Alan Sondheim is a new-media writer, artist and theorist whose work focuses on cyberspace. He was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, lives in Brooklyn, New York, and holds a B.A. and M.A. in English from Brown University.
Internet Text, a continuous work posted online in 1994, is concerned with psychological, philosophical, and linguistic issues pertaining to communication in the computer age; the work confronts the problem of linguistic indeterminacy, for example, in the contemporary context of cyberspace. Internet Text is available through various email lists, collected on Sondheim’s website as a simple list of files, and coordinated with multimedia work on numerous websites. Internet Text is an aggregate of hundreds of text, image, sound, animation, and video files, expressing the multiplicity of cyberspace and online and/or virtual worlds, cultures, and communities. Sondheim’s characters largely function as psychological or philosophical avatars, and devices for textual or narrative experimentation. The text evokes the multiplicity of approaches to art in cyberspace, and the sheer mass, chaos, and temporal uncertainty of the online experience. The text can be explored in any direction, although a starting point is suggested in the introductory readme files; the files are listed roughly in the order they were written. However, no method of reading appears to yield a more coherent narrative experience than any other. On the internet, as in Internet Text, information is in abundance but meaningful connections between data units are ever elusive.
Adam Zarour was a student of Dr. Kiki Benzon for a course in Contemporary Fiction taught at the University of Lethbridge, Canada during the Winter term of 2011.