[-empyre-] this month, the first week

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Wed Oct 3 02:31:56 EST 2012

Hi Ana,

Is your book available, and has it been translated? Would very much like 
to see it.

I remember working through Elaine Scarry, The Body in Pain, and Ernst 
Friedrich's War Against War (KKrieg dem Kriege), among other texts, while 
at Eyebeam. I also read a number of Buddhist texts on suffering, but they 
were personally les helpful.

Thanks, Alan

On Tue, 2 Oct 2012, Ana Vald?s wrote:

> 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
> etc.
> I am sad I was not aware about Monika's work at that time!
> Ana
> 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
>> _______________________________________________
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