Re: The Politics of the Bootleg--Bruce Conner

From: Jonathan Walley (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Jun 15 2008 - 11:14:11 PDT

Thank you, Dominic, for a very sensible post. Especially:

> In today's world there must be a solution for the
> situation we find ourselves in as filmmakers, viewers,
> curators, teachers, researchers, etc. A way to have hi
> res copies (or clips) of the avant garde cinema be
> presented on line without ripping off the artist and
> doing a major disservice to the community by
> exhibiting unauthorized or unapproved material.....and
> at the same time respecting those artists that do not
> want their work publicly presented in any digital
> format.....

I think some of those who have taken a "pro-Ubu" stance (for lack of a
better term) have equated criticism of Ubuweb with criticism of the
very idea of making experimental films available online. It is the poor
quality of the images, and Ubu's self-serving "by any means necessary"
rhetoric, to which people on this list have tended to object, not the
very concept of online access itself.

I'd love to see a filmmaker-driven, coop-driven, etc. effort to
increase public access to these films, posting them in high quality,
placing them in a context that helps viewers understand them better,
and respecting the wishes of those filmmakers who are wary of digital
(not to go off on too long a tangent here, but this wariness of the
digital strikes me as one of the most important features of certain
experimental filmmaking practices today). But doing this the right way
will take time and great care, whereas Ubu got the bandwidth, had the
bootlegs, and ran with it - I think without considering, or caring
about, the possible consequences of their actions.

I'm glad to see the Hall of Shame down. I just hope Ubu isn't just
reconfiguring it to include all Frameworkers who voiced their
criticisms of it!



Jonathan Walley
Assistant Professor, Cinema Department
Denison University
Granville, Ohio 43023

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