Video footage of musician and artist Céleste Boursier-Mougenot’s installation of electric guitars and zebra finches at London’s Barbican Curve gallery, 23 February – 23 May 2010
I’d like to hear a longer version of this, without the camera crew chasing the finches from guitar to guitar.
A proposed sequel: finches in a room full of lid-less grand pianos, with cement blocks on the damper pedals to let the strings sound. Why didn’t Henry Cowell ever get animals involved? Other than human animals, that is.
I’ve been meaning to post something by Anis Mojgani since I first started this scrapbook. And while I feel there’s something in Mojgani’s work that these videos don’t quite capture, there’s no use waiting for perfection.
As a representative of the night-time cereal eaters, among several other characters listed, I give you “Shake the Dust”:
And be patient with this one — it really unfolds in the last minute or so, from the moment he says: “Because every breathe I give…”:
“…and the answer comes:
And I still have time to be…”
(All quotes are 99% accurate, though I have re-ordered them a little bit.)
UbuWeb can be construed as the “Robin Hood” of the Avant Garde. Only a handful of artists have given explicit consent to be featured.
“If we had to ask permission, UbuWeb wouldn’t exist.”
“We don’t really fuck with economies — because there’s no economy for this stuff.” (This stuff meaning, the music of Marcel Duchamp or Jean Dubuffet, for example.)
“We respect legitimate economies.”
UbuWeb features five terabytes of work from 5,000+ artists.
When he was working on his collection of Warhol interviews, Goldsmith went to the offices of the Warhol foundation to get permission, and they “laughed him out of the office.” In their view, Warhol’s words are valueless.
“Download everything you possibly can from UbuWeb — it won’t last forever.”
“The outsider stuff is becoming the inside.”
“There’s so much stuff on UbuWeb that I don’t know what’s there.” (Editors help him by managing different sections.)
UbuWeb is not a democracy: The collection is “highly curated, highly selective.” Most submissions don’t make it on the site.
UbuWeb has a Facebook page, created by his students, but Kenneth Goldsmith was unequivocal: “I hate Facebook.”
“I have problems with the idea of quality in Web 2.0.” And donation buttons make him sick.
From time to time, he gets offers — up to US$50,000 — for the domain ubu.com, from companies who want to sell products that “help you be you!” etc. And he takes great pleasure in replying: “Fuck you: This is reserved for poetry.” (I instantly pictured an orange traffic cone with this response, embossed on a metal plate, sticking out of the top. And the entrepreneurial part of my brain thinks it would make a great embroidered fishing hat…or maybe stickers that could be placed wherever logos lurk?)
UbuWeb may look institutional, but “it’s made of toothpicks and tissue paper.”
“I’m not an art historian…there are holes…it’s a horribly-flawed fanzine…the taxonomy is atrocious…it’s an art historian’s nightmare!”
“We’re in the Summer of Love for the web right now, and it’s not going to last…We’re in the midst of a revolution that’s so large we don’t even recognize it.”
“Old hippies are the worst in the world” in terms of copyright, control, permissions and sharing. “It’s generational.”
A few gleanings from a look around the site this morning:
I really like the way these short films unfold the structure of each sculpture through time. It gives viewers a completely different experience of them than we might have if we walked into a room with one of them. Well done.
As one commenter pointed out, the sound of that last one is amazing.