[NetBehaviour] The Eternal Exercise And A Comment

Annie Abrahams bram.org at gmail.com
Fri May 7 17:27:02 CEST 2021

How beautiful you both are, thanks for your words.
mine were just an attempt to loosen something - I think I didn't understand
what I read and wrote, but it was there and made an entry into what puzzles
me in Alan's practice. Now I see it wasn't a good connexion, but, still ...
I can't yet forget about it, maybe one day ....
Have a good trip Alan and a good weekend Johannes you too!

On Fri, May 7, 2021 at 4:40 PM Johannes Birringer (Staff) <
Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk> wrote:

> hallo all, Alan and Annie
> you are taking a break, Alan, have you filled out your release form? a
> period of not thinking how could it be possible, ah, now i see Annie meant
> period not as time but as stop, not as something that keeps returning until
> is stops, I read 'release form 'Alan but you meant from..
> I am thankful for such conversations (and your critique of that passage
> from 'L'imaginaire hétérolingue' is apt, I agree and wondered also, Annie,
> whether as dancers we would quite follow the idea of a "pure intense
> gesture" (un pur geste tendu), intensity is something different and messy,
> muddy and dangerous perhaps? I also am inspired by the ramifications of
> what Alan points to, our short period on the planet, hopefully being in awe
> of the world, spring time here out there.
> Alan you asked about Witzel's book, I had been looking at the opening
> dream the writer has (when he hears his father had died), about a
> rhinoceros dying on the floor in the old house, and other animals already
> having started to decompose...., in other rooms. He comes back to bad
> dreams, but the re-memory idea was sparked by a Canadian musician friend
> who just wrote me about an old box he found from his father, full of
> super-8 films, and how bizarre it was to "see these images, the images from
> the eyes of my parents. What a gift!" and what my friend perhaps means is
> seeing his childhood through the distorting camera eyes of the parents?
> Witzel writes, at a later point about coincidences in lives lived,
> quoting a line from a Leopardi poem that his mother liked:
> "E il naufragar m'è dolce in questo mare"
> Das Unendliche verkörperte bei Leopardi ja nicht eine Hoffnung auf das
> Ewige, sondern das sich auf gleichzeitig faszinierende und undurchschaubare
> Art und Weise entfaltende Leben, das den Menschen für einen recht kurzen
> Augenblick mit sich zieht, bevor er zwangsläufig in ihm untergeht. Was aber
> dieses Untergehen, das oft genug als Scheitern interpretiert wurde,
> tatsächlich bedeutete, wurde mir an einem Spätnachmittag im gerade
> beginnenden Frühjahr deutlich. Ich hatte zusammen mit meinem Bruder
> angefangen, die Bibliothek meines Vaters aufzulösen, einiges mitgenommen,
> vieles aussortiert, bei anderem überlegt, wer vielleicht etwas damit würde
> anfangen können, und ewar danach für einige Wochen nach Berlin gefahren. An
> einem Nachmittag kaufte ich in einem Antiquariat einige Bücher. Beim
> Bezahlen kam ich mit dem Besitzer ins Gespräch, der mir von der schwierigen
> Lage im Antiquariatsbuchhandel erzählte und es auf die Formel brachte, dass
> "mehr Leute sterben als Bücher gekauft werden."  In diesem Zusammenhang
> erwähnte er, dass er gerade den Nachlass von Dieter Schnebel angekauft
> hätte, eine Sieben-Zimmer Wohnung voll mit Büchern, unter anderem
> Widmungsexemplare von Adorno und weitere Seltenheiten, ausserdem sei
> Schnabel mit der Tochter "der Kaschnitz" verheiratet gewesen, die auch noch
> einiges von der Mutter beigesteuert habe. Dieter Schnebel ist im selben
> Jahr wie mein Vater geboren und auch im selben Jahr wie er gestorben........
> [>>For Leopardi, the infinite did not embody a hope for the eternal, but
> rather the life unfolding in a fascinating and inscrutable way that pulls
> people with it for a very brief moment before they inevitably perish in
> them. But what this sinking, which has often enough been interpreted as
> failure, actually meant, became clear to me on a late afternoon in the
> beginning of spring. Together with my brother I had started to close down
> my father's library, took some with me, sorted out a lot, thought about
> other things about who might be able to do something with it, and then went
> to Berlin for a few weeks. One afternoon I bought some books in a
> second-hand bookshop. While paying, I got into conversation with the owner,
> who told me about the difficult situation in the second-hand book trade and
> summed it up as saying that "more people die than books are bought". In
> this context, he mentioned that he had just bought Dieter Schnebel's
> estate, a seven-room apartment full of books, including dedicatory copies
> by Adorno and other rarities, and that Schnabel was married to the daughter
> of "die Kaschnitz", who also contributed a lot of books from her mother.
> Dieter Schnebel was born in the same year as my father and died in the same
> year as him ........>>]
> This then moves into a reflection on coincidental fathers, composers,
> failures, and the silence of the mother, remarkably only acknowledged by
> Witzel near the end. What he finds in the house of the rhinoceros are
> numerous boxes from the father with an endless archive of meticulously
> noted down thoughts, diary entries, dates, expenses, birthdas, weddings to
> not attend, concerts, disappointments. ....  Desperate attempts, I suppose
> to make sense of patterns and accidents that may or may not have happened
> in our lives.
> respectfully,
> Johannes Birringer
> ________________________________________
> From: NetBehaviour <netbehaviour-bounces at lists.netbehaviour.org> on
> behalf of Alan Sondheim via NetBehaviour <
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
> Sent: 07 May 2021 14:43
> To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity
> Cc: Alan Sondheim
> Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] The Eternal Exercise And A Comment
> Dear Annie,
> There are releases at my end, sometimes I have several at one time, and
> then can tke a break. But there's never a release from; on the other hand,
> after working like this pretty much through all my 'artistic' life, it
> seems natural. Taking a break seems something like a loss. I can think of
> the long-duration pieces of Marina Abramovic for example, or long
> meditative practices. But of course the former do come to an end.
> I'm not sure how the quote resonates with me? Or that I understand it -
> for example the fact that "the address does not imply the success of the
> transmission of the message" does not mean it's a "pure tense gesture" -
> there's no purity whatsoever in it. It's not an abstract gesture; on
> Facebook for example I hope for and do find readers/listeners/viewers at
> times and that's greatly rewarding; I know many of these people. "Purity"
> for me relates to Kristeva's "clean and proper body" or Mary Douglas'
> Purity and Danger" as well; I think, rightly or wrongly, of community, and
> try to respond to as many people as I can. In music for example there's a
> jazz community, certainly for "free jazz" (which has gone in so many
> directions) and people are supportive of each other and listen to each
> other. And why is this "contrary to the communication"? since it's never
> known if communication reaches recipients, even friends, within the
> digital. The communication is there, the transmission at my/their/your/our
> end - whatever else occurs is out of my control. Even in intimate talking
> with someone in the same room, there's no guarantee the message is
> received; and for that matter, the use of the word "message" already
> formalizes something that's inherently fuzzy, untoward, perhaps even
> contrary. With the digital now, for example, I didn't remember whether
> "Douglas" was spelled that way or "Douglass" and in a second, I found the
> answer online; this is also messaging, and related to what I wrote (I
> think) about splatter semiotics - everything is "graspable" to some extent,
> but the economy of attention is always somewhat at odds with itself. Back
> to the question of never a release, again it feels natural; it's part of my
> world, maybe even a kind of hunger I feel during my/our short time on the
> planet; I'm always in awe of the world, and in sorrow as a result of what
> are clear depredations against others, organisms of all sorts, and that
> seems an aporia to me; at this point while I could talk for hours on it,
> ultimately I have little idea of why wars are still being fought, why
> religions are at odds with each other to the point of violence and
> genocide, why it's not obvious to everyone that animals are conscious and
> knowledgable in their own right and autonomy, and so forth. So i find
> myself (uselessly perhaps) always trying to think through these things,
> with no more success probably than someone not thinking about them at all...
> So does this count as a daily production? Probably, since we're leaving
> shortly for Amherst and music and books today, a two hour drive, not
> returning until Saturday night - it's our first real break since the end of
> March 2020...
> Best, Alan, hope this answers somewhat, I'm not sure -
> On Fri, May 7, 2021 at 7:33 AM Annie Abrahams via NetBehaviour <
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org<mailto:
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>> wrote:
> Dear Alan, thanks for describing the roots of your practice.
> It is good to know!
> (Thanks Johannes for reacting and the greetings - Hi Johannes)
> Now there comes a second question to my mind:
> Why continuously publishing your practice? This is not meant as a
> critique; it is an honest curiosity.
> For me it feels as if there is never a "period", never a release from.
> I sometimes envy your continuity, your stream of words, but when you write
> the process can also give you anxiety, I want to say: "Alan, you don't have
> to; "periods" exist."
> It seems to be the question of the audience, the adress
> Something I read today seems to resonate:
> "... moins que la langue "communique" plus elle se fait intensive, c'est à
> dire adressée. Nous appelons "adresse hétérolingue" l'intensité qui
> parcourt "la langue" de part en part pour la tendre vers un destinataire.
> Contrairement à la communication, l'adresse n'implique pas la réussite de
> la transmission du message : c'est un pur geste tendu." Myriam Suchet
> L'imaginaire hétérolingue page 129.
> (... the less that language "communicates" the more it becomes intensive,
> that is to say addressed. We call "heterolingual address" the intensity
> that runs through "the language" from one side to the other in order to
> reach a recipient. Contrary to the communication, the address does not
> imply the success of the transmission of the message: it is a pure tense
> gesture.
> with love and respect
> Annie
> On Thu, May 6, 2021 at 12:57 AM Johannes Birringer (Staff) via
> NetBehaviour <netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org<mailto:
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>> wrote:
> dear all
> thanks Alan for your exquisite, resonating poem, it has internal rhyme i
> have still to figure out, so many referernces and beautiful images;
> well, enough, everyone knows we are friends, and also collaborators, so
> that, i think my views don;'rt count. Annie's question is odd (Hi Annie,
> greetings!)  and yet stimulating; ask a painter why they walk into the
> studio every day ....well, to paint!
> And your reference to musicians, Alan , is well taken, as are the
> references to writers like Klemperer Knausgaard, or the sleepless Aby
> Warburg or the sleepless Hella Pick who just published 'Invisible Walls"....
> Well, i have nothing to say, except respecting Alan's daily poetry and
> music and the jpgs very much, almost now for me, for a few years i think,
> since our ISIS "writings" and blog back then, a recording task. I
> record/archive what you send us, I sometimes show it to students, sometimes
> use your acoustic music in my dance, sometimes curse the times in which we
> cannot support our collaborations more, or see you have grants and
> invitations come your way more.....
> But I also meant to write about memory, years, parents, old homes, lost
> times, and had wanted to share a passage from Frank Witzel's new memoir,
> "Inniger Schiffbruch"  (maybe translatable as "Intimate Shipwreck"), but
> it's too painful, dealing with parents who died and are dead, memories
> coming up, re-memories, old notes, super-8 films, flashing up, reverting us
> to strange questions (was is Pam Zhang who asked, "what makes a home a
> home", in her "How Much of These Hills are Gold?"), about us, providences,
> determinants, coincidences; and our ancestors, yes, shadowy figures, and
> why we stay up at night writing..
> regards
> Johannes Birringer
> ________________________________________
> From: NetBehaviour <netbehaviour-bounces at lists.netbehaviour.org<mailto:
> netbehaviour-bounces at lists.netbehaviour.org>> on behalf of Alan Sondheim
> via NetBehaviour <netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org<mailto:
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>>
> Sent: 05 May 2021 22:42
> To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity
> Cc: Alan Sondheim
> Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] The Eternal Exercise And A Comment
> Hi Annie,
> It's a practice that keeps me focused; I have what I call 'waves' of
> content that flow through the sections - for example analog/digital
> phenomenology / gamespace/edgespace/blankspace / splatter semiotics / etc.
> It's like meditation; I learn from the practice and honestly have done this
> most of my life. Early on I was also influenced by Delta Blues music (and
> was at times close to people like Al Wilson through whom I met Son House
> etc.) - and I soon was listening to 60s-70s free jazz (people like Albert
> Ayler, Archie Schepp, John Coltrane, and so many others) - and almost all
> the musicians I know practice/play/think/produce/ etc. every day - it's I
> think a different way of working, I have to keep re-inventing myself in a
> sense, but also paying close attention to what I think might be valuable or
> somehow true at times, and then question those underpinnings. There are
> diarists like Viktor Klemperer and Kierkegaard who have also influenced me
> - daily writing... And from people like Kristeva and Irigaray I was also
> inspired to think more about embodied art, which is daily practice; most of
> the artists I knew early on like Vito Acconci, Rosemary Mayer, Bernadette
> Mayer, and so forth were also constantly producing. It's somewhat of a work
> ethic I think as well.  --
> Hope this answers somewhat and thanks for asking!
> Best, Alan
> On Wed, May 5, 2021 at 5:24 PM Annie Abrahams via NetBehaviour <
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org<mailto:
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org><mailto:
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org<mailto:
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>>> wrote:
> May  l ask Alan
> What was the reason for starting to produce work at a daily rate?
> Best
> Le mer. 5 mai 2021 à 22:23, Alan Sondheim <sondheim at panix.com<mailto:
> sondheim at panix.com><mailto:sondheim at panix.com<mailto:sondheim at panix.com>>>
> a écrit :
> The Eternal Exercise And A Comment
> http://www.alansondheim.org/gonedays.jpg
> What am I hearing it might be God
> fearing the stallion is rearing
> the forest is dead where am I
> going the sky's blowing red the
> people are ready the horses are
> fed where have I been in this town
> of grey sin in this town where the
> weather's unpinned where the
> horses are in where the stallion
> is ready where the horses are
> rearing and the forest is dead.
> Sometimes there's chasm a sight of
> a plasm where's the flesh isn't
> messed and the samples go lie and
> this sky is darkling and the
> plasm's a storm that always means
> harm and the cyto is psycho and
> the horses are no go and the
> horses are carrying bodies in
> babies up to the sky up into the
> sky. What am I seeing it might be
> gone fleeing the stallion is
> winning the forest is gone where
> am I going the wind is no more the
> people steady to go down to the
> Weir. Where is the Weir where the
> canal was flying into the sky with
> the horses and chasm where is this
> site have the people who light
> down by the forest for the trees
> are all burning and the horses are
> churning in this dream by the
> river in the river by brook in the
> fountain in in the sea in the sea
> in the ocean in the lake of the
> ocean in the lake of the ocean
> where the horses lies sleeping and
> people are weeping at parties in
> babies are up in the sky and
> falling and sweeping the seeds of
> the rye and the wheat that
> surrounds us and the lost people
> hound us where the horses are
> tossed and nothing is left but a
> weir way down there where the
> people in steeples steeples learn
> how to fear when they go down in
> the forest and the ocean is messed
> and the horses are blessed hands
> up in the sky the lake of the
> ocean is a sound of the cry from
> the horses and bodies and babies
> who fly.
> I've been thinking more and more about this process of creating
> daily new work; I've been doing this for 27 years now in a row.
> It's been a scaffolding but it's also been a source of anxiety
> since it's difficult to come up with something new on a daily
> basis; for all I know I may be repeating myself incessantly. The
> result, combined with covid, is an out of control anxiety. Part
> of this is a fundamental lack of community here in Providence,
> which has been going on for almost eight years; part of it is a
> real lack of funding, which in my (equal lack of a) profession
> results in an inability to carry out the work I want to; as you
> know - I was adding this all up today - for the first time, I
> have no real adequate still or video camera for production, and
> no chance of getting these (I've always worked otherwise, with
> good equipment, since 1969 or so) - so there's no VR or AR work
> coming from my end, no potential collaborations at this point.
> The last actual grant I had was something like fifteen years ago
> which gave us tools to work in West Virginia at the Virtual
> Environment Lab. Since then, there's been no funding, which sends
> me constantly back to things like linux, work with acoustic
> instruments, text manipulation programs and the like. (Medicines
> cost for example.) If anyone has any ideas at this point, please
> let me know; I'm certainly not going to be getting any other
> grants or faculty positions or stipends etc. I'm constantly
> trying, even now, to get a book out, based on my production and
> theory-work (such as it is), but I think I carry the stink of
> failure around with me that undermines everything. At least we
> owe no one any money, and I keep going at this absurd and
> somewhat baleful task of continuous production.
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