[NetBehaviour] for a talk in Copenhagen this Saturday

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Tue Aug 18 10:16:25 CEST 2009

for a talk in Copenhagen this Saturday

The evolution of the piece http://www.alansondheim.org/whatremains.mp4 -

Humans are a disaster on the planet, out-of-control primates. My work is
done against a background of mass-extinctions, pollutions (particularly of
the ocean) that are catastrophic. We need a new species, new world,
leaving the natural order, what remains of it, alone as much as possible.

This won't happen.

My photographs rarely have people in them. Dance is another story. With
dance, the body does miracles, and does them without destruction. Dance
begins and ends with the horizon of organism, organism all the way

With scanners, the body is frozen, but with resetting software parameters
you can create images of a new body, never before seen, never seen again.

With motion capture, behavior is frozen. You can use motion capture in
indirect ways, making and remaking the body, as if it could do things no
body could in real life. In What Remains, there are words about remnants,
and the body is ikonic, wayward, out of control with itself.

Maya - illusion and its repetition - What remains after the filtering,
after the protocols, after numeration and denumeration -

Changing software, adding dynamic filters similar to graphics programs
filters - exactly! That's how the body is transformed. The protocols are
intact, carrying the filters, but the informal protocols of sensor
arrangement are altered: sensors might be distributed among more than one
body, subject to magnetic fields, rearranged on the body - all of this

So software: modifying parameters until they're out of control / creating
behavioral/dynamic filtering. So hardware: Sensor rearrangements/ dance
choreographies and sound-work untoward in themselves.

What remains after the orbit, after the rockets across softwares and
hardwares. What remains, as higher ascii, particles cleaned up, text
rendered taut and distraught. What remains, after the deluge, nothing but
ashes, like any work, I'll work at a loss, Maya Maya ...

So there's the catastrophic always in the background...

And where does this go? Into live performance, recorded live performance,
Second Life, almost cartoon-like, but capable of creating the _utterly
alien,_ a real sense of alterity - that Other which might come to haunt
us, judge us, appear in our dreamworlds, bring us down, bring _all of it_

(kills us all

(distortions in the image: terrorisms, Abu Gharayb, world-wide torture

(on the other hand, there's always a sense of _wonder_ in these worldings:

If you look at the physics of the holographic universe, you find that the
maximum amount of information any space can contain is proportional to its
boundary-area. Think of this in terms of the cosmic horizon and its pro-
jection into the interior (i.e. 'us'). Now think of Second Life or other
virtual worlds, and their hidden protocols, etc. - this is an extremely
crude parallel; what's seen (on the surface) is projection from an inter-
iority, that in terms of the _visuality_ of the screen, is inherently
scrambled. What goes on, on the surface, reflects commands given, _not_ to
the surface, but to the database/programming.

So that Second Life has 'triple physics':

1. The physics of the avatar, and local interactions;
2. The assigned physics of the virtual environment which is
3. The phenomenology of the physics, which is inert and possibly relates
to a holographic universe.

All three, in my work, are a form of _negotiated architecture_ - of the
body, the programming, and the ostensible space-time environment.

note 6:
being alien is not a depiction
note 7:
i don't like being alone with my thoughts anymore
but consider the holographic universe -
consider the horizon, inaccessible, unattainable,
examined only in bits and pieces as
related to the substructure of SL,
which is specifiable,
which must be specifiable _somewhere,_
and containing a totality of information
in a disturbed convoluted form
fundamentally unknowable,
but for the work of hacker-cosmologists
opening the slightest window which may or may not
result in legibility -
there a relationship between the two,
the Second Life and the First, distanced across
inconceivable spaces harboring the greatest untoward
objects in the cosmos.
note 8
looking further, noticing something awry with reality -
the reality we're in about, on about -
a kind of loss of simplicity and innocence -
for example the wave-particle duality -
the presence of magnetic fields and action at a distance -
just so in Second Life - it's not quite right -
no matter how the introjections or projections, it's askew -
it sends you into the uncanny -
everything sends you there, first life, Second Life, all of it -
you know things are entangled, you just don't know where -
thinking about it is confusing -
everything's confusing and at a distance -
beyond that distance, everything's unattainable -

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