Re: The Politics of the Bootleg

From: Nicky Hamlyn (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Jun 11 2008 - 13:17:46 PDT

I second this. I've not seen "The Flicker" either and I'm not going
to see it on Friday at Tate Modern because of a clash!

The critic David Sylvester once said that his interest in art was
fired by looking at black and white reproductions in books, and that
it was some time before he saw the paintings in the flesh. There's an
argument to be made that poor black and white reproductions spur one
on to see the real thing more than seeing high quality colour
reproductions, which can seem to replace the real pictures, or quell
the desire to see them.

Sylvester extended his point by complaining that art was too easy to
see these days, and that (as a consequence?) Tate Modern was full of

Nicky Hamlyn.

On 11 Jun 2008, at 18:24, Chris Kennedy wrote:

> It also leads to the question (as does James' post below), why must
> we have
> access to everything? To me, part of the appeal of watching film
> (probably a
> hangover from comic and record collecting) is the slow amassing of
> experience. There is always something to look forward to. Watching
> Out 1:
> Noli m Tangere (a holy grail film for me) last summer was a
> experience not
> of just the film, but of a communion with my 20-year old self who was
> reading James Monaco's The New Wave. Much like a youthful reading
> about the
> Velvet Underground in my small town library's Rolling Stone, much
> of my
> interest in film was sparked by some fleeting descriptions in
> magazines or
> books, and it has taken me quite a few years to get to see even a
> portion of
> what I wanted to see. And yes, I made job decisions (programming) and
> geographic decisions (Toronto/SF) in order to facilitate that. But
> other
> decisions, like not knowing another language or not living on another
> continent, will make it harder for me to see many other things...
> So be it.
> In contrast, I've downloaded tons of rare albums from blogs, and
> I'm not
> sure I'm that much richer for it. I have a friend who has thousands of
> burned DVDs--amassed, not watched--and he tells me he's tired of
> movies. Is
> it because it has moved from a desire to a storage obligation?
> We now seem to have a class of people who demand to have it all, only
> because theoretically you can. And when people, like the artists that
> created them, try to limit that, they get shamed. Really bizarre.
> I haven't seen "the Flicker", yet, although I want to. I do think,
> however,
> that the representations of it I have "seen", ie. some written
> words in a
> book and images in my imagination those words sparked, will suffice
> until I
> see the real thing. And if I never do, there's still something
> valuable to
> desire.
> Chris
>> ------------------------------
>> Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2008 11:12:20 -0400
>> From: James Cole <email suppressed>
>> Subject: Re: The Politics of the Bootleg
>> The difference between found footage and what ubu is doing is pretty
>> clear, I think. One is recontextualizing work and re-presenting
>> it in
>> creative ways. Ubu, on the other hand, shows the work in degraded
>> form without any regard for the maker. They're not trying to create
>> art (which is something that can, I think, fall under the umbrella of
>> fair use). They're just showing other people's art, with total
>> disregard for the people who made it and with how they present
>> it. It
>> seems to me that there is a pretty clear divide from found footage
>> and
>> what ubu does. I'm not sure what I can say, really, if we can't
>> distinguish between what Bruce Conner, Ken Jacobs, etc., etc. do, and
>> what Ubu is doing (with its self righteous hall of shame), then I
>> don't really know what to say. But, to me, it doesn't seem
>> especially
>> tricky to distinguish between Bruce Conner and Ubu, or between
>> Negativeland and The Pirate Bay. If you use a little bit of common
>> sense, you should be able to establish what is fair use.
>> Furthermore, this idea that "what matters is that people see the
>> work," thats very nice, FOR YOU. But if Ken Jacobs and Robert
>> Beavers
>> and Nathanial Dorsky want their films to be seen in certain
>> controlled
>> enviornments, then that is THIER right. If they did want to lock it
>> in a drawer, that would be their right, as well. I get the feeling
>> that some people would much rather their work never be seen than
>> it be
>> seen in poor light.
>> Also, is it really so wrong for people to want to get paid for their
>> work? People throw so much money into making this stuff, and we
>> don't
>> think they should be able to negotiate the terms for the showing of
>> their work? They should spend all of their money to make a film and
>> then get a job delivering pizzas to pay for it? There's a letter out
>> there somewhere from Frampton to the Moma regarding some of these
>> issues. There is an idea that artists should be greatful that anyone
>> wants to see their work, but to me that should be up to the artist.
>> -James
>> On 6/11/08, Jorge Amaro <email suppressed> wrote:
>>> Could Bruce Conner made A Movie having that in mind? Could dozens of
>>> found footage film makers have done anything at all? The concept of
>>> property is somehow confusing for me. The idea of nullify the found
>>> footage films I love so much over a concept of property is
>>> weird. And
>>> no one will think that a videotaped event from some museum or
>>> screening will substitute the film, and i think what matters is
>>> that
>>> people see the work, isnt it for that reason people make them in
>>> the
>>> first place? If they made it over an idea of property they could
>>> close
>>> it in drawer and throw away key, that alone is the only option
>>> if you
>>> dont want to see copies of your work.
>>> j.
>>> 2008/6/11 James Cole <email suppressed>:
>>>>> That's like saying a
>>>>> postcard of the Mona Lisa is the intellectual property of
>>>>> Leonardo.
>>>> Is that really such an absurd idea? I mean, it seems pretty clear
>>>> that, were Leonardo alive, it would be his property. Certainly you
>>>> can't be in favor of the postcard manufacturer being able to make
>>>> profits off of the Mona Lisa while Da Vinci has no say whatsoever.
>>>> If it wasn't ubuweb that was using it (an organization which is
>>>> ostensibly in favor of avant-garde film), would people really be so
>>>> allowing? If ubu can show a clip recorded off of a monitor,
>>>> then can
>>>> the US Army use the same clip in recruiting videos? Can
>>>> McDonalds use
>>>> it to sell burgers?
>>>> __________________________________________________________________
>>>> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.
>>> __________________________________________________________________
>>> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.
>> __________________________________________________________________
>> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.
>> ------------------------------
>> End of FRAMEWORKS Digest - 11 Jun 2008 - Special issue (#2008-281)
>> ******************************************************************
> __________________________________________________________________
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

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