[-empyre-] setting fire to avatars, collapsing realities

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Thu Jan 9 14:10:52 EST 2014

Alan's reply is indirect and direct, to me the words and works are not weightless
nor as you say are/were their bodies and carriers. You profoundly hit upon a subject
that of course is often avoided as we rarely talk about death, and pain in these
soft_skinned conversations, yet you are right to remind us of the dialogues
on "Pain, Suffering, and Death in the Virtual" (back in October 2012).
You are deeply pessimistic, I sense, and thus a realist and I much enjoy your
poetic descriptions and evocations of what I care about too, the " the interior, what feels within and looks without"
which in performance comes, for me, from the physical energies and mental
imaginations we exert while moving or making music, or if you like indeed,
play into the far reaches or edges of virtual worlds, and as you mention
multiverses, yes I remember conversations with particle physicists (working
at CERN) engaging the contracting, spent breath and darkness visible
of woundspace in cosmic chasms.....


but those were more poetic conversations (some mingled with science,
and the poor CERNers looking for a "god particle") and they reminded
me that the starting point – for the work I reference in the link – was
language (A Kafka story) and body, and the imagined real (virtual?) wound
to be treated. 

The wound turns out to be untreatable, and so I appreciate
your ironies, and your mind.  But the ground is never dead, and I want to share an incident
from last week, in the hills of Texas, when a sculptor, Bob Bocock, showed me
around the ranch and pointed to the heavy metal pieces he had made over
the past 40 years and placed around the land. 

The sculptor smiled and did not answer my question when I asked him about his life's work,
and why had he not shown the work, I wondered?  He said showing or selling it did not matter to him. 
Making it did.  And he now suffers from chronic back pain. Then he showed me each piece, some "conceptual" steel sculptures rising up against 
the blue sky, other rusted ones bending down, others silver & futuristic, spread-eagled  – "Tricky bird," 
 "Telescope",  "Mystical energy place," "Dead deer" (steel), "Gate" (an interactive gate lock construction 
with rope, stone face, after Picasso, wood). The interactive gate was wonderful; it is to keep the cattle out.
Bob thinks he will die in the not so far future,  and then the sculptures will be left to live there as they are too heavy to move.

Johannes Birringer

[Alan Sondheim schreibt]

Should this go first to the body-Johannes-Birringer and then to the 
listserv (if such be the software), a form of indirect addressing? Is the 
body of Johannes Birringer receiving these words smoothly? I ask only 
because the element of the body as weight or pull has entered the dialog, 
only _as_ since the words here are weightless, although their carriers and 
data-bases are not. I keep going back to Clement Rosset, who I read only
in part years ago to the effect that the real is 'idiotic,' which I quote
far too often, but which means for me that it is just there, as mute
haecceity perhaps at best. The ground is the ground, ground up, as
featureless as death and in the sense of materiality, the body is already
dead, and in the sense of transformation, always alive. The states grind
into each other; bump and grind have no other meaning than sweat and
something felt; what goes bump in the night speaks nothing, and its sound
is muted. So all dancers fall, fail, at the end, and their memorized
movement is or is not captured from particular viewpoints, but not from
the interior, what feels within and looks without. These can be dialed-in,
in virtual worlds, objects turned physical, but they carry no weight. I've
worked with such, watch them reach the edge of the game-space as the
tumble across the sim, then disappear. Sometimes they're returned to
inventory, sometimes not. This is playing out the game with its rules, the
kind of virtuality everyone talks about today, talks about of course until
they're dead. I'd say the ground isn't virtual because it doesn't speak;
in this forum months ago I wrote about the unspeakability of untoward and
numbing pain, often close to the curtain of death. The body sinks, and
what then? Nothing, old tech software, and the interior/internal, spoken
and thought world sinks as well as the body dies. The virtual, we might
say, is among and for the living; the body, dead, is out of the gamespace

On the other hand, what we're not talking about, virtual particles and
multiverses, holographic universes and black hole interiors, who knows?
One can only hope to live on, in a perhaps drastically-altered cosmos, and
perhaps we already are.

I would have liked to have heard the Finnish tunes -

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