UbuWeb Top Ten
Ubuweb Quasi Club, Vienna
UQC started from the desire to embark on a collective discovery of the Ubuweb multitudes based on each participant's selections: curated or random, driven by fleeting or continuous interests, reflecting momentary curiosities or profound knowledges.
The format of UQC is inspired by worldwide food sharing practices, such as picnics and pampa-mesas, where a communal meal or a diverse selection of different foods is laid directly on a cloth spread on the ground and then collectively eaten as an act of social solidarity.
During UQC participants bring “meals” prepared from Ubuweb ingredients and lay them on the projection screen for others to consume and enjoy together. Participants explain why and how they prepared their selections as an act of care and a contribution to the common discussion that emerges.
At the time of global pandemic and a shortage of collective experience of art in a shared time and space, Ubuweb has been rediscovered as a bottomless granary, on which our community feeds at a time of famine.
UQC allows for a personal encounter, a “show and tell” situation, to initiate discussions around art works. The format bypasses the overwhelming presence of the opulent archive, and it allows for the discovery of new things that emerge in a situation of exchange and might otherwise be buried in the archive.
UQC is organized as a common intellectual practice in an informal environment. It feels like a rehearsal, a workshop, a playground that nurtures its participants through unrestrained space for experimentation and testing unexpected combinations of artefacts without an expectation to interpret them according to disciplinary traditions.
UQC gatherings create a routine that structures the flow of time “sameness” we have experienced during the pandemic. The simple act of selecting a work of art from Ubuweb during a week as part of a preparation for an upcoming UQC is a way to actively practice and reappropriate focus and attention as opposed to the infinite scroll, infobesity and floods of news, online programs, webinars, etc.
UQC happens in domestic and informal situations, among friends, colleagues, relatives and kin. At times of crisis, collective study and the experience of art in physical proximity is seen as essential and urgent rather than an activity to be paused. Therefore, UQC resists cyberspace, and the gatherings are held in person.
Our understanding of care is collective; the informal watching of films selected from Ubuweb is exercised as a care-full act against isolation, rather than a care-less neglect of potential contagion.
UQC perceives self-organization of the collective experience of art during the recurring shutdowns of cultural institutions as an act of mutual aid and a voluntary reciprocal exchange of cultural and intellectual resources for mutual benefit.
UQC participants refuse to downplay the seriousness of the pandemic in right-wing capitalist rhetoric and eugenicist biopolitics, but neither do they remain paralyzed by fear and uncritically accept state measures of control and austerity in hopes of a “return to normal”.
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