[-empyre-] this month, the first week

Lauren Berlant lberlant at aol.com
Wed Oct 3 13:37:05 EST 2012

one more, hannah gold...

Lauren Berlant
George M. Pullman Professor
Department of English
University of Chicago
Walker Museum 413
1115 East 58th Street
Chicago IL 60637
773-493-6202 (ph)
773-702-2495 (fax)

Sent from my iPad. Please excuse autocomplete infelicities. 

On Oct 2, 2012, at 11:04 AM, 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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