Saturday, September 22, 2007

Digital Avant-Garde

Film Comment this month has a short article on Ubu, a digital depository for avant-garde films, writing, and resources. What a fantastic find! It includes over 300 films, interviews and readings (collection of William S. Burroughs mp3s), music, poetry, articles from a number of resources, all of them stretching quite far back in time. I could get lost in here for months.

My only question would be, why is this not yet part of the Internet Archive (warning, this site has problems right now)?


Ricky Grove said...

Thanks for commenting on this brilliant site. I've been using for several years now and their site development has been phenomenal. I believe this is a private organization dedicated to providing the largest and most interesting online collection of avant-garde media in the world. The word "Ubu" comes from the classic play by surrealist Alfred Jarry.

Along with streaming films (you can download them, too), there is an amazing collection of audio recordings and music that just goes on and on.

I'm not sure why they aren't part of the Internet Archive. Perhaps they want to remain a private organization with a separate identity?

I'll have to dig out that Film Comment article. Excellent post!

bllius said...


Perhaps you could point out some choice morsels to feast on. There's almost too much there to start with.

Ricky Grove said...

Sure thing. One of the most interesting sections of the archive is the sound section. Head over there and check out Otis Fodder's 365 days project. This guy is a genius for strange and interesting music and has created a playlist for each day of the year. Fabulous stuff. Also take a look at the "tape beatles", "Terry Southern", "Nicolas Slonimsky" and Ensemble Ordinaire".

On the film side Joris Iven's "Regen" (rain" is a brilliant documentary, Beckett's "Not I" with Billie Whitelaw is astounding ( I kid you not), Man Ray's films are delightful, Jack Smith & George Kucher are underground filmmakers who are an acquired taste but are worth watching, the Francis Bacon South Bank Show is wonderful, Shirley Clarke's early films are impossible to find anywhere else but here and are richly rewarding and if you want some boredom mixed with shocks try the Cinema of Transgression (1984) a short-lived NY cinema movement with some really crazy shit. Call me a nut, but I loved every one of them.

I could go on and on, but it's more fun to take a journey each week. The site is adding new and amazing works each week. Just dive in...

Ricky Grove said...

Oh, and for lots of fun and head scratching try the Aspen multimedia magazine:

There's a recording of Jack Macgowen reading Beckett's "Text for Nothing" that is amazing. The whole damn series of articles/music/films/essays will keep you up all night.

That's it. No more. I promise.

bllius said...

Thanks. It gives me a place to start the journey.