Ubu is a web repository for avant-garde 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.
The Poetry of Archiving, Interview with Kenneth Goldsmith
Nothing New Needs to be Created – Kenneth Goldsmith’s Claim to Uncreativity.