The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

April 29, 2017

Rough grit, the digital, Vito Acconci and others

The audio is a half-hour rumination on Acconci, arte povera,
Soho in the early 70s, the problematic of the digital, and so
forth. It's raw; not all of the facts may be correct; I stumble,
repeat, gloss over, but it will give you an idea of what the
period was like - as well, perhaps, as its relevance today.
Ironically, I'd been thinking about these issues for the past
week or so, deciding to write on them; when I heard about Vito's
death, I thought it best to just talk the material through. It
may be a terrible mistake to do this; on the other hand, I felt
a need, as well, to deal with the increasingly abstract ontology
of contemporary culture - along with the brutal realities
beneath the surface. I'm fascinated by prosthetics/robotics for
example, but these come at the cost of real workers laid off, of
violent desertification in may parts of the world, of wars and
raids replete with inconceivable brutality, and so forth. So for
me there was a period, hinged among modernism/postmodernism/
digital phenomena when abject physicality, grit, dominated the
grid - this is what I'm talking about through impersonal and
personal history, etc., in the tape. Please give it a listen if
you're interested in these concerns; also, it might be useful if
someome transcribed it for publication.

Thanks for listening, Alan

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