pathless path

"pathless path" by Alan Sondheim juxtaposes the natural path and highway travel. Of the project, Sondheim writes,

"In 2002 I walked this path and integrated this path with another
path; one was coded against another, neither was coded;
visually, each was parasitic upon or within the other; one might
say nature/culture but the vector belies this, undermines this;
as if there were a cavern and one might think the cavern itself
embraces the intermittent term, something beneath the logical
aspects of the movement. for the movement, the vector, is a
thing, or rather the interiority of what became a naming and a
skeletal presentation utilizing the framework or symbolic
dressing of thing, to the extent that even a variable is bound
typographically by a problematic specificity that allows us to
believe we're grasping the ungraspable. Now, even with the signs
towards the end of things, I have no idea where I was or where I
was going; I dimly remember for example, walking a path along
which there might have been an Everglades kite present high
above, but I don't carry this, nor do I carry the image of the
vehicle which I am driving also among the same paths of the same
region, somewhere in the west of Miami, somewhere among the
borderlands. Now, Miami inundates these and the roughness here
is further destroyed by fertilizer, pollution, population,
development, to the extent that the parasitic exceeds any
possible symbol, overflows the symbolic, becomes sludge or
indeterminate flow, a kind of endemic epidemic grit that
threatens this and every other ecosystem. Even the equations are
suspect in this vision; the symbols are roughened as this rough
world would have them; the path appears to end where the
hummocks begin; one can't tell for sure, and my memory fails me,
as if memory would be a form of recompense (i.e. "I was there"
which is meaningless in this context. The parasitic operates
upon itself as Ouroboros; it devours and only by its sheen does
it absorb and bother the clean and proper bodies which are about
to be annihilated. In this sense and in the sense of our
knowledge now of the world, every god is a parasite, every
religion, every element of the numinous that detracts from the
everyday where we witness the dissolution of clean food, water,
air, or even the mildest sense of peacefulness. The parasitic
now travels within the very wires and transmissions it corrodes;
what appears clear in email or the symbolic is in fact only the
endpoints of an inconceivable loss of clarity. Such a loss is
gathered here as well, in a text which is textless, a landscape
which is doubled and obliterated, and for me the thought of
elder or elegiac memories which are constantly unraveling, and
which have always been unraveled. I have thought about this and
thought about even the presence, thin as a pixel, of this files
which pretends to movement, memory, sign, symbol, message. I
have thought about this precisely as such thought tends towards
the dissolution from which it came, and to which it is going.
But more than that, it is the dissolution which has always
existed within and without it, thought and appearance of a file,
it is, in a sense, the roiling of a fractal which never resolves
back into clarity, never was clear, and never had clarity in the
first, last, and indeterminate places from which it never arose."


The Alan Sondheim Collection

An unpublished copy.

Alan Sondheim gave the files for this work to Dene Grigar in October of 2021.


Video File (.mp4)