The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

January 1, 2018

Work in progress - notes for a presentation on electronic
literature as a kernel or locus, no canon and not a genre -

Some preliminary (application notes):

'Gamespace' is defined as a rule-governed domain; the term
applies to anything from a chessboard to a school community.
'Edgespace' is the borderlands of the gamespace; it's always
problematic, and might exist within competing regimes. In the
motion capture work I've done, edgespace references the
boundaries of the architecture for capture, and what happens at
the boundaries appears to 'break' the capture representation.
'Blankspace' then indicates how edgespace is 'filled in,' how
the imaginary operates there. I use the terms in considerations
of Arctic and Antarctic mappings, virtual worlds, and so forth.
Finally, the semiotics of splatter considers splatter as
world-breaking and fast-forward tendencies towards mobile
boundary closures; this leads to splatter semiotics, where the
terms form a field that remains always already ruptured. This is
the semiosis of the overloaded or hacked network, the network of
fake news and fake apps, the explosive and turbulent behavior of
the mediasphere itself.

I see this field as a form of politicized digital literature,
where words lose meaning, become puncta (Barthes) or tokens,
where language splays."


Tweets as Elit / Splatter Semiotics / Semiotics of Splatter:

Trump's tweets are the basic example of electronic literature:

They are performative, within and without the code.

They are fast-forward in presentation and absorption.

They disappear into the cybersphere; they are always traces.

They wreak havoc on the phenomenology and reception of
traditional media.



     Why is the United States Post Office, which is losing many
billions of dollars a year, while charging Amazon and others so
little to deliver their packages, making Amazon richer and the
Post Office dumber and poorer? Should be charging MUCH MORE!
5:04 AM - 29 Dec 2017

     The Democrats have been told, and fully understand, that
there can be no DACA without the desperately needed WALL at the
Southern Border and an END to the horrible Chain Migration &
ridiculous Lottery System of Immigration etc. We must protect
our Country at all cost!
         Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 29, 2017

     In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Years Eve on
record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old
Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was
going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!
         Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 29, 2017

Caught RED HANDED - very disappointed that China is allowing oil
to go into North Korea. There will never be a friendly solution
to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!
8:24 AM - 28 Dec 2017
         Donald J. TrumpVerified account @realDonaldTrump


Then thinking through this skeleton (filled out in a forthcoming

Trump tweets are characterized by their timing and placement, by
a ready-made audience of followers, detractors, and

Timing is based on several factors -

1. response to a crisis, attack, or other positive or negative

2. temporal relation to previous tweets (i.e. how far apart are
       they; how is the provocation managed);

3. relation to cable- and other news-outlets, i.e. what is on
       where at the moment;

4. Trump's personal/internal time clock - sleeping, waking,

5. the desire to confuse the critical listener and news 'talking
       heads / critiques;

6. the desire to 'win' by any means possible;

7. the isolation of cant words and other provocations which need
       time on their own to register;

8. and time in relation to politics, political agenda,
       congressional votes, and so forth.

This is a brilliant strategy, reminiscent of bitcoin:

time - embedded and controlled - _not_ the time to read, but the
control over _delay_ and _target_ (temporal, physical,
structural) - becomes of fundamental concern to the performer
(the tweets, as mentioned above, in a sense devoid of truth or
context, performative, headless and tailless, etc.) - works
different in this elit than elsewhere, for example the carefully
measured sequences in works which are embedded online at one or
another site, or carefully networked across sites -

this is a form of networking in which the nodes carry
time-stamps, are hurried, are one-way, carry no feedback (just
as the bully carries only one sort of feedback: submission) -

And then there is Goebbels to consider, the fast-forward
presentation of newspaper headlines and radio 'news' in the
months leading up to, and through, at least the beginning of
World War II - the same techniques using any means possible
(newspaper, electric radio) -

All this I consider the _semiotics of splatter_ (i.e.
traditional semiotics, stable, taking the phenomenology of the
splatter cloud, fractal roiling, into consideration) leading to
_splatter semiotics_ (i.e. the altered field in which the
temporal aspects of signifier <--> signified and sender --->
[noise] ---> receiver are absolutely critical, in which the sign
is 'bent' or 'mutilated' or 'faked' or 'blurred' or
'non-existent' -

a semiotics which is always already an incohering dynamics
instead of, say, a category-theoretical locus with somewhat
nameable arrows and objects - in which the objects and arrows
are always already fast-forward:

This is the world / way we are living in , the habitus of
electronic literature, elit, where the practitioners are anyone
in social media, anyone with an audience always altered, always
transformed, as if the tweets were traditional 'scrolling' down
the screen -

Then an exhortation:

This is why we must extend elit _everywhere,_ forgetting easy
categorizations and rules, into a political realm where #metoo
is elit, where tweets are elit, where bitcoin is elit, where
dynamics and placements and social media are elit; given the
brutality in the world now and for the foreseeable future, we
must be vigilant, we must expand outside our filter bubbles
(which for me have always been comfortable), extending into the
mind and body of the other - for it is the _body_ - hungry,
isolated, sick, poverty-stricken - and all of us in any
condition, which is ultimately at stake here - the enclave, like
the wall, is dangerous and problematic, and ultimately a problem
for us all.


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