[-empyre-] night sea crossing 3

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Mon Oct 22 15:10:01 EST 2012

Pain in the virtual isn't pain of course, any more than pain in a
photograph is. So the question would be, how does the representation of
pain in the habitus or disembodiment of the virtual work on or with the

In this sense, the question really isn't about the virtual in itself, at 
all, but part of a larger question: How does representation of pain, 
suffering, and death, relate, motivate, and create in the viewers of a 
work of any sort, a reaction which might touch and motivate them (towards 
what end?) deeply?  And how does the representation of this (which, by 
virtue of its being virtual, as representation) relate to those who are at 
the verge of death, are suffering acute pain, are victims of slaughter, 
and so forth?

The question isn't about anime or Second Life, but about what I still see 
as the deep inexpressibility at the 'heart' of these concerns, in relation 
to what art, or therapy, or dance, or any system of representation, might 
do. There's a phenomenology of anguish here, that doesn't resolve, I 
think. The problem is _most_ acute in the traditional virtual - where 
anime, Second Life, Web 2.0 etc. meet, but it goes beyond this. I just 
don't have the answers and see at the heart, for example, of Celan, an 
inertness or silence that's uncanny.

I hope I'm being clear; I'd still like to hear others' responses, more 
than my own stumbling voice.

Thanks, Alan

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