[-empyre-] this month, the first week

Ana Valdés agora158 at gmail.com
Wed Oct 3 02:13:23 EST 2012

Hi Alan and good luck in your month here!
Interesting in reading about Monika's work, I was very concerned with
these topics when I wrote my book about torture and violence and
history. As maybe many or you know since my earlier participation in
-empyre I was a political prisoner in Uruguay when I was very young. I
was tortured, waterboarded and so on, but could not cope with these
memories until now, four years ago I wrote. And when I was writing I
was in physical pain, my body remembered things I had deleted or
forgotten. To be able to write the book I read many books written
about pain and evil, body and memory, Judith Butler, Susan Sontag, etc
I am sad I was not aware about Monika's work at that time!

On Tue, Oct 2, 2012 at 1:04 PM, Alan Sondheim <sondheim at panix.com> wrote:
> Hi - Monika Weiss, Sandy Baldwin, and myself are on together for the first
> week. I've been fascinated by Monika's work for years, and earlier this year
> we performed together, in dual performances, at Eyebeam in New York, while I
> was a resident there. Her work is concerned with anguish, memory, violence,
> cultural debris, and related concerns. It is multi-media, involving
> performance, installation, video, and sound. She writes
> "The transdisciplinary work of Monika Weiss examines relationships between
> body and history, and evokes ancient rituals of lamentation as traditionally
> performed in response to war. Her current work considers aspects of public
> memory and amnesia as reflected within the physical and political space of a
> City."
> We're asking her to begin the week; later, Sandy and I will also post, in
> sections, a text we wrote together on pain, avatars, and virtuality.
> I just want to say a few words here, in relation to my own interest in the
> topic. The internet, inscreasingly dominated by social media, is a safe
> place for many people; at the same time, it is a Kristevan "clean and proper
> body" that hides or bypasses pain and suffering - not through content, but
> through the nature of the online media themselves. I think this has
> troubling psychological repercussions,  Levinas, say, on one said, and
> Baudrillard on the other. Alterity, the presence of the other, disappears
> into pixels, and simulacra, all the way down, take over.
> So how do we feel, convey, or act in relation to, pain, suffering, and
> death, online? How can we deal with the political beyond petition? How can
> we situate ourselves in a world of images and the imaginary?
> Sandy and I both moderate email lists, but we're a bit unused to this format
> - if it's a bit rough at the beginning, bear with us!
> We'll begin with Monika, and later, intersperse the discussion with the text
> we wrote back and forth. Because we're beginning October 2, we'll continue
> for the next seven or eight days; our weeks aren't exact.
> Thanks for reading,
> Alan
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre


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