[NetBehaviour] Gloss on +++Muror / The Cry

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Fri Dec 13 00:53:46 CET 2019

Gloss on +++Muror / The Cry

This piece came about through considerable archaeological work
with old .bvh and .pz3 files applied to an old Poser 7 program
with its legacy files. The .bvh originated in work done 10-15
years ago at West Virginia University, using (even at that time)
antiquated motion capture equipment, working with Azure and two
dancers, Kira Sedlock and Foofwa d'Imobilite. The .bvh were
'applied' at various stages of a long .pz3 original file; the
avatar matrices were augmented and spread among several figures.
Poser requests for additional files were answered with other
files; the original supplements have long since disappeared. I
tried to create a 'direction' of skin and feverish behavior
among the newly-added avatars; the whole was a mix. I didn't
know what the final result would be - I had a general idea
(formed by sliding a cursor through the frames), but that was
all. I changed the lighting to match a background I made a few
weeks ago as well. The background is a body blurred out in the
middle of the night under deliberately low lighting conditions.

For me the result was only partly formed by my (self)-conscious
decisions; the rest wasn't left to chance, but to the exigencies
of the program using this odd collocation of files, lightings,
and images. (The lighting on the figures themselves was also
changed to match the background and a sense of 'brass-metallic'
slightly sexualized but distraught avatars.) In other words, I
was fascinated and appalled by the direction the software was
taking me; at the same time, I wanted to see what direction that
was. What emerged was a narrative, not of sexuality, but of
external and internal violence, all of the figures dead at the
end. I hadn't planned for this, consciously or unconsciously, but
it happened, appeared at the end of a long rendering. It's as if
the whole situation was self-determining, autonomous, as if the
figures were speaking to me - about the violence and deprecations
in the world around us, about murderous gender inequalities,
about my own internal states of mind as well.

So I called it 'Muror' - murder, murky, marrow, muddy, etc.  - a
small constellation. And I wrote out the litany of 'what then?'
thinking of Levinas, of capitulation, of suicidal tendencies, of
the horrors of the world contaminating everything. Originally I
used slashes - '/' - between the words or phrases, later changing
them to periods - '.' indicative of compression and a kind of
morbid telegraphy. I hate my own repetition in this matter; I
feel I inhabit a world that's very real, that's closing in,
that's fundamentally destructive to human and environmental
rights, a world where neoliberalism and finance are corrupting
any possibility of fundamental change, no matter what we do.

So perhaps this piece is a kind of Kaddish, hoping something
better will emerge. I've placed the piece below again; in terms
of aesthetics and dialectics between analog and digital, I think
it's one of my best.

+++Muror / The Cry

what then?





what then?


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