long live ubuweb!

From: David Berridge (email suppressed)
Date: Mon Jun 09 2008 - 03:11:04 PDT

UBUWEB is a remarkable, rich resource. It's the one place that offers the
possibility of a (free) comprehensive experience of a range of experimental
arts - especially for those without access to college libraries, archive or
museum collections. To dismiss it is to ignore the wonderful gift it
represents, and its ripost to decades when access to this work was tightly

Three points in the context of this list:

I first encountered ubuweb as an archive of visual, oral and written
poetry. The issues with copyright really came to the fore with the decision
to present large amounts of film work. I wonder what this says about the
different attitudes amongst poets and film makers to their work and how it
is made available. A look at the poetry selections reveals that key
practitioners - such as Jerome Rothenberg - have also become involved as
section editors. Why are film makers not doing this? Perhaps different
artistic disciplines have failed understand each others ways of working.

Secondly, the challenge of ubuweb is whether any other form of organisation
could create something even remotely as comprehensive. The evidence at the
moment suggests not. Does the economy of this kind of work mean ubuweb's
"grab and post" attitude is the only way such a comprehensive archive could
come into existence?

Finally, I think it is wrong to overly focus Ubuweb on Kenny Goldsmith. Even
a cursory look reveals it as a remarkable collection of contemporary
practictioners, engaged both with their own work and in dialogue with that
of their predecessors. Again, at a time of many 1960's retrospectives - such
as Tony Conrad's at Tate Modern this coming weekend - the challenge would
seem to be whether there is another project ( organised along different
lines) with cross-generational conversations as practical, vibrant and

Ian White's recent book (as editor) entitled KINOMUSEUM perhaps offers some
ways forward here, with several contributors (including Stuart Comer, one of
the curators of Tate's Conrad season) suggesting the museum as offering a
place to encounter film prints of work originally encountered via you tube.

all best

David Berridge

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.