BlazeVOX books

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VEL by Alan Sondheim

Price: $16.00

VEL Alan Sondheim BlazeVOX [books]

 One might think of Alan Sondheim as the Joyce of our time. Too big while he’s here among us, or while we’re here among him, to get our heads around what he’s done and is doing. On the other hand, it’s clear he doesn’t want to be our Joyce at all, in deliberate, un-scrolling process as he is of immolating himself, incinerating any last trace of canonical identity in a stupendous bonfire of poetry, code, and secret philosophy. What ‘Joyce’ shall be left’ What ‘Sondheim’’ A monk burns in full view and the blaze refuses to go out. We’re here watching, startled and baffled, contemptuous and titillated. That we don’t quite know what fuels the seemingly mystical act renders the transfiguration all the more unsettling and marvelous.

— Kent Johnson

Sondheim's writing refreshes. Narrative or persistent personality the reader constructs will resist. It's funny output, coded, destabilizing. It projects, expands and redirects personal need, hunger amidst insubstantial plenty, where the real material is imaginary. Writing without purpose; purposeful writing; not delivery of contentment or white space infill. Writing as individuation of multipliers where what is familiar is parodic as it is manifested, cyborgian tenacity creating its selves in process awareness, sans merci. I is mindful of being confederated awareness. Peripheral desiring bodies remain animal, alone and palely loitering during downtime, mammals with machines, sensuous making intellects.

— Lawrence Upton

Alan Sondheim is a force of nature: a Category 5 mindstorm blowing in from all points of the compass at once. Coded and plain-speaking, philosophical and emotional, artistic and banal: to read Sondheim is to fall through a wormhole into a full world. And why shouldn't a work of art be a world’ His art is writing as a performance act even more direct than Allen Ginsberg speaking into his tape recorder. A storming virtuosity of ideas. Be shelled. (ksh to be specific.) Complex and simple, digital and just plain talking, Jeremiah and the static. At this time of continuing doom, the storm we need to blow us clean.

— Jim Rosenberg



Sondheim is a multi-media artist working in written text, video, sound, and image. For the past twelve years he has been continuously writing a meditation on what it means to be "online" a meditation that has carried him endlessly in and out of language.

His readings are a kind of one-screen laptop performance; he projects the screen as well as sound. The images are from short looped videos that appear to interact with each other. He writes live text at the bottom of the screen to accompany them. The whole thing is an improvisation.

· Paperback: 120 pages
· Binding: Perfect-Bound Binding
· BlazeVOX [books] (December 2004)
· Size: 7.5" x 9.25"
· ISBN: 0-9759227-4-2
· Retail Price: $16.00

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