Research Meeting I, “Archives and Libraries,” HeK, Basel

Participants (left to right): top row: Cornelia Sollfrank, Felix Stalder; middle row: Annette Mächtel, Annet Dekker, Paul Keller, Jan Gerber, Rahel Puffert, Marcell Mars; bottom row: Shusha Niederberger, Olga Goriunova, Sebastian Lütgert, Anna Calabrese, Dusan Barok, Tomislav Medak, Sean Dockray. 21 October 2017

5) Ubu

General Description

Ubu is a web repository for avantgarde art, founded by poet Kenneth Goldsmith in 1996. It is making available cultural resources, which are out of print, or “absurdly priced or insanely hard to procure“. It is „a distribution center for hard-to-find, out-of-print and obscure materials, transferred digitally to the web.“

Ubu has been starting from a repository of visual and concrete poetry, later sound poetry, growing in diverse directions, and it is constantly evolving.
Its understanding of what counts as avant-garde art and therefore can be included in Ubu is very open and apparently based on a broad interest and on opportunities.

It is difficult, and maybe inappropriate, to find a precise terminology of the nature of Ubu. It has aspects of a collection (its curated nature), but also hosts complete archives (Aspen Multimedia Magazine (1965-1971), provides space for projects (365 days project with obscure findings in aural recordings), and sections to other otherwise overlooked aspects (electronic music resources, featuring documents about methods and techniques of electronic and experimental sound – not aesthetics).

It also features curated sections by scholars and researchers in the field (ubu /editions), and offers anthological perspectives.

The content is not presented in a consistent taxonomy model, and cross-section links are offered or not.

In its diversity, it is like a negative space of traditional institution’s work. What is gone missing by public and private archives and libraries (whatever the cause) – can be found here.

–> ubu.com

4) monoskop

Monoskop is a wiki for collaborative studies of the arts, media and humanities.

General Description

Monoskop is a wiki, blog and a repository aggregating, documenting and mapping works, artists and intiatives related to the avant-gardes, media arts and theory and activism. Initially it focused on Eastern and Central Europe.

Built on a Wiki that everyone can contribute to and scrupulously curated by its spiritus movens Dušan Barok, it provides both an exhaustive, indexical overview of those fields and provides digital access to rare historic finds.

In parallel to the wiki, Monoskop maintains a blog repository featuring daily releases of books, journals or other printed archival material, some freshly digitized by Monoskop and some contributed by the users, authors and publishers.

(source: https://www.memoryoftheworld.org/blog/2014/10/28/monoskop/)

–> https://monoskop.org

3) memory of the world

General description:

Memory of the World is a network of interconnected shadow libraries, each maintained locally and independently from the others. They are integrated through a custom-made extension (named “let’s share books“) for “Calibre” an open source software for managing e-books. Calibre has a large and stable user base.

It’s intended to work both a practical resource, but also use the model of the public library was a way to frame a discussion about a post-IP cultural order.

Self-description/ objective:

The public library is:
– free access to books for every member of society
– library catalog
– librarian

With books ready to be shared, meticulously cataloged, everyone is a librarian. When everyone is librarian, library is everywhere.

–> memoryoftheworld.org/

2) 0xdb

0xDB is an experimental – and to some degree imaginary – movie database. It is intended to help us rethink the future of cinema on the Internet, just as it tries to push the boundaries of what we understand as “web applications”. What 0xDB proposes is an entirely new approach to visualizing and navigating moving images, and we hope that it can serve as a point of reference for individuals and institutions who are dealing with large collections of films.

0xDB uses a variety of publicly accessible resources, like search engines and peer-to-peer networks, to automatically collect information about, and actual images and sound from, a steadily growing number of movies. At its core, it provides full text search within subtitled films and instant video previews of search results, while “timelines” – visual fingerprints of moving images – allow for spatial orientation and travel.”

https://0xdb.org