[-empyre-] FW: VII Place and topos

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Sun Oct 14 12:40:38 EST 2012

Hi - I want to return to the topic for thee month, and have some comments 
to make, not about any posts, but about my own background. I've been 
reading about depression and looking at my past work and I've found that 
almost everything I've done for the past two years or so has centered 
around pain, suffering, wounding, death, slaughter, globacl extinctions, 
annihilation and the like. This tallies well with my depressions - as far 
as I know I'm chronically depressed, something I relate to my upbringing. 
But the result of all of this, which I examine theoretically and through 
my own artwork, is that my own depression has hardened; I'm deliberately 
avoiding medication to deal with this (since I don't want to have either 
personality or somatic changes), and I've found myself sinking. I just 
finished the Cyposium conference yesterday, where I presented ideas 
related to the entanglement of real and virtual, with an emphasis on pain 
and death; my Eyebeam residency dealt with the wounding and dying of 
avatars; and empyre this month is harrowing, as well it should be. But my 
own sinking is damaging and feeds back into my psychology, which is full 
of regrets, stress, nightmares and insomnias, and uncontrollable weeping. 
I've seen the symptomology before in others, who often end up following a 
constantly changing medication regime that ultimately goes nowhere. So 
after empyre this month, I'm going to try a change in course, to deal with 
other issues instead, even though on personal levels, death is the one 
encounter that is absolute. I don't think that death itself - not the 
lead-up, but the moment of withdrawal and its aftermath, is subject to 
anything; it's the assertion of substance, of the real, as far as the 
psyche is concerned. I just don't want to live in a place where suicide 
seems either an investigative technique or a reasonable end to theory. At 
this point, I don't yet know how to escape this, but I have to, for my 
sake and for Azure's. On empyre, I wonder and want to ask - not about 
avatars, but a more basic question - how do we live with ourselves? and 
especially for those of us who have experience trauma or war or torture (I 
fit in the first category only, as if these were categories), how do we 
live with ourselves? For if embroiling our work in these issues of pain 
and annihilation solves nothing but brings mourning and despair, anguish, 
constantly to the foreground, how can we possibly escape? I think these 
questions are at the heart of the human project, such as it is, and would 
like to hear from others here, if possible.

Thanks Alan

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