Library / Archive
Founded in 1996, UbuWeb is a pirate shadow library consisting of hundreds of thousands of freely downloadable avant-garde artifacts. By the letter of the law, the site is questionable; we openly violate copyright norms and almost never ask for permission. Most everything on the site is pilfered, ripped, and swiped from other places, then reposted. We’ve never been sued—never even come close. UbuWeb functions on no money—we don’t take it, we don’t pay it, we don’t touch it; you’ll never find an advertisement, a logo, or a donation box. We’ve never applied for a grant or accepted a sponsorship; we remain happily unaffiliated, keeping us free and clean, allowing us to do what we want to do, the way we want to do it. Most important, UbuWeb has always been and will always be free and open to all: there are no memberships or passwords required. All labor is volunteered; our server space and bandwidth are donated by a likeminded group of intellectual custodians who believe in free access to knowledge. A gift economy of plentitude with a strong emphasis on global education, UbuWeb is visited daily by tens of thousands of people from every continent. We’re on numerous syllabuses, ranging from those for kindergarteners studying pattern poetry to those for postgraduates listening to hours of Jacques Lacan’s Séminaires. When the site goes down from time to time, as most sites do, we’re inundated by emails from panicked faculty wondering how they are going to teach their courses that week.
sketch by Ines Gradot for Late Works: By Ear #6