[NetBehaviour] A comment on isolated blizzards and digital preservation

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Mon Jan 31 12:15:51 UTC 2022


Alan,

it's a sensible invitation, to share advice on how to cope with the pandemic times or constrictions, anxieties; I wonder whether that allows for personal and autobiographical comments, and thus would provoke longer passages of writing, something we sometimes also cannot cope well with, when too many emails arrive continuously.
But many here may read what they like or need to read; my own personal sense of frustration, or rather: wonder, happened in the weeks around the turn of the year when I managed to return to Houston, TX, and wanted to meet all my friends (reunion, say, have an outdoor brunch, or a studio visit one on one, chatting, asking how others manage to survive relative isolation and behavior change, or illness and loss, uncertainty and fear). 
It was surreal; we managed just one brunch that I arranged before New Year's Eve, with a bunch of artists showing up at the Menil Museum bistro, outdoor tables carefully booked and sanitized; but Covid caused panic for many and we did not repeat this, though resuming to zoom breakfasts turned into sadness for me, given that the sun shone and the palm trees invited for walks (in London we've come up the idea of ThoughtWalks, a group of social works researchers met last week to go for 2 hour hike). 
I did then spend time in Houston alone, in museums, and in studios of a couple of artists; one, Joel McGlasson, has a an annex studio full of paintings we looked at; but he told me a life-story (having been a painter and staging happenings in the 60s, then moving to California  to work as an architect, and only now, retired, returning to painting again). I asked about the 60s, and he went to a corner, to grab an old slide projector, carousel ready with slides of early work, which he projected on the back of a canvas; then showed me the disbelieving reviews that were published in the 'Houston Post' back in the day, when Warhol did similar stuff in the Factory I guess, or over at Black Mountain College where they experimented or in any old place in Europe east or west, or in other places, Brazil, Japan, Australia, where people staged actions and extended sculpture and media.... Alan, i think ageing is experimentation too, confronting various layers of inter-action (with others) that moved us; as your beautiful elegy on Lee Murray moved me to watch his films .... and now, in this time of "essays written in sand", as Monica Huerta suggests*, we can project our loneliness perhaps, our exhaustion in our own studios, looking to restore the old slides.

regards
Johannes Birringer
*https://www.artforum.com/print/202110/monica-huerta-on-this-year-s-hell-87234

________________________________________
From: NetBehaviour <netbehaviour-bounces at lists.netbehaviour.org> on behalf of Alan Sondheim <sondheim at panix.com>
Sent: 30 January 2022 18:05
To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity
Subject: [NetBehaviour] A comment, then a piece re: blizzards, please read


Hi -

We all know these are hard times, too many people are having financial or
mental problems or both, too many people have passed on. I'm writing to
ask if people on Netbehaviour might talk a bit about how they're doing
what they're working on, what advice they might have or for that matter
might need. This is one of my favorite email lists, I know I post daily
and would gladly stop that as well if that would be better for the list.
But I'm most concerned now about how we're all coping. I run a series of
"reunions" for my highschool class, we're doing one every six weeks or so
where we discuss these things and move on - and it seems to help. If my
classmates knew what I was on about they'd think I'm crazy :-)

If this request is out of order, please ignore it. -

Thanks, Alan

___



Buildings, The Storm, Vortex, Slough, Frozen Water Falling Down

https://youtu.be/FoleMPo3vpI Video
http://www.alansondheim.org/slough.jpg

Skim the video, it's long.. Problems of dating.. Again I keep
coming back to this which is why did Jesus or other religious
leaders, messiahs, appear at one time and not at another and
what does this mean for people who are believe in life after
death or Nirvana in other words why would God. Why would God
do something like appear one time and ignore all the people
who had lived earlier than that who had lived before then. The
2nd thing is the question of testimony in relationship to
articulated structures out of artificial intelligence - what
is the role of testimony - what is the role of the Testament -
what is the role of hearing from a body that is circumscribed
or inscribed within and without a body and a mind that are
connected intimately to what has happened to them in the
world. And how does that relate to us who have similar bodies
perhaps almost identical bodies that shimmer and suffer in the
same way. 3rd. This is the cessation of death when the body
disappears but the universe continues with, continues with,
its quantum paradoxes and what might lie in relationship to
mind in the cosmos. 4th or 5th. What is it that I hold in my
hand. When my hand is holding nothing but cupped upward. What
does Dogen have to say about this and how can one move without
the apparatus of Buddhism or Zen. I move without the apparatus
of Buddhism or Zen. I am this way and that way. I am neither
this nor that. I don't see the universe in the flower but I
see a flower in the universe as an equivalent but of what.
When I go on and I will go on you will have left debris
behind. As will all of us. I will not see you again at that
point. You may want to read what I written you may want to
listen to the music I have done by myself or with others. You
may want to do none of this. You may forget my name. You may
forget my writing. You may forget my language. You may forget
language. You may forget yourselves. You may be forgotten.
Problems of the furious snowstorm which covers everything with
vortices that parallel and we like directly to the most
intricate shapes, shapes for this season, waves of
catastrophic theory and mathematical dynamics. All mathematics
is dynamics.. All dynamics is mathematics. All mathematics is
dynamics. Remember when you look at this video when you
surround yourself with it you must realize that what you cup
in your hand I do not know what you're cupping in your hand.
When the dictation goes off everything goes off and the train
of thought is lost. When it returns I won't be there. I won't
be there at all. Night thoughts can be the worst. I am sure
there are worst. This is the thought of the blizzard, the 4th
largest here, variously recorded. It is obdurate. The flakes
describe vectors in the camera. They follow damaged geodesics
of wind, temperature, humidity, effects of illumination and
melt. The video is long, present for scanning. There's a
cathedral in the distance, a federal building, rooftops, bad
road design, and always emptiness, sinter, grit, wind. The
wind winds. Didn't we always want to say that? Didn't we? And
in the middle of the night, this is what I was able to write.
To think, in the middle of tears over friends I have lost, To
a reprieve, yes, a reprieve of the body as it harbors
multitudes. As it harbors organisms, organics, elements,
skeins, flows, currents, inputs and outputs. You wouldn't
believe the body, I don't. Not in this storm, these
conditions. Not here, not now. But then everywhere, for a
moment in time.

+++



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