ubu shame

From: David Tetzlaff (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Jun 11 2008 - 16:04:19 PDT

Maybe it's just me, but the whole tone of UbuWeb's discussion of it's
policies seems pretty tongue-in-cheek. Two quotes from their FAQ:

> We therefore give you permission to take what you like even though
> in many cases, we have no received permission to post it. We went
> ahead and did it anyway. You should too.
> Nothing is for sale on UbuWeb. It's all free. We know it's a hard
> idea to get used to, but there's no lush gift shop waiting for you
> at the end of this museum.

This sort of language strikes me as more figurative than literal. They
have a 'manifesto' for chrissakes, a term that at least since Tzara
has denoted hyperbole and polemics, not sober and judicious
reasoning. The 'manifesto' makes the following claim.

> UbuWeb embodies an unstable community, neither vertical nor
> horizontal but rather a Deleuzian nomadic model: a 4-dimensional
> space simultaneously expanding and contracting in every direction,
> growing "rhizomatically" with ever-increasing unpredictability and
> uncanniness.

Now, I'm not going to try to parse Deleuze on FRAMEWORKS, but it
strikes me that resorting to this particular high theory reference to
instability is a pretty good clue that things on UbuWeb might best not
be interpreted in a straightforward manner.

Specifically, I read their Hall of Shame page as a "Hall of Shame",
the quote marks indicating a measure of irony, hyperbole, jokiness. I
think some folks here are getting up high dudgeon as if these folks
were dead serious, and I don't think that interpretation is supported
by the text. It's a ribbing, not a condemnation. Lighten up.

That said, they may be rethinking the Hall of Shame concept, as the
URL for the page is currently returning '404 File Not Found'...

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