Alan Sondheim on Sat, 12 Feb 2000 18:15:38 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> description of my work

(This is sent around once a month or so to the email lists I send my work
to - apologies if you've seen it before. - Alan)

Internet Philosophy and Psychology -                              Feb. 00

This is a somewhat periodic notice describing my Internet Text, available
on the Net, and sent in the form of texts to various lists. The URL is: which is partially mirrored at (The first
site includes some graphics, dhtml, The Case of the Real, etc.) 

The changing nature of the email lists, Cybermind and Fiction-of-Philoso-
phy, to which the texts are sent individually, hides the full body of the
work; readers may not be aware of the continuity among them. The writing
may appear fragmented, created piecemeal, splintered from a non-existent
whole. On my end, the whole is evident, the texts extended into the lists,
part or transitional objects. 

So this (periodic) notice is an attempt to recuperate the work as total-
ity, restrain its diaphanous existence. Below is an updated introduction.


The "Internet Text" currently constitutes around 80 files, or 3500 print-
ed pages. It began in 1994, and continues as an extended meditation on
cyberspace, expanding into 'wild theory' and literatures. 

Almost all of the text is in the form of short-waves or long-waves. The
former are the individually-titled sections, written in a variety of sty-
les, at times referencing other writers/theorists. The sections are inter-
related; on occasion emanations appear, avatars possessing philosophical
or psychological import. They also create and problematize narrative sub-
structures within the work as a whole. Such are Julu, Alan, Jennifer, and
Nikuko, in particular. Overall, I'm concerned with virtual-real subjectiv-
ity and its manifestations, in relation to various philosophical issues. 
Recently I've been working with body issues through consideration of ava-
tars and ballet (Nikuko and Doctor Leopold Konninger), as well as issues
of philosophy in general; some of this has been produced as a series of
videotapes through the Experimental Television Center in Owego, NY. I have
also been intensively working on a diary for trAce, the online writing
community; see the URLs below. Finally, I have worked on both a series of
parables and texts - the latter based on notions of "interval" and "sec-

The long-waves are fuzzy thematics bearing on such issues as death, love,
virtual embodiment, the "granularity of the real," physical reality, com-
puter languages, and protocols. The waves weave throughout the text; the
resulting splits and convergences owe something to phenomenology, program-
ming, deconstruction, linguistics, prehistory, etc., as well as to the
domains of online worlds in relation to everyday realities. 

I have used MUDS, MOOS, talkers, perl, d/html, qbasic, linux, emacs, Cu-
SeeMe, etc., all tending towards a future of being-and-writing, texts
which act and engage beyond traditional reading practices. Some of the
work emerges out of performative language such as computer programs which
_do_ things; some emerges out of interferences with these programs, or
conversations using internet applications that are activated one way or
another. And some of the work appears out of collaboration or video, the
latter with Azure Carter and Foofwa d'Imobilite, leading to another series
of texts. 

There is no binarism in the texts, no series of definitive statements. 
Virtuality is considered beyond the text- and web-scapes prevalent now. 
The various issues of embodiment that will arrive with full-real VR are
already in embryonic existence, permitting the theorizing of present and
future sites, "spaces," nodes, and modalities of body/speech/community. 

Please check the INDEX to find your way into the earlier body of the work. 
The Case of the Real is a sustained work that may be the most useful text
of all. It is also helpful to read the first file, Net1.txt, and/or to
look at the latest files (lf, lg, etc., which are still to be indexed) as
well. Skip around. The Index lists the files in which a particular topic
is described; you can then do a search on the file, or simply scroll down
(the files range in length from 30 to 50 pages in print). (Note: I have
stopped working on the index; for the later files, I suggest you skim. 
Eventually, I need a site and a local search engine for the texts; at the
moment, I apologize for the awkwardness of it all.) 

The texts may be distributed in any medium; please credit me. I would ap-
preciate in return any comments you may have. 

I should mention you can find my collaborative activities at and my conference
activities at - both as a result of my virtual
writer-in-residence with the Trace online writing community. 

See also:
Being on Line, Net Subjectivity (anthology), Lusitania, 1997
New Observations Magazine #120 (anthology), Cultures of Cyberspace, 1998
The Case of the Real, Pote and Poets Press, 1998
Jennifer, Nominative Press Collective, 1997

Alan Sondheim 718-857-3671 
432 Dean Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11217
mail to: 

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