The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

August 15, 2016

Structureless Jealousy and the Wall

MY WORK is structureless or rather whatever structure emerges,
is bootstrapped, from within, a tawdry system of ropes and
pulleys, nothing without creaking. I envy people teaching in
universities,* with access to equipment, digital and otherwise;
these people are always already interactive, with students, with
colleagues, fundamental assemblages with their own rules and
protocols, their own commons and communities, their own safety-
nets. They travel, they fly everywhere, they produce wonderful
works, they win prizes, they collaborate, they interact on a
daily basis, they're up-to-date, they _do_ virtual reality, they
can _live_ virtual reality, infinite monies come their way, they
have cutting-edge _equipment,_ they smile a lot, they create new
dance forms, new virtual worlds, new mixed realities, they
_live_ mixed realities, their are _neither here nor there,_ but
they are _both here and there,_ they relax, they come together,
they come apart, they coalesce, they publish lineages of books,
they have author's shelves, they shine with the light of proper
knowledge, they _serve_ the commons. I have I, and that _I,
hateful, resonates like a wolf-note in my life, suffocates me,
and this too is nothing new! Dostoevski's Notes from Underground
suffocates me as well _in this precise manner,_ what else is
there to do or _be,_ except someone who has _fallen down stairs
to no avail_? And that someone is denied me as well, there are
others who have _fallen down stairs,_ I'm sure, _to much avail._
Time passes. Tom Waits in the cafe, Tom waits in Brooklyn. That
_I_ of mine is always misguided, I write theory, I _skip the
small print,_ I'm senseless. If I killed myself, I'd be equally
senseless, there's no sense in that; even death at this point
(but not later!) is denied me! (No, this is not a rant.) Think
of this, suppose I describe a theory that neutrinos are not only
entangled, but they tangle themselves up with photons, which
subsequently become fermions. This is nonsense of course, the
whole thing is nonsense. But without community, communality,
this becomes a _foundation_ of an equally nonsensical theory,
and I continue in this fashion, endlessly speaking and writing
to myself. You (me) might reply, of course there is feedback and
discussion, there is always the net and its discursive
formations, but this is different, this isn't slow and careful
discussion, this isn't face-to-face, this isn't obdurate, this
is fast-forward (Hegel's Phenomenology written and read in under
twenty minutes), clever (Plato's Laws, ten minutes, a new
record), useless; what I write here is already past and passed,
dis-carded. It's the presence of bodies, projections, idle talk,
discussions, alterity, the other and the Other and the Other's
other and the other's Other, that makes all the difference, all
the differance, that makes the _thoughtful._ And that's the
source of my jealousy, this absence of the _thoughtful_ in the
presence of a continuous strip, band, tape or Turing tape, of
discourse: which collegiality slow or has the potential to slow
- in relation to those manifolds of discourse which continue
forever, which fold in on themselves, which have pretense to the
far side of relativity, the grit and grid of quantum mechanics,
the Indraic net-work, net-worth of speed, the access to caves
and wearable holodecks, the electrical and crackling speed of
brilliant discussions, always elsewhere, _elsewhere-ing,_ always
_thus,_ you get the _idea._

* "teaching in universities" - working in dance companies, media
residencies, k-12 schools, local and national governments, the
medical professions, CERN, atomic waste management research
groups, NASA, NOAA, Apple - of course Apple! - **

** Of course I apply, everyone does! and I'd like to blame
everything on age, but of course that's nonsense, everyone grows
old and almost everyone continue producing unbelievable and
outstanding works until the day of their (her or his own) death.

*** And of course, I agree, my work _doesn't pass muster,_ I
haven't a single doubt about this; it's below-quality, it can't
compete (and yes! there's competition!), it's not made that well
(for example I don't always use spell-check!), it's difficult!
... ****

**** At least I have a point of view! *****

***** Into a corner! I will sit in a corner! I will face the
wall! I will face the Wall!

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