Computing Literature: Volume 2
Alan Sondheim’s Writing Under explores and examines what happens to writing as it takes place on and through the networked computer. Sondheim began experimenting with artistic and philosophical writing using computers in the early 1970s. Since 1994, he has explored the possibilities of writing on the Internet, whether using blogs, web pages, e–mails, virtual worlds, or other tools. The sum total of Sondheim’s writing online is entitled “The Internet Text.” Writing Under selects from this work to provide insight into how writing takes place today and into the unique practices of a writer. The selections range from philosophical musings, to technical explorations of writing practice, to poetic meditations on the writer online. This work expands our understanding of writing today and charts a path for writing’s future.
Learn more about Alan Sondheim here.
Computing Literature: Volume 2
Table of Contents
You’re Out There
Preposterous Justifications: Introduction by Sandy Baldwin
Alan Sondheim is a Brooklyn-based new media artist, musician, writer, and performer. He is concerned with issues of virtuality, and the stake that the real world has in the virtual. Learn more about Alan Sondheim at http://sondheim.rupamsunyata.org.
“Alan Sondheim is one of the precious few who joyfully-and in abject misery-risks these terrors of writing for us, for our pleasure and our undoing. What happens? Language disposes of us. As if that were not all that is required of any writer, Alan Sondheim is also the poet, the artist, the maker who has most profoundly immersed himself and his work in the life-changing code-forms-of networked computation-that have the world and its ‘genesis redux’ in their grip.”
“Encountering Alan Sondheim’s work we become aware how versatile a writer he is. The vast fore-lands of his Internet Text contains an estimated 25,000 pages of wryting involving—as Sandy Baldwin’s observes in his introduction—“a phenomenology thick with human perception and intentions that are bodily, personal, political, and communal.” In wryting, Sondheim produces all sorts of texts—poetry, prose, and the unnameable—compositions existing amidst conditions of material transformations that merge (with) the physical and technological. Writing Under offers up generous statements of process, from a self- and other- aware master who is codework’s godcyborg, a limner of psychedelic landscapes in Second Life, and an inveterate graphophile. This volume radiates foresight, stabilizing, if only for a moment, the fragility of “tenuously tethered bits and bytes” that exist in a vast field. For Sondheim, the creative is critical and vice versa; there’s much telling in Writing Under, projecting insight into the machinery of his oeuvre. Anyone interested in knowing more about (or from) a writer who has practiced and thrived on the Internet since its very beginnings needs to read this book.”
“Sondheim crafts an often meandering + always introspective recording of his prodigious on-line output. Birthed [and often remixed] in digital formats and drenched in anxiousness + desire, his staggeringly open text gives rise to possibilities of endless interpretation and comprehension, leaving multiple re-reads a definite must.”
Read a Rain Taxi review of Writing Under.