The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

Background as Performance

chug chug kick kick chug chug kick kick

(A post sent to empyre, modified here.)

Some recent news headlines -

ISIS uses beheadings, other violent acts to crush civilians, UN
report says Newsday - .5 hours ago. UNITED NATIONS --
Beheadings, stonings and mutilation are common weapons of terror
employed by the Islamic State in its campaign to subdue civilian
populations that have come under its control in Syria, according
to a UN monitoring group. Islamic State sets sights on Saudi
ArabiaBBC News New UN report shows "relentless assault" on
civilians in ISIL-controlled SyriaXinhua. Hong Kong student
leaders blocked from taking democracy fight to Beijing Reuters -
.1 hour ago. 1 of 3. Hong Kong Federation of Students leader
Alex Chow (C), committee members Nathan Law (L) and Eason Chung
react after being refused to board the plane at the Hong Kong
International Airport November 15, 2014. Nigeria insurgents
retake village of abducted schoolgirlsReuters Africa Boko Haram
seizes town kidnapped girls are fromSydney Morning Herald

- And this same ground repeats itself, day after day, night
after night, no longer events or news, so much as a background
of horror. Then what? A serious question: How can art, art
performance, performance, heal, help one make it through the
day, inspire one, against this background of continuous
performance, where everything, lives, cultures, languages, are
at stake? We watch other species world-wide going extinct (the
rate is something like several an hour), we find ourselves on
the verge of a planet so violated that the environment
(cultural, global) might well collapse (yes, into something
else) within the century, and we perform? And then the horrors
take over again.

I think of this background of horror as a performance of horror,
as an ongoing performance that now seems an inherent part of the

A second background performance - that of the 'buzzing' of the
Internet of Things - the fast-forward increasing transparency of
the objects and processes of the world. There are data flows
everywhere, and both data and horror, digital and abject-analog,
coalesce in hacking/cyberwar, and its effects. See

for example - I've been following this site for a while, and the
tribulations of Hong Kong come through clearly.

Generated by Mnemosyne 0.12.