UbuWeb is one of those sites that represents all that is good about the Internet, and is an absolute must for anyone purporting to have an interest in contemporary creativity. Where else could you listen to Marcel Duchamp giving a talk on the creative process in 1957, or hear Hans Arp reading his own poetry, or watch Pina Bausch dance, or listen to Brain Eno's recordings in the mid-70s, or watch Paul McCarthy's video experiments? Below, the FAQ's from UbuWeb explain what it is about...
When did UbuWeb Start?
UbuWeb was founded in November of 1996, initially as a repository for visual, concrete and, later, sound poetry. Over the years, UbuWeb has embraced all forms of the avant-garde and beyond. Its parameters continue to expand in all directions.
How is UbuWeb funded?
UbuWeb has no need for funding. All work is done solely on a volunteer basis. Our only cost is our monthly hosting fee, which amounts to US$50 each month.
Can I get involved?
Yes. UbuWeb is built by many hands and we are always in need of digitizers, both audio and textual. Drop us a line if you are interested and capable.
Can I use something posted on UbuWeb on my site, in a paper, in a project, etc.?
Sure. We post many things without permission; we also post many with things with permission. We therefore give you permission to take what you like even though in many cases, we have not received permission to post it. We went ahead and did it anyway. You should too.
How do I purchase something from your site?
You can't. Nothing is for sale on UbuWeb. It's all free. We know it's a hard idea to get used to, but there's no lush gift shop waiting for you at the end of this museum.
What is your policy concerning posting copyrighted material?
If it's out of print, we feel it's fair game. Or if something is in print, yet absurdly priced or insanely hard to procure, we'll take a chance on it. But if it's in print and available to all, we won't touch it. The last thing we'd want to do is to take the meager amount of money out of the pockets of those releasing generally poorly-selling materials of the avant-garde. UbuWeb functions as a distribution center for hard-to-find, out-of-print and obscure materials, transferred digitally to the web. Our scanning, say, an historical concrete poem in no way detracts from the physical value of that object in the real world; in fact, it probably enhances it. Either way, we don't care: Ebay is full of wonderful physical artifacts, most of them worth a lot of money.
Should something return to print, we will remove it from our site immediately. Also, should an artist find their material posted on UbuWeb without permission and wants it removed, please let us know. However, most of the time, we find artists are thrilled to find their work cared for and displayed in a sympathetic context. As always, we welcome more work from existing artists on site.
Let's face it, if we had to get permission from everyone on UbuWeb, there would be no UbuWeb.
How do I download MP3s?
There are thousands of resources on the web to learn how to do this. That's not what we're here for.
I only have RealPlayer. How come you mostly have MP3s?
MP3s are almost open source. RealMedia is proprietary. We'll always choose open source over proprietary. In the beginning, we streamed RealMedia because that's all there was. The few Real files on site are leftover from those days. We'll be getting rid of them as soon as we can. In the meantime, should Ogg Vorbis or some other truly open source media grow popular enough, we'll migrate to that.
Are you affiliated with a university?
No. UbuWeb is a completely independent site. However, several universities and partners have generously offered us server space and bandwith, with no restrictions or input regarding our content. We have gratefully accepted their offers.
Why are your pages in English? / Why are your pages not in English?
Most of our pages are in English; several of them are not. UbuWeb is accessed universally, hence much of our content is in several languages (the Jean-Luc Godard interview with Serge Daney, for example, is in French). We encourage more multi-linguistic material. If you speak a language other than English and are interested in translating some of our pages or content into your language, we'd be thrilled to post your efforts.
Who are you?
See our masthead, our board of directors, and our partners.
Where are you located?
Our editors are pretty much spread across the United States: New York City, Utah, California, Seattle, etc. You can contact us here.
Why don't you respond to my emails?
Due to the volume of email we receive, we unfortunately cannot respond to them all.
I'm interested in advertising on UbuWeb. How do I go about this?
You don't. UbuWeb is completely commercial-free and it will always stay that way.
Why isn't new content posted every day?
UbuWeb is an archive, not a blog. It has accumulated slowly and steadily and shall continue to far into the future.
I'd like to receive notices of UbuWeb updates. How do I do this?
UbuWeb refuses to advertise or promote itself. Most of all, we detest the idea of filling inboxes with more unwanted material. A few times a year, we post our updates to select mailing lists; that's what they're for, aren't they? For UbuWeb updates, best to just keep checking back on the homepage, where notices of all new content appears.
Do you have an UbuWeb listserve?
Yes, but it's private.
What system do you design UbuWeb on? What browser is UbuWeb optimized for?
We are diehard Mac devotees. We love Firefox.
What is your philosophy?
See our manifesto.
Why is there no Alfred Jarry on UbuWeb?
What happened to the image of the nude woman at the top of the Artist Index page?
Too many people complained that it was offensive, so we removed it and replaced it instead with another Wallace Berman image that we like just as much. It's from the cover of his seminal magazine from the 1960's Semina. As ever, UbuWeb runs off the fumes of Wallace Berman.
Why won't you look at my MySpace page?
It's ugly, crowded, filled with ads, blares music at you, and nine times out of ten, crashes our browser. Really, it's the polar opposite of UbuWeb. Just as in meatspace there are certain streets you never walk down, so in cyberspace, we assidiously avoid the MySpace mall. No ifs ands or buts. Sorry.