[NetBehaviour] Last week on empyre: ISIS, Absolute Terror, Performance

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Mon Nov 24 11:07:00 CET 2014

Last week on empyre: ISIS, Absolute Terror, Performance

See the empyre email list archive for November 2014:


moderated by Johannes Birringer, Alan Sondheim

This is an important topic, perhaps the most important, I
think, given the increasing chaos and stress in so many
regions of the planet.

To join: http://empyre.library.cornell.edu/join.php


The initial precis (abridged):

The world seems to be descending into chaos of a qualitatively
different dis/order, one characterized by terror, massacre,
absolutism. Things are increasingly out of control, and this
chaos is a kind of ground-work itself - nothing beyond a
scorched earth policy, but more of the same. What might be a
cultural or artistic response to this? How does one deal with
this psychologically, when every day brings new horrors? Even
traditional analyses seem to dissolve in the absolute terror
that seems to be daily increasing.

We are moderating a month-long investigation on Empyre into the
dilemma this dis/order poses. We will ask a variety of people to
be discussants in what, hopefully, will be a very open
conversation. The debate will invite the empyre community to a
deep and uncomfortable analysis of abject violence, pain,
performance, and ideology [taking further the October 2012
debate on Pain, Suffering, and Death in the Virtual], looking at
the ambivalences of terror, incomprehensible emotions, and our
own complicity in the production of 'common sense' around

The format this month will be slightly different; participants
will be announced on an organic basis, and we hope that many of
the subscribers will chime in. We are all facing the anguish of
political situations that seem out of control. We are interested
in topics such as, How does one deal with anguish personally?
How can anguish be expressed culturally? Can such expressions
make a difference at all? We have all read political analyses of
the causes of this descent; here, we're interested in the
cultural and personal responses to it.


- Alan Sondheim

More information about the NetBehaviour mailing list