Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Avant-Garde Resource Alert: A Free Repository of Decades of Underground Art Film & Video


For nearly 20 years the site UbuWeb has existed to promote and promulgate avant-garde poetry, music and video content. Founder Kenneth Goldsmith calls UbuWeb the "Robin Hood of the Avant-Garde." Offerings are vast and eye-opening, a constant source of refreshment for those who like to be exposed to different ideas and systems of thought.

The film and video section of UbuWeb contains hundreds of entries, most of them completely obscure. It is fun to explore the stacks and find yourself watching a vicious parody of a beauty pageant from 1977 or a Cindy Sherman film essay about doll clothes or even 45 minutes of Ennio Morricone playing obtuse electro-acoustic music with Gruppo di Improvvisazione di Nuova Consonanza (1967).

UbuWeb fulfills the promise of the internet to bring culture, even outlaw culture, to the masses. It's always been on unstable footing, and in a somewhat precarious position as concerns copyright, but it's still here. Use it.

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