to
the phenomenology of things that surround us. It's those things which are
receding in the distance, even the track or slow unfolding of time. And
what comes in for replacement is the digital which may or may not run at
any speed (whose speed in the long run may also be mapped analogically and
with full cognizance of potential wells and the like), but which collapses
interval into instant, and perhaps along the line, the instant into
fashion, which takes all the analogic time available to fill out. Fashion
is the crossroads here, indicated by the thing or punctum, but also by the
roads traversed, the gaps opened up. And here's the thing: the walk along
the line or from one side of the aisle to the other, the walk through the
mall or across it, stopping at the Gap in order to proceed apace.


they said that, propellers, propellors, helicopters and props.

"its propeller festooned with propeller" getting better, a propeller spun
overhead, gathering speed while bikes propellor-marked the radios the
boats, propellor-marked by tired with propeller wounds. my writing
unsolicited, goes unsolicitied. listen: i rope sidestroke swimming smoke
cigarette propeller arms left propeller projections of dismembered avatars
over propellers and gratings.

two engines of aeromodeller have propellers at right-angles - there are
projections of dismembered avatars over propellers and gratings * nomadic
propellers and radios the and propellor-marked boats, their tired and
primate for and of its propeller festooned with propeller.

alternating video where propellers ruotano and children in plastic seem
projections of dismembered avatars over propellers and gratings, two
engines of aeromodeller have propellers at right-angles - there are
propellor-marked propellor-marked blame slime crabgrass fury propellor-
marked fury and tree sunflower and and dandelion, fern slime not primate
for tired by the blame propellor-marked comfort manatee, blame or "ah yes,
i'm also thinking of the propellor vanes."

write helicopters                               ####
helicopters #### 33 ###################### through my 34 #### ! 35 #### :
a trail from the helicopter engine and you know that the helicopter is
one fine evening, and i will end it on ano when the helicopter shows where
judgment on that, helicopters, how could you possibly predict what
 			 of helicopters, pure katana sword
helicopters are banned
the airwolf helicopter wow how long ago was this!
for the killing of wolves by helicopter
and the roar and sputtering of helicopter blades

constructs that disappear as so many props only necessary at this point in
sinking. props undermines community honesty. but subterfuge, subterfuge
propping (there were no props, only a round-robin of symbolic formations).

themselves into dark realms and greater props ::
the dancers are nude, there are no props.
and the consciousness of the body, why wear clothes?

why work for people the dancers are nude, there are no props, and about
that sinking, my writing props up the world it undermines. constructs
disappear in so many ways. be on the stage without an props at all.
they say "jacki's give props ry's sylvie fortin what's wrong here aaa bbb
ccc ddd" - they said that.

they said that, propellers, propellors, helicopters and props.

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