Internet Philosophy and Psychology
Since the WTC tragedy, my work has been dealing with the creation and destruction of language, of the broken teeth of words. It has also dealt with the possibility of distance against its very impossibility, and with exile, the corruption of culture, the corrosion of news and media.
In Miami, I am an inaccessible digit, furiously telephoning; what is written travels through the mutilation and veering of thought. I am ashamed over my own depression, aware that terror decathects meaning – that meaning is a luxury. I try to write through this.
Below is the usual intro:
This is a somewhat periodic notice describing my Internet Text, available on the Net, and sent in the form of texts to various lists. The URL is: http://www.anu.edu.au/english/internet_txt/ which is partially mirrored at http://lists.village.virginia.edu/~spoons/internet_txt.html. (The first site includes some graphics, dhtml, The Case of the Real, etc.)
The changing nature of the email lists, Cybermind and Wryting, to which the texts are sent individually, hides the full body of the work; readers may not be aware of the continuity among them. The writing may appear fragmented, created piecemeal, splintered from a non-existent whole. On my end, the whole is evident, the texts extended into the lists, partial or transitional objects.
So this (periodic) notice is an attempt to recuperate the work as total- ity, restrain its diaphanous existence. Below is an updated introduction.
The "Internet Text" currently constitutes around 100 files, or 4500 printed pages. It began in 1994, and has continued as an extended meditation on cyberspace, expanding into ‘wild theory’ and literatures.
Almost all of the text is in the form of short- or long-waves. The former are the individual sections, written in a variety of styles, at times referencing other writers/theorists. The sections are interrelated; on occasion emanations are used, avatars of philosophical or psychological import. These also create and problematize narrative substructures within the work as a whole. Such are Susan Graham, Julu, Alan, Jennifer, and Nikuko, in particular.
The long-waves are fuzzy thematics bearing on such issues as death, sex, virtual embodiment, the "granularity of the real," physical reality, computer languages, and protocols. The waves weave throughout the text; the resulting splits and convergences owe something to phenomenology, programming, deconstruction, linguistics, philosophy and prehistory, as well as the domains of online worlds in relation to everyday realities.
Overall, I’m concerned with virtual-real subjectivity and its manifestations. I continue working on a cdrom of the last eight years of my work (Archive); I also additional video materials, created with Azure Carter and Foofwa d’Imobilite, on two cdroms, Baal and Parables. I’ve worked on a series of codeworks and political pieces, as well as Asteroids, a group of videos based on 3d modeling of spatial objects and fly-byes. Finally, I’ve recently completed two cdrom collections of materials, Miami and Voyage.
I have used MUDS, MOOS, talkers, perl, d/html, qbasic, linux, emacs, vi, CuSeeMe, etc., my work tending towards embodied writing, texts which act and engage beyond traditional reading practices. Some of these emerge out of performative language – soft-tech such as computer programs which _do_ things; some emerge out of interferences with these programs, or conversations using internet applications that are activated one way or another. And some of the work stems from collaboration, particularly video, sound, and flash pieces.
There is no binarism in the texts, no series of definitive statements. Virtuality is considered beyond the text- and web-scapes prevalent now. The various issues of embodiment that will arrive with full-real VR are already in embryonic existence, permitting the theorizing of present and future sites, "spaces," nodes, and modalities of body/speech/community.
It may be difficult to enter the texts for the first time. The Case of the Real is a sustained work and possible introduction. It is also helpful to read the first file, Net1.txt, and/or to look at the latest files (lq, lr) as well. Skip around. The Index works only for the earlier files; you can look up topics and then do a search on the file listed.
The texts may be distributed in any medium; please credit me. I would ap- preciate in return any comments you may have.
Current cdroms are available for $14; if you’ve have an earlier version, they go for $10. (Video format is .mov with Sorenson compression or .avi or .avi-jpg). (Costs include shipping.)
You can find my collaborative projects at
http://trace.ntu.ac.uk/writers/sondheim/index.htm and my conference
activities at http://trace.ntu.ac.uk – both as a result of my virtual
writer-in-residence with the Trace online writing community.
Being on Line, Net Subjectivity (anthology), Lusitania, 1997
New Observations Magazine #120 (anthology), Cultures of Cyberspace, 1998
The Case of the Real, Pote and Poets Press, 1998
Jennifer, Nominative Press Collective, 1997
Parables of Izanami, Potes and Poets Press, 2000/1
Alan Sondheim – Miami cellphone (voicemail) 305-610-5620
Miami phone (no voicemail) 305-668-5303
Home address: 4600 SW 67th Avenue, Apartment 252, Miami, FL, 33155