The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

January 28, 2017

Dead Time: The Machinery of Reality

Dead Time: The Machinery of Reality, Obscura, 1982

35 years ago, foray into media phenomenology

"Postscript - It must be understood that this article is an
outline at best. Because of the interstitial nature of
scientific photography, its aesthetics and phenomenology draw on
such diverse areas as the philosophy of science, theories of
cognition, phenomenology and traditional photographic
aesthetics. The deepest problem is two-fold: the relation of
theory to image, and the mathematization of reality. The latter
is fundamental to scientific progress - and the former (the
"image-reality nexus") can often be reduced to an analysis of
algorithmic procedures. The gap between mathematics and physical
reality (the abstract and material "worlds") is treated
different depending on one's viewpoint (materialist,
intuitionist, conventionalist, anarchist, etc.). I tend towards
an anarchism in methodology and a Platonism in core structure.
Dead Time reflects this viewpoint, however contradictory."

(I don't want to constantly resuscitate older work, but this
seems of interest to anyone following my current thinking.
Yes, there are holes in it, but the discussion seems apropos.)

Mysticism of Ossi the Cat

Ossi Oswalda died a year ago January 25th. She has left us two
uncanny signs; we have no explanation for either.

The first sign. She was a tortoise-shell, had one white whisker,
which fell out and grew back every so often. We always wanted
one, but never could find it afterwards. But then she died, and
after our trip this summer, Azure opened a box we hadn't touched
since we moved to Providence three years ago.

On top of everything in the box was one of her white whiskers.

The second sign. On January 25th, we lit a Yarhzeit memorial
candle for Ossi the Cat. We've used these several hundred times
over the years. When we woke the next morning, we found the
candle had 'exploded,' and the wick with the wick mount was
blown out of the glass and onto the ceramic counter. There were
small pieces of carbon everywhere. We could have had a major
fire on our hands of course. We're certain Ossi was sending us a
message. She was a feral cat, and we think she still is, and
still is speaking to us.

The music is for Ossi and you, the images speak for themselves.

Brought to you by companions of Ossi the Cat, may she rest in

- Alan and Azure


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