[NetBehaviour] WarinWar and Breath: Memory

Alan Sondheim sondheim at gmail.com
Tue Jul 12 17:18:13 CEST 2022

Hi Johannes,

And thank you, these discussions need to be held, always need to be held. I
can't answer of course for Documenta in any way; I'd love to hear what
Furtherfield and others have to say about this. Art seems distant to me at
this point.

That music wasn't meant to be anything but a response, not only to war,
which the songs are somewhat about, but also to 'states of mind' - there is
an urgency here in the US - which is turning, I think, increasingly
organized beneath the surface, but just beneath, by fascists who hope for a
takeover in the name of Jesus and or Qanon and or guns and or white and or
whatever - anything to avoid a multicultural, multisexual, multiracial,
multi-anything in this country. Most of this country doesn't go along with
any of that, but most of this country is also disorganized. People are
still calling for Bernie Sanders for godz sakes when what we need on the
middle or left is something much more urgent. I fear Biden, if he runs
again, will lose massively and some (&&%&$* whatever on the right will take
over; after all, they already have the "Supreme" Court in their hands. They
smell blood.

My/our music is a response to that, to war; for me, there's also something,
believe it or not, in healing through that, just like a memorial service
can be healing, just like even understanding what's going in in Ukraine,
Sri Lanka, Amerikkka (yes, the old spelling) can be healing. It's not a
call to arms obviously; it's a passage of times with a sense of epiphany. I
read more and more on genocides, have joined the audience for some
think-tanks to understand better (something called CSIS in particular) and
try to keep going. I also "tend" towards my improvisations on an old
Afghani rebab or rubab, which keeps me sane; it's the instrument in the
background of the pieces I put up. Finally, there is low-level violence
increasing everywhere in Providence; we hear a bit of it from our place,
and that is also a disturbance. So in a sense I am disturbed, distraught,
utterly "down" and there is music to accompany that of course... But then I
used to be a fan of the old industrial music as well...

Best, Alan, thank you

On Tue, Jul 12, 2022 at 8:45 AM Johannes Birringer via NetBehaviour <
netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org> wrote:

> dear all
> I just listened to "WarInWar" by Alan and Azure, and it surely isn't easy
> listening and hardly intended to be so. Thank you for making it difficult
> for everyone!  and yet I was also wondering whether during such times as we
> live in, any ordinary communal events can or should go on, how do they go
> on, how is music or sports performed, or art produced and exhibited now? do
> we attend poetry readings? watch european soccer championships?
> And if, for a moment, one were to collect all the ink written on documenta
> 15, one might wander whether the noise, or the debates surrounding this
> global art scandal, is related to (any) concerns we might share or
> experiences we may have had?
> The collectivist curation (ruangrupa and their 'lumbung' snowball system
> of involving many more/other collectives mostly from the global south) and
> the current mediation (including confrontational debates in the German
> Bundestag) of the offensive antisemitic caricatures and the scandal it
> caused through the large "Wimmelbild" 'People’s Justice' (by the Indonesian
> collective Taring Padi) -  the defensive excuses of the documenta
> management, the city, and the many attacks by critics, they now all add up
> to a desperate, ugly spectacle, and the images of the veiled triptych
> (before it was taken down) in a public square, a misshaped and
> horrribly-gone-wrong faux Christo, they linger on.
> No Nongkrong, really, no truth and reconciliation..
> Yet on occasion commentaries appears that make me wonder (have we done
> this here?) how we, in times of war and on-going racist discrimination and
> violence against human life, reflect on binary thinking of the Cold War --
> where is the global south, where the colonial north (including Israel)?
> how does such polarization (also of former East, and former West?) do
> justice to the history of the Jewish nation-state, to Putin's propaganda
> machine calling Ukrainians Nazis who need to be exterminated, to histories
> of diaspora, enslavement, persecution and dispersal, and how are refugees
> uncollectivized and distinguished, and why would Kassel and documenta 15
> now abrogate all responsibility after "appointing" an Indonesian agit-prop
> collective to curate a major show of art in the West?
> I just heard that Hito Steyerl has withdrawn her video installation
> "Animal Spirits" at the Ottoneum, telling the managing director that she
> had no faith in the organizers to mediate and translate complexity...."Dies
> bezieht sich auf die wiederholte Weigerung, eine nachhaltige und
> strukturell verankerte inklusive Debatte rund um die Ausstellung zu
> ermöglichen, sowie auf die faktische Weigerung, Vermittlung zu akzeptieren."
> What mediation does she actually have in mind? between who, between what?
> Would others here like to comment on what all this noise means?
> regards
> Johannes Birringer
> (see also, this short article on "how to rethink the ontology of art" --
> https://www.juliet-artmagazine.com/en/documenta-15-in-kassel-how-to-rethink-the-ontology-of-art/
> ________________________________________
> From: NetBehaviour <netbehaviour-bounces at lists.netbehaviour.org> on
> behalf of Alan Sondheim via NetBehaviour <
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
> Sent: 12 July 2022 05:23
> To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity
> Cc: Alan Sondheim
> Subject: [NetBehaviour] WarinWar and Breath: Memory
> WarinWar and Breath: Memory
> http://www.alansondheim.org/Breath.mp3
> http://www.alansondheim.org/warinwar.mp3
> http://www.alansondheim.org/inmemory.jpg
> Azure Carter voice/song; Alan Sondheim, rubab/revrev
> [You may have heard "It's not a war" before; I suggest
> you listen to this first, and "In Memory" second, no
> matter what; the interpretation depends on careful
> listening, memory, reading along, remembering, if not,
> forgetting, sound and noise, unmemory.]
> WarInWar
> { It's not a war, its butchery
> It's not a war, its genocide
> It's not a war, its slaughter }
> Breath
> Death / and times death
> The promise of / one last breath
> Hiding from / the universe and death
> Snuggled / the world calmed / for just a moment / breath
> Depression is / already death
> Darling give / me your last breath
> Of the world / until ones death
> Space / shift / cave / slide / breath
> Forgetting birth / and on the way to death
> The speech which rides / the breath
> The balance of / life and death
> The real challenge/ to breath
> Bone-time / our-time / the time of death
> Im waiting for / your breath
> Every moment / rushing towards her death
> Youre stumbling / faltering / and losing breath
> I am surrounded / by death
> The beauty of / slow / slow / dying breath
> There are no dealings / with death
> Death never stops / for breath
> Death never stops / for breath
> Death never stops / for breath
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