Video Files & Bio

  • Multi-media performance
    (aprox. 1 hour)
  • Read Alan Sondheim's Bio


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Text from Performance
Miami University – Leonard Theater – Oxford, Ohio – 12.1.05

Once We begin we march to our deaths yes yes we do or or do we do we march to our death? Is our death collective? Universal? One or many? I'm sorry I'm much better at sound than visual. No wait I meant to say much better at ... not at writing ... I'm much better "not at writing." Wait, you have to see this. But I'm not so good "at thinking." How does one do something "at" writing or something "at" thinking? Excuse me, I'm cold; my clothes are lost in a suitcase somewhere outside Chicago.You're early, we're running tests here, although the performance won't be all that different. If you look for about ten minutes you'll have had enough and then you can leave and make room for the lines of people outside. Signed, "Henry Potter." "Man tries to climb so high and then He falls and falls ALAS" "Man likes to fire off his Thing ALAS" This is me playing a waltz. That was me stopping a waltz. This is Anja Schmidt. This is me and Sandy Baldwin discussing the phenomenological distinction between "analog and digital." This is me and Sandy Baldwin flying through the air across the river in New Jersey (from New York). "We can fly." I should tell you the performance won't be any different from what you're seeing now, honestly. I might be a bit more nervous, that's all. Graphics are graphics. Well, anyway these were done around the time of the scandal over the Abu Gharayb prison in Iraq. And some of the guards involved in that, they were from West Virginia. And this was produced near the area where the guards, some of them, were from. So it was natural for me to work with disturbed, torn bodies - here's another one - you might have already seen this last night - I'm supposed to start in six minutes but this is only forty seconds long! I've used up all my material! FUCK! Maybe you'd like to hear a kid screaming. This kid from West Virginia can do this! I can't. I don't know how he does it. His family "doesn't encourage him." You just can't get enough of screaming kids! Think positive, think MARTHA STEWART! (Have you seen Wednesday's The Apprentice? I had to show this stuff instead. I don't know who got kicked off. Pleas see me later and letme know.) - on the right, one of the major scenes of car wrecks in Orange County California. That curve sneaks up on you! Ok, me, age fourteen. I knew a girl. I "fell" for her. More of the West Virginia work. Somewhere between avatars and shamans and the torture at Abu Gharayb there lies a whole politics. I can't tell you the politicxs "but I can tell you this/" These figures were animated by using motion graphics - a motion graphic device - by messing with the mapping of the sensors that are placed on the body – rearranging them - just as figures are rearranged in torture - just as torture (and Merce Cunningham for another example) pays little attention to the natural attitudes of the body. So the body - with the motion sensor stuff – was divided and splayed and redivied and the result is a remapping back on to bodies that makes little sense but for a kind of emotional economy.... (TURN AWAY YOU MIGHT NOT WANT TO SEE THIS BLUSH!) Instead of being introduced, think of this as an introduction: MY NAME IS ALAN SONDHEIM AND I AM NOT ON MY MEDICATION !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WWELL, hmm, that'senough of that... See, what happened, my baggage was lost by American Airlines (PLEASE KILL AMERICAN AIRLINES BURN THEM IN HELL HAHAHAHHAHAHHAHHHHHHHHHHHZ) and so I'm working without my PLENIPOTENTIARIES - part of what I'm doing, trying to control these images - so they make some sort of sense - at times they seem to take over, take control - I'm wll aware of the sexuality/politics of the images, I'm not imagining things...I'm spoiling things, this is the grand finale and it's hardly just started. Terrific, so much stuff to look at. I'll try and tell yo what's here - the antenna movie in the upper left - searching for places to set up low frequency radio antennas - they need to be away from civilization - in the wilderness away from power lines - the recordings you're hearing are fromm the radio somewhat modified - then the category of natural/industrial - two films going through my images trying to find those which fit (I think ) into oene or another - I've got two naturals running, gotta tkae one out - Let's listen to the kids. Okay it's like this, THE KIDS ARE OUR FUTURE> (hell, that's not me , that's the medications talking!) - well .... This is my partner and me being a happy family in Santa Ana Clifornia on a residency program going about our business and singging and dancing like any happy family there's also simulated sex of course but that's , ow I don't want to inerryot tg HELL interrupt the bowing...

Ok picture this... it's three in the morning and there's a huge explosin outside our loft in brooklyn and G comes runnin and in and says the water mains blown and sure enoughs o so we run out and watched it fill sthe subway and tear the street apart. Some of you saw this last night BUT NOT THE WHOLE THING.

well I'll dsappoint you again. This is all my work forthe past twelve years. Richard Nixon put it beest "When the tough get going the good get tough." Well, that's easy for me to say. What amazes me about the United States at this point in time - is how the social safety net has been totallyeliminated in the four or five years of the Bush administration. In NY where we live (Brooklyn) there are suddenly dozens of homeless people and the soup kitchens are overflowing and no one is giving to those charities because the war in Iraq and Katrina absorbed the funds. So anyway In Huntington beach california, there was this fourth of july parade. and it was like the parades in the Soviet Union in the fities and sixties, goose-stepping kids, lots of armor, lots of salutes to the military - at least for me - i lived through too much of that periiod – it was frightening - and it was all for the sake of oil - Huntington Beach was at one point one of the largest producers of oil in the US - and these grasshoppers - this oil rigs - carrry american flags on it as if it makes everything all right - in Salt Lake City, dusk settles in, turns to night, the landscape is fairly devoured within the city limits, there's a short path, "nature path" through it, the Jordan River, it turned night there -we saw a couple of foxes that managed to survive . these were dreams and nightmares of figures and it took about two hours to make this - no this one took an hour I KNEW WHAT I WAS DOING (said GOD).normally at this point I'd BE ON A ROOLLL and everything would be working perfectly hin harmony that is, but now already things are a bit out of control. here's a bunch of films all at once - can you tell which is moving? If you were seeing this in a theater and it was a harry potter movie, you can be sure soething really remarkably dramatic would b e going on. So hmmm... I'm not sure how to deal with this - I think the figure on the right HAS DIPTHERIA. Just watch. The woman above - hmmm.... she's got CHOLERA and is writing (heh what a misprint) wrything writhing in her last moments of life. Oh god I just looked to my right ALL OF YOU ARE STILL HERE... fuck, I didn't think so many had come . If you arrived in the last three or four minutes, you're lucky, you'll think this is all NEW. So you don't have to see the DUMP MOVIE again, how idiotic! God I could just watch myself on the screen forever and ever. Back to politics. The next video was shot on

the grunds of the World Trade Center and the soundtrack is modified from WIFI signals in the area. Hold onto your hats! THIS I could WATCH FOREVER - this is the inside of my brain..... Is there a doctor in the house (doctor = sysadmin). At night, for exaple the night before last, I dreamed of bodies like these. And this afternoon I was napping and I dreamed of an explosion inside the equipment, that is, inside the euqipmetn, the digital

equipment, that I was using to make these images. And the explosion happened inside me and the explosion destroyed me and all that was left were these images but you needed to understand the protocols to make sense of the images and maybe you didn't know the protocols or the protocols were absent ... So if they were absent, you'd have these bits and pieces of things, but they'd only be bits and pieces of flesh or something like flesh - the secret codes - that make things move - these codes would be gone they'd be gone gone they'd be gone machines - there'd be nothing left - you wouldn't see the bits of flesh hanging off the avatars – the animations which were nothing more than digital surfaces stapled LITERALLY on human bodies, the screams would be covered up, by — I really can't think this through any longer, it's all there in the BOOK THE BIBLE. At night, as I said, these things mix, they mix with me, they mix with the political and the death of bodies - It seems, I'd think, you could tell with of these figures on the left - which was real. But I'd have you fooled.... men are so stupid... On the right, yet another scene from Harrpy Power... On the left, yet another sceeen from Irak Warrior online. I recognize the hour on hand...

the hour on hand... this is somewhere somewhere this is... coming towards an end... The idea (according to Schelling - rather the Idea - is that when you play beach volleyball you PLAY WITH SOMEONE. hitting into the voice is a pure act of a very different sort of creation.... I think it's this.. that I'm just fucked up, that I think if I can't do something well at least I can do more of it - and that will make it better. But it just gets preposterous ....sometimes you just do this sttuff and it stops THANK YOU FOR COMING. There will be some time for questions and answwer s