Re: The Politics of the Bootleg

From: Beverly O'Neill (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Jun 11 2008 - 13:50:57 PDT

Dear James, Your post cuts to the chase. How much traffic and
income does UBU steer toward the artists it streams. Ubu has built a
major reputation through link citations and search traffic that it is
the first listing on Goggle for artists like Hollis Frampton, Ken
Jacobs, Yvonne Rainer, George Kuchar, James Broughton, Ernie Gehr, et
al. When opening UBU one is offered an immediate full viewing of
their most well known works. Does that boost media artists rentals
through co-op rentals, or DVD purchases? Canyon Cinema thinks the
matter is worth exploring.

Conner's use of found footage and UBU's appropriation of an artist's
complete output cannot be confused. Conner has operated for years in
the sphere of public domain. One could argue he made the first, most
important contribution to film history with "A Movie". That 50 year
old piece has generated more spin-offs, one of the latest being Bill
Maher's opening titles on his HBO show. We should celebrate "A
Movie"s golden anniversary.

Really loved your insights.
Beverly O'Neill
On Jun 11, 2008, at 8:12 AM, James Cole wrote:

> 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>.

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