Re: long live ubuweb!

From: James Cole (email suppressed)
Date: Mon Jun 09 2008 - 07:23:13 PDT

I've got to take a little bit of issue with one of your points/assumptions.

> To dismiss it is to ignore the wonderful gift it
> represents, and its ripost to decades when access to this work was tightly
> controlled.

> 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.

Different artistic disciplines differ not only in ways of working, but
in ways of experiencing the final product. A poem, for example, can
be reproduced with a very high degree of fidelity on the Internet.
There is very little about a sonnet that doesn't carry over from a
book to a webpage. Granted, their are likely some issues of
typography and spacing, etc.; I don't claim to be an expert. That
said, the majority of poetry can be read on a computer screen without
the experience being seriously compromised.

It should be clear that you can't say this about film. A few examples:

I mean, these are a fucking joke! Even a good rip of a film (which is
emphatically not what you get on Youtube, Ubu, etc.) doesn't compare.
You can't get a good fullscreen on most of these, and even if you
could, you can't even come close to a true cinematic experience on
your computer screen.

If we can take a lesson from the music industry: online downloads of
work hurt cd sales. Of course it's not a perfect 1 to 1 analogy, but
it seems to me that people watching a facsimile of a film on their
computer screen could lead them to be less likely to go see it at
their local film society/independent theatre. The amount of resources
that this type of film practice has is already SO limited, the
filmmakers' budgets SO strained, the Co-ops' budgets SO stretched,
that I'm not convinced that the availability of photocopies of this
work outweighs the possible damage these things can do. A lot of this
work isn't, as you say, "tightly controlled" by their makers, or by
venues, or by academics, or by the government. It is controlled by
(and this is ugly) practical, financial, concerns. Concerns which
ubuweb can only possibly hinder, as opposed to the liberation from
these concerns that seems to be a working assumption under which ubu
runs. I'm skeptical, to say the very least.

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