Alan Sondheim

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Alan Sondheim was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; he lives with his partner, Azure Carter, in Brooklyn NY. He holds a B.A. and M.A. from Brown University in English. A new-media artist, writer, and theorist, he has exhibited and lectured widely. Sondheim's books include the anthology Being on Line: Net Subjectivity (Lusitania, 1996), Disorders of the Real (Station Hill, 1988), .echo (alt-X digital arts, 2001), Vel (Blazevox 2004-5), Sophia (Writers Forum, 2004), Orders of the Real (Writers Forum, 2005), and The Wayward (Salt, 2004) as well as numerous other chapbooks, ebooks, and articles. His videos and films have been shown internationally, most recently at Millennium Film in New York (2008), Yonsei University in South Korea, and Brown University's Interrupt Festival (2008). Sondheim co-moderates several pioneering email lists, including Cybermind, Cyberculture and Wryting; Jon Marshall has published a book-length ethnography of the first. Since January, 1994, Sondheim has been working on an "Internet Text," a continuous meditation on philosophy, psychology, language, body, and virtuality. In 1999, Sondheim was the 2nd Virtual Writer in Residence for the Trace online writing community (Nottingham-Trent University, England). Sondheim currently has a solo show and five-month residency at the Odyssey exhibition space in the online virtual world, Second Life. In 2004, he had a five-week residency at the Center for Literary Computing and the Virtual Environments Laboratory, both at West Virginia University; in 2006 he was a 6 week resident of the same. In 2005 he was resident artist/writer at Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana. He produced two CDs at the latter (his older records have been reissued by ESP-Disk and FireMuseum). Two new CDs have appeared with FireMuseum. Currently he is working on a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant at WVU, between a number of departments; his research is in codework, body and behavioral modeling, virtual environments, and avatars in general. In 2001, Sondheim assembled a special issue of the American Book Review on Codework, which was seminal in its genre; along with Mez and Sandy Baldwin, he has co-edited an online issue of Leonardo slated to appear later this year. ("Codework" has been the subject of a major international workshop at WVU in April, 2008). Sondheim taught in the Trace online writing program; in 2001-2 he also taught New Media at Florida International University in Miami. In 2006-07 he taught filmmaking at Brown University. For the past 18 years, Sondheim has worked with the Swiss dancer/choreographer Foofwa d'Imobilite, as well as Azure Carter; their work has been premiered across Europe, and continues on a 2008 New York State Council of the Arts grant. Sondheim's own laptop performances have been seen internationally; most recently he has been involved in online performance with Sandy Baldwin, for live audiences in Paris, London, Portland OR, and Brown University. In 2006 Sondheim had a major exhibition at Track 16 Gallery in Los Angeles. There have been other installations at the Grand Central Art Center, West Virginia University, and an ongoing exhibition in Second Life at Odyssey. Sondheim is currently working on two books - one examining the phenomenology and foundations of the analog and digital; and another, developing an aesthetics of virtual realities and avatars. Current interests include the phenomenology of virtual representation, temporal mapping with motion capture and 3d laser scanners, Buddhist philosophy and its relation to avatars and online environments, and choreography (including elements of very low frequency radio, virtual performance, and 'psycho-geographies' of wilderness). Relevant URLS: To access the Odyssey exhibition and residency: Webpage (directory) at WVU 2004 projects Earlier work at WVU