[-empyre-] The Self and Post-Reality

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Wed Jan 8 09:51:07 EST 2014

- Hi Kevin, I wanted to quote you, but in the linux terminal I'm using, 
your text disappears! I'll do my best. Apologies for my terminal 

Kevin writes:

"Alan, your response gives us much to consider, and I agree that ?the 
clarity of virtual worlds? as described by some is ?disturbing.?  Some of 
what you write reminds me of artist Randall Packer?s notion of a 
third-space, post-reality. While I appreciate works that 
create/demonstrate this collapse between the real and the virtual, I also 
think that this is an opportunity to go beyond that model of ?unmasking,? 
a model that embraces making?invention?that escapes > ?protocols, 
scripts?, etc."

-- I'm not advocating a post-reality or any other temporality, however; 
I'm saying these conditions have always already existed. It's not a 
collapse, it's not something that _occurs_ that way; it's continuous. So 
that 'going beyond,' or 'unmasking' - all these verbs - for me, this has 
already existed; technology may foreground it, but it's always been there.

"Alluding to the work of Eric Havelock, Walter Ong, and Greg Ulmer, part 
of the problem with many discussions on the ?self? is that this concept 
might be outdated, outmoded, in the digital.  We forget that the ?self? is 
itself an invented concept?one that has become pinned down and 
mythologized from print cultures.  As we continue our digital turn, 
artists, programmers, designers, philosophers, etc. need carve a new path 
towards not a new definition of the self but a new concept altogether."

-- But I'm not discussing selves or self, I say "In relation to Stelarc, I 
wonder if he does not _have_ a body, and even the particulation of the 
body - does not this reflect something beyond or behind us? And what 
selves are there, and are there shelves, not selves?" - in other words, 
shifting the discourse from self to shelves, avatar shells in other words, 
choice - this has nothing to do with a "new definition of the self" but 
everything to do with inventory in virtual worlds as well as the smeared 
phenomenology of that inventory.

-- Btw, it wasn't a spelling error but deliberate trope. Could you say 
something more about OOO in relation to all of this? I haven't read it 
(other than in relation to programming) -

Thanks greatly, Alan

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