UbuWeb Top Sixteen
Selected by Greg Allen
1. Aspen: the magazine in a box, complete
I'd found one copy of one issue in 1999, and it was a revelation to be able to read the entire series in 2002.
2. On Kawara, One Million Years (1993) [MP3]
This project left a deep impression on me at documenta xi in 2002.
3. Aspen 1 - "Configurations of the New World"
A series of ambitious, visionary essays from the Aspen Design Conference, 1964
4. Aspen 5+6 - Lichtspiel, by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy
an excerpt of an abstract film made from the Bauhaus pioneer's Light Space Modulator, a machine whose reincarnations I began researching in depth
5. Nancy Perloff, Postmodernism and the Music of John Cage (2002)
Cage talked about bringing "about a situation in which there is no difference between the audience and the performers."
6. Kenneth Goldsmith, Archinect Interview, 2007
great insights from the early days of the Ubu film & video collection
7. Yves Klein, Conference á La Sorbonne (1959)
This limited-edition LP recording captures the giddy atmospherics of Klein's 1959 lecture on monochromes.
8. Gordon Matta-Clark: Day's End (1975)
Betty Susler films the guerrilla creation of a giant cut out in a sanitation department warehouse on the Hudson River: "I had no faith in any kind of permission."
9. Chris Burden, The TV Commercials, 1973-77
Watching these made me wonder why artists don't put more things on TV. Also how Burden's beefcakey early imagery affected his reputation.
10. Tony Smith, The Maze (1967)
a four-piece sculpture/installation and cardboard model the artist granted permission to be reproduced in wood or steel. Everybody should have one.
11. Henning Lohner, John Cage's One11 and 103, The Making Of (1992)
Seeing this documentary about composing and performing Cage's feature film made me want to reperform/remake it myself, whatever that means.
12. Answering Machine: Labeled "Lennon, Cage, Yoko, Thanksgiving, Paik. November 24-December 6th" (1972) [MP3] (via Stephen Vitiello's Top Ten, October 2013)
The whole list is worth relistening, but I include it here because it introduced me to the incredible 1972 recording from Charlotte Moorman's aswering machine.
13. Jordan Wolfson's Top 18, June 2011
Wolfson's in the news lately, and his list holds up pretty well, too.
14. Yvonne Rainer, Hand Movie (1966)
When I broke my ankle a couple of months ago, I was laid up, reading Bruce Hainley's book about Sturtevant's reperformances of Yvonne Rainer pieces, and taking solace in this mesmerizing film of a bedridden Rainer.
15. Alexander Calder, Le Cirque de Calder (1961)
Something changed when my blog post on the different film versions of Calder's Circus turned up on Ubu as the description text; I felt like a performer, not just the audience.
16. Alex Hubbard, Bootleg film of Robert Smithson's Hotel Palenque, 1969/2004
I actually presented Hubbard's faux-bootleg film as being from 1969 when I gave a lecture on Smithson's lecture where he gave the lecture, at the University of Utah. It took me more than a year to realize I'd been punk'd. Sorry, Utes!
Greg Allen writes about art on his blog, greg.org: the making of.