Re: [Frameworks] UbuWeb...HACKED!

From: Anna Biller (email suppressed)
Date: Fri Oct 15 2010 - 10:33:40 PDT

Almost all of these posts have been about the rights and experiences
of viewers, when the issue from the very beginning has been the rights
of the makers.

On Oct 15, 2010, at 10:05 AM, Myron Ort wrote:

> Having for years owned a collection of the Brakhage 8mm Songs and
> some other 16mm prints, VHS collections, and now owning the two
> Brakhage Anthologies on DVD and BluRay, and some subscription
> downloads.
> I am very aware of the value and need to watch these particular films
> repeatedly, and then some, on my own schedule and impulse, even
> over a period of years -- whenever the mood of receptivity strikes
> me. How else can this be done?
> I am actually not much interested in work that doesn't need to be or
> doesn't (for me) hold up to such eternally repeated viewings, work
> that is not "timeless". (Actually, for me, only a small percent of
> either "Experimental" work or Narratives really inspire this kind of
> attention.)
> Having watched and studied such a film a hundred + times at home, I
> can hardly wait to see it on the big screen when the occasion might
> arise.
> Myron Ort
>> I usually find Anna Biller's posts to list to be thoughtful and sharp
>> whether I agree with them or not. But the msg. below makes me wonder
>> if Matt Helme is spoofing Ms. Biller's email address:
>>> If they really cared and
>>> wanted to support experimental film they could buy an inexpensive
>>> Brakhage DVD on Amazon and have it shipped to them internationally,
>>> and then Marilyn Brakhage could make a dollar or two or fifty cents
>>> which would be nice.
>> Of course, 'they' do buy the DVDs. What is missing from the
>> discussion
>> of film-art-economics an analysis of how audiences for experimental
>> work come to exist -- what has to occur in the life of an individual
>> to make them want to see experimental films, rent experimental
>> prints,
>> buy experimental DVDs. How is an appreciation for this out-of-the-
>> mainstream work acquired, and how does it grow and expand? Very few
>> people are going to buy that 'inexpensive' Brakhage DVD unless they
>> have some acquaintance with Brakhage. And how do people in 'the
>> sticks' get such an acquaintance? By things like UbuWeb and Karagarga
>> where they can try things out. _Pirates buy more content_ because
>> they've had a path to explore their inquisitiveness within their
>> financial means, develop the taste and appreciation for free that are
>> the pre-conditions for making any kind of financial investment.
>> Virtually every form of modern cultural production works this way --
>> first one's free kid, then you pay when you want more and better. The
>> clearest example being the relationship between radio airplay and
>> recording sales in pop music, but it's true (if in somewhat diluted
>> form) in other mediums as well.
>>> If no one pays for anything and everyone insists on getting
>>> everything for free,
>> But that is not the case...
>>> we will ONLY have the corporations and the work they produce,
>>> because no one else will be able to afford to produce anything.
>> Which brings up the question, 'how is anyone able to afford to
>> produce
>> anything NOW?' And the answer is NOT, 'because of the income
>> generated
>> by coop rentals and/or print/dvd sales.' If we ask 'what are the
>> economics of being an experimental filmmaker?' we immediately
>> confront
>> the fact that the work itself has little direct market value due to
>> the lack of auratic status inherent in it's mechanical
>> reproducability. AFAIK, no one has ever made a living from the
>> receipts of experimental films. The economic value of such filmmaking
>> has always resided in the notoriety it brings to the maker, the kind
>> of opportunities for other channels of income opened by having one's
>> work circulated, noticed, appreciated. These include the ability to
>> obtain grants and other subsidies, to obtain academic positions, and
>> to increase the value of creative work the artist may do in more
>> auratic forms. Matthew Barney is the master of the latter, but I'm
>> sure Michael Snow's sculptures are worth more because he's Michael
>> Snow.
>> We may like this situation or not (I'd rather things worked
>> differently myself) but that's how it is, has been, and is likely to
>> be. Internet forms like UbuWeb don't change that basic equation.
>> I too think it's nice if Marilyn gets some royalty payments, but
>> she'll more in the long run the more people know who Stan was and
>> what
>> his work was like, which doesn't happen by magic. And since 'Cats
>> Cradle' and 'Window Water...' are on the DVD I wonder if Jane
>> Brakhage
>> or Carolee Schneemann are getting a cut, and if not, where's the
>> moral
>> economy in that?
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