Alan Sondheim

INTERNET TEXT is a meditation on the philosophy, psychology, political economy, and psychoanalytics of Internet (computer) communication. It focuses on virtual subjectivity, sexuality, community, and all aspects of computer interfacing. Please consult the Index for the list of topics.

The text consists of hundreds of sections written over a period of over two years, a continuous meditation on cyberspace, emphasizing issues of interiority, subjectivity, body, and language. The extended range of topics includes Net applications, as well as occasional reference to the underlying architecture and protocols of telecommunications; this is the materialist “gristle” that can’t be discarded in analysis.

All of the sections have been presented on the Fiction-of-Philosophy and Cybermind email-lists, which I co-moderate.

The subject matter is in the form of “short-waves, long-waves.” The former are the individual sections, written in a variety of styles, and referencing a number of writers ranging from Jabes and Blanchot to Acker and Lingis, with Penrose, Kristeva, and Karl Kraus somewhere in the middle. These texts are completely interrelated; on occasion “characters” appear – these are _actants_ possessing philosophical or psychological import. They also create and problematize narrative sub-structures within the work as a whole. (Such are Clara Hielo Internet, Tiffany, Alan, Travis, Honey, and others.)

The long-waves are fuzzy topoi of such issues as death, love, virtual embodiment, the “granularity of the real,” and physical reality, which criss-cross the texts. The resulting fragments and coagulations owe something to romanticism, deconstruction, linguistics, prehistory, the philosophy of science, and so forth – but more to the function of sites or nodes on the Net itself.

The writing encompasses, past and present, but wagers the future as well; hence, the emphasis on extended virtuality.

Reading: I advise at least skimming the first Net1.txt, and then consulting the Index – or follow your own path through the maze / theoretical substance.

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