Kenneth Goldsmith - UbuWeb talk

Kenneth Goldsmith. Foto: David Velasco, 2008

If We Had To Ask For Permission We Wouldn't Exist: A Brief History of UbuWeb

A talk giving an overview on UbuWeb (, the largest site on the internet dedicated to the free access of avant-garde materials. Hosting over 20,000 artworks by more than 5,000 artists, the site has been running for 18 years on no money. Almost all of the artworks on the site are unpermissioned. How is it possible? UbuWeb ignores copyright, pretending it doesn't exist. And it's worked: the site has never been sued; instead, it has become a revered institution in many artistic fields. By doing everything wrong, we've done everything right. This talk will focus primarily on UbuWeb's audio section with a discussion about the evolving nature of the audio artifact in the digital age.

Kenneth Goldsmith is an American poet. He is the founding editor of experimental audio archive UbuWeb, teaches Poetics and Poetic Practice at the University of Pennsylvania and is Senior Editor of PENNsound. He hosted a weekly experimental radio show at WFMU and has published ten books of poetry, notably Fidget (2000), Soliloquy (2001) and Day (2003) and Goldsmith’s American trilogy, The Weather (2005), Traffic, (2007) and Sports, (2008). In 2013, he was appointed the Museum of Modern Art's first Poet Laureate.

Easy is the New Difficult: A Manifesto for a Non-Resistant Art

Screening of UbuWeb films: 6 - 15 November at Kunsthall Oslo.

A screening of films so easy that they are difficult in their easiness. Easy is the New Difficult offers no resistance, an art of pure pleasure,  an art that is completely understandable by anyone viewing it, an art that doesn't leave anyone puzzled, an art that ties up every loose end, dots every i and crosses every t, an art that leaves nothing to chance. These films will leaves no nagging questions, is so insanely simple in its goals that they meet everyone of them unequivocally. This is art where the philosophical questions posed in the work are answered in the experience of the work itself.

Screening Program

Fatboy Slim, Weapon of Choice (2001)
3:39, color, sound
Directed by Spike Jonze

Fred Astaire, "Bojangles of Harlem" from Swing Time (1936)
2:52, b&w, sound

Lumière Brothers, "Danse Serpentine" (1896)
0:42, color, silent

Kota Ezawa, "The Simpson Verdict" (2002)
2 minutes

Banksy, The Punking of Paris Hilton (2006)

David Byrne "Report From L.A." (1987)

David Van Tieghem, "Ear to the Ground" [1979]

Takashi Murakami , Superflat Monogram (for Louis Vuitton) (2003)
Duration: 5'10"

Skip Arnold, "Punch" (1992)
0' 10"

Richard Kern, "My Nightmare" (1993)
5' 50"

Karen Kilimnik, "Kate Moss at the Beginning" (undated)

Salvador Dalí, Television Advertisements, Spots, & Appearances (1960s-70s)

Lanvin, Alka-Seltzer, Veterano (0'56")

Una polla Xica (:30)

Surrealis-mo  (:30)

Robespierre  (:30)

Quixot  (:45)

Pippermint  (:45)

Oota Mongolia  (:06)

Le Charleston  (:30)

Escarxofes tendres  (:23)

De pequeño...  (:30)

Chien Andalou II  (:45)

Saint-Regis Hotel  (:45)

Barretina  (:30)

Larry Clark, Impaled (2006)
37min 28s

Keiichi Tanaami, OH! YOKO! (1973)
Duration: 4min 24

Wim Delvoye, Sybille II 1999
Duration 4'34"

Kunsthall Oslo
15 November
7 pm

Facebook event

In cooperation with Oslo Poetry Festival.

Sound versus System
6 - 24 November

nyMusikk is one of the curators of Kunsthall Oslo's autumn program which explores sound and image. Screenings include films by Ian Helliwell and UbuWeb archive with a complementary live program. 

7 November: POING + Feed
9 November: Bill Orcutt
15 November: Kenneth Goldsmith
20 November: Ian Helliwell + Signe Lidén & Jørgen Træen

The film program, and Signe Lidén's sound installation, runs daytime from 11-5 Wednesday - Friday and 12-5 Saturday - Sunday.