[NetBehaviour] erhu & Comments on Alan Sondheim's postings on this list...
marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Sun Jan 7 16:12:49 CET 2007
Comments on Alan Sondheim's postings on this list...
I perceive Alan's post-works, as an going work in 'process', expounding
the very nature of process itself, as a continualy networked , creative
act of mutated-consciousness, in a literal form. It involves the
material itself to be distributed, when visiting various lists as part
of a performative operation, this is part of its context. Viewing the
function and behaviour of how the work is solicited can also bring about
a closer understanding of what the work is doing, in essence, as we
receive it daily.
Its value as art, or even an act of creativity rests in appreciating
that some of the work is like semiotic code, using the language of
tools, sofware and the computer, to build the content, mixed with more
traditional wordings alongside other peices of texts. His work is noise,
not non-thinking noise but a noise that expounds, or translates the
result of Alan's poetic imagination, melding with code. It is not trying
to communicate as a linear message would do, or as a singular art object
like an image. It is exploiting the channels of communication, leaking
into these platforms like a virus would, yet directed by his consciousness.
So, Alan's behaviour in releasing his material around the Internet,
could be considered as acting much like a parasite. I do not mean this
in a negative way, but more that 'this is what is done', it becomes, or
is part of the meaning of the work itself - the function is component of
its larger meaning, if there is such a thing as meaning. The intention
of his actions, also becomes part of the work which we may not be so
clear about which is probably what causes the most troubles, when people
ask questions - like why is there so much of it?
Alan and the Internet cannot be split. His work spans its history, and
as much as it has dominated his psyche, he has also dominated the
Internet's psyche; and perhaps also infiltrated our own minds just by
being here or there, as we tour many of the lists ourselves. We are part
of the work, whether we be passively or engaged with it, it is now part
of our online presence with us, like a virus, hacking into the listserv,
structures and sub-structures, and into our own contexts. We become
segments of the structures that he sets his work up to infiltrate.
What makes it a little more confusing is that we know that Alan harbours
real emotions, ideas and also gets involved in discourse regarding
various subject matters on lists as well as distributing his work on
them at the same time. But, he speaks differently from his
posts/conversations because that is dialogue, and this should be
acknowledged. I do not feel that Alan is trying to impose any type of
mesaage to dominate us, or even try and impose a claiming of territory.
Much of his work just is, it is being, it is there and bleeds into its
surroundings like steam into a room.
I am definately not sure if Alan would agree with any of this, but if he
is not going to respond and discuss about his work, it is not a problem.
Because going through the motions of exploring these texts and their
purposes etc, has been rewarding itself and opened different
possibilities, and nuances, and also helps one to understand or at least
appreciate (a little) work by other artists such as MEZ and FLorian Cramer.
(c)human interaction in a broad sense of any cultural appropriation and
use: in 1968, in his book Algol, Noël Arnaud made a first attempt at
using a programming language as material for poetic compositions. Later
on, the hacker slang “leet”, Alan Sondheim’s “Codework” and Marie Anne
Breeze’s “Mezangelle” all apply code as a material that can be
recomposed to create a particular form of written language that is
recognised as “computer talk”, imitating command lines but readable as
some sort of English. In the same way as James Joyce experienced with
language in “Finnegan’s Wake”, these new forms of writing create their
own semantics and a meta-language with social and cultural implications.
On the other hand, the work of George Pérec, Jodi, the I/O/D group,
Netochka Nezvanova or Adrian Ward’s Auto-Illustrator introduce what
Cramer defines as “software dystopia”, the reflection on software not as
a subservient, domesticated assistant but as a fearful, obscure and
incomprehensible golem that may revolt against us at any time or take
its own decisions. Under this light, software becomes much more than
just a tool, it is part of a broader concept of culture.
Pau Waelder - Words Made Flesh (2005) - Florian Cramer.
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