The Surplus of Copying
How Shadow Libraries and Pirate Archives Contribute to the
Creation of Cultural Memory and the Commons
By Cornelia Sollfrank
Digital artworks tend to have a problematic relationship with the white
cube—in particular, when they are intended and optimized for online
distribution. While curators and exhibition-makers usually try to avoid
showing such works altogether, or at least aim at enhancing their sculptural
qualities to make them more presentable, the exhibition _Top Tens_ featured an
abundance of web quality digital artworks, thus placing emphasis on the very
media condition of such digital artifacts. The exhibition took place at the
Onassis Cultural Center in Athens in March 2018 and was part of the larger
festival _Shadow Libraries: UbuWeb in Athens_ ,1 an event to introduce the
online archive UbuWeb2 to the Greek audience and discuss related cultural,
ethical, technical, and legal issues. This text takes the event—and the
exhibition in particular—as a starting point for a closer look at UbuWeb and
the role an artistic approach can play in building cultural memory within the
neoliberal knowledge economy.
_UbuWeb—The Cultural Memory of the Avant-Garde_
Since Kenneth Goldsmith started Ubu in 1997 the site has become a major point
of reference for anyone interested in exploring twentieth-century avant-garde
art. The online archive provides free and unrestricted access to a remarkable
collection of thousands of artworks—among them almost 700 films and videos,
over 1000 sound art pieces, dozens of filmed dance productions, an
overwhelming amount of visual poetry and conceptual writing, critical
documents, but also musical scores, patents, electronic music resources, plus
an edition of vital new literature, the /ubu editions. Ubu contextualizes the
archived objects within curated sections and also provides framing academic
essays. Although it is a project run by Goldsmith without a budget, it has
built a reputation for making all the things available one would not find
elsewhere. The focus on “avant-garde” may seem a bit pretentious at first, but
when you look closer at the project, its operator and the philosophy behind
it, it becomes obvious how much sense this designation makes. Understanding
the history of the twentieth-century avant-garde as “a history of subversive
takes on creativity, originality, and authorship,”3 such spirit is not only
reflected in terms of the archive’s contents but also in terms of the project
as a whole. Theoretical statements by Goldsmith in which he questions concepts
such as authorship, originality, and creativity support this thesis4—and with
that a conflictual relationship with the notion of intellectual property is
preprogrammed. Therefore it comes as no surprise that the increasing
popularity of the project goes hand-in-hand with a growing discussion about
its ethical justification.
At the heart of Ubu, there is the copy! Every item in the archive is a digital
copy, either of another digital item or, in fact, it is the digitized version
of an analog object.5 That is to say, the creation of a digital collection is
inevitably based on copying the desired archive records and storing them on
dedicated media. However, making a copy is in itself a copyright-relevant act,
if the respective item is an original creation and as such protected under
copyright law.6 Hence, “any reproduction of a copyrighted work infringes the
copyright of the author or the corresponding rights of use of the copyright
holder”.7 Whether the existence of an artwork within the Ubu collection is a
case of copyright infringement varies with each individual case and depends on
the legal status of the respective work, but also on the way the rights
holders decide to act. As with all civil law, there is no judge without a
plaintiff, which means even if there is no express consent by the rights
holders, the work can remain in the archive as long as there is no request for
removal.8 Its status, however, is precarious. We find ourselves in the
notorious gray zone of copyright law where nothing is clear and many things
are possible—until somebody decides to challenge this status. Exploring the
borders of this experimental playground involves risk-taking, but, at the same
time, it is the only way to preserve existing freedoms and make a case for
changing cultural needs, which have not been considered in current legal
settings. And as the 20 years of Ubu’s existence demonstrate, the practice may
be experimental and precarious, but with growing cultural relevance and
reputation it is also gaining in stability.
_Fair Use and Public Interest_
At all public appearances and public presentations Goldsmith and his
supporters emphasize the educational character of the project and its non-
commercial orientation.9 Such a characterization is clearly intended to take
the wind out of the sails of its critics from the start and to shift the
attention away from the notion of piracy and toward questions of public
interest and the common good.
From a cultural point of view, the project unquestionably is of inestimable
value; a legal defense, however, would be a difficult undertaking. Copyright
law, in fact, has a built-in opening, the so-called copyright exceptions or
fair use regulations. They vary according to national law and cultural
traditions and allow for the use of copyrighted works under certain, defined
provisions without permission of the owner. The exceptions basically apply to
the areas of research and private study (both non-commercial), education,
review, and criticism and are described through general guidelines. “These
defences exist in order to restore the balance between the rights of the owner
of copyright and the rights of society at large.”10
A very powerful provision in most legislations is the permission to make
“private copies”, digital and analog ones, in small numbers, but they are
limited to non-commercial and non-public use, and passing on to a third party
is also excluded.11 As Ubu is an online archive that makes all of its records
publicly accessible and, not least, also provides templates for further
copying, it exceeds the notion of a “private copy” by far. Regarding further
fair use provisions, the four factors that are considered in a decision-making
process in US copyright provisions, for instance, refer to: 1) the purpose and
character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or
is for non-profit educational purposes; 2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the
copyrighted work as a whole; and 4) the effect of the use upon the potential
market for the value of the copyrighted work (US Copyright Act, 1976, 17 USC.
§107, online, n.pag.). Applying these fair use provisions to Ubu, one might
consider that the main purposes of the archive relate to education and
research, that it is by its very nature non-commercial, and it largely does
not collide with any third party business interests as most of the material is
not commercially available. However, proving this in detail would be quite an
endeavor. And what complicates matters even more is that the archival material
largely consists of original works of art, which are subject to strict
copyright law protection, that all the works have been copied without any
transformative or commenting intention, and last but not least, that the
aspect of the appropriateness of the amount of used material becomes absurd
with reference to an archive whose quality largely depends on
comprehensiveness: the more the merrier. As Simon Stokes points out, legally
binding decisions can only be made on a case-by-case basis, which is why it is
difficult to make a general evaluation of Ubu’s legal situation.12 The ethical
defense tends to induce the cultural value of the archive as a whole and its
invaluable contribution to cultural memory, while the legal situation does not
consider the value of the project as a whole and necessitates breaking it down
into all the individual items within the collection.
This very brief, when not abridged discussion of the possibilities of fair use
already demonstrates how complex it would be to apply them to Ubu. How
pointless it would be to attempt a serious legal discussion for such a
privately run archive becomes even clearer when looking at the problems public
libraries and archives have to face. While in theory such official
institutions may even have a public mission to collect, preserve, and archive
digital material, in practice, copyright law largely prevents the execution of
this task, as Steinhauer explains.13 The legal expert introduces the example
of the German National Library, which was assigned the task since 2006 to make
back-up copies of all websites published within the .de sublevel domain, but
it turned out to be illegal.14 Identifying a deficiently legal situation when
it comes to collecting, archiving, and providing access to digital cultural
goods, Steinhauer even speaks of a “legal obligation to amnesia”.15 And it is
particularly striking that, from a legal perspective, the collecting of
digitalia is more strictly regulated than the collecting of books, for
example, where the property status of the material object comes into play.
Given the imbalance between cultural requirements, copyright law, and the
technical possibilities, it is not surprising that private initiatives are
being founded with the aim to collect and preserve cultural memory. These
initiatives make use of the affordability and availability of digital
technology and its infrastructures, and they take responsibility for the
preservation of cultural goods by simply ignoring copyright induced
restrictions, i.e. opposing the insatiable hunger of the IP regime for
Ubu was presented and discussed in Athens at an event titled _Shadow
Libraries: UbuWeb in Athens_ , thereby making clear reference to the ecosystem
of shadow libraries. A library, in general, is an institution that collects,
orders, and makes published information available while taking into account
archival, economic, and synoptic aspects. A shadow library does exactly the
same thing, but its mission is not an official one. Usually, the
infrastructure of shadow libraries is conceived, built, and run by a private
initiative, an individual, or a small group of people, who often prefer to
remain anonymous for obvious reasons. In terms of the media content provided,
most shadow libraries are peer-produced in the sense that they are based on
the contributions of a community of supporters, sometimes referred to as
“amateur librarians”. The two key attributes of any proper library, according
to Amsterdam-based media scholar Bodo Balazs, are the catalog and the
community: “The catalogue does not just organize the knowledge stored in the
collection; it is not just a tool of searching and browsing. It is a critical
component in the organisation of the community of librarians who preserve and
nourish the collection.”16 What is specific about shadow libraries, however,
is the fact that they make available anything their contributors consider to
be relevant—regardless of its legal status. That is to say, shadow libraries
also provide unauthorized access to copyrighted publications, and they make
the material available for download without charge and without any other
restrictions. And because there is a whole network of shadow libraries whose
mission is “to remove all barriers in the way of science,”17 experts speak of
an ecosystem fostering free and universal access to knowledge.
The notion of the shadow library enjoyed popularity in the early 2000s when
the wide availability of digital networked media contributed to the emergence
of large-scale repositories of scientific materials, the most famous one
having been Gigapedia, which later transformed into library.nu. This project
was famous for hosting approximately 400,000 (scientific) books and journal
articles but had to be shut down in 2012 as a consequence of a series of
injunctions from powerful publishing houses. The now leading shadow library in
the field, Library Genesis (LibGen), can be considered as its even more
influential successor. As of November 2016 the database contained 25 million
documents (42 terabytes), of which 2.1 million were books, with digital copies
of scientiﬁc articles published in 27,134 journals by 1342 publishers.18 The
large majority of the digital material is of scientific and educational nature
(95%), while only 5% serves recreational purposes.19 The repository is based
on various ways of crowd-sourcing, i.e. social and technical forms of
accessing and sharing academic publications. Despite a number of legal cases
and court orders, the site is still available under various and changing
The related project Sci-Hub is an online service that processes requests for
pay-walled articles by providing systematic, automized, but unauthorized
backdoor access to proprietary scholarly journal databases. Users requesting
papers not present in LibGen are advised to download them through Sci-Hub; the
respective PDF ﬁles are served to users and automatically added to LibGen (if
not already present). According to _Nature_ magazine, Sci-Hub hosts around 60
million academic papers and was able to serve 75 million downloads in 2016. On
a daily basis 70,000 users access approximately 200,000 articles.
The founder of the meta library Sci-Hub is Kazakh programmer Alexandra
Elbakyan, who has been sued by large publishing houses and was convicted twice
to pay almost 20 million US$ in compensation for the losses her activities
allegedly have caused, which is why she had to go underground in Russia. For
illegally leaking millions of documents the _New York Times_ compared her to
Edward Snowden in 2016: “While she didn’t reveal state secrets, she took a
stand for the public’s right to know by providing free online access to just
about every scientific paper ever published, ranging from acoustics to
zymology.” 21 In the same year the prestigious _Nature_ magazine elected her
as one of the ten most influential people in science. 22 Unlike other
persecuted people, she went on the offensive and started to explain her
actions and motives in court documents and blog posts. Sci-Hub encourages new
ways of distributing knowledge, beyond any commercial interests. It provides a
radically open infrastructure thus creating an inviting atmosphere. “It is a
knowledge infrastructure that can be freely accessed, used and built upon by
As both projects LibGen and Sci-Hub are based in post-Soviet countries, Balazs
reconstructed the history and spirit of Russian reading culture and brings
them into connection.24 Interestingly, the author also establishes a
connection to the Kolhoz (Russian: колхо́з), an early Soviet collective farm
model that was self-governing, community-owned, and a collaborative
enterprise, which he considers to be a major inspiration for the digital
librarians. He also identifies parallels between this Kolhoz model and the
notion of the “commons”—a concept that will be discussed in more detail with
regards to shadow libraries further below.
According to Balazs, these sorts of libraries and collections are part of the
Guerilla Open Access movement (GOA) and thus practical manifestations of Aaron
Swartz’s “Guerilla Open Access Manifesto”.25 In this manifesto the American
hacker and activist pointed out the flaws of open access politics and aimed at
recruiting supporters for the idea of “radical” open access. Radical in this
context means to completely ignore copyright and simply make as much
information available as possible. “Information is power” is how the manifesto
begins. Basically, it addresses the—what he calls—“privileged”, in the sense
that they do have access to information as academic staff or librarians, and
he calls on their support for building a system of freely available
information by using their privilege, downloading and making information
available. Swartz and Elbakyan both have become the “iconic leaders”26 of a
global movement that fights for scientific knowledge to be(come) freely
accessible and whose protagonists usually prefer to operate unrecognized.
While their particular projects may be of a more or less temporary nature, the
discursive value of the work of the “amateur librarians” and their projects
will have a lasting impact on the development of access politics.
_Cultural and Knowledge Commons_
The above discussion illustrates that the phenomenon of shadow libraries
cannot be reduced to its copyright infringing aspects. It needs to be
contextualized within a larger sociopolitical debate that situates the demand
for free and unrestricted access to knowledge within the struggle against the
all-co-opting logic of capital, which currently aims to economize all aspects
In his analysis of the Russian shadow libraries Balazs has drawn a parallel to
the commons as an alternative mode of ownership and a collective way of
dealing with resources. The growing interest in the discourses around the
commons demonstrates the urgency and timeliness of this concept. The
structural definition of the commons conceived by political economist Massimo
de Angelis allows for its application in diverse fields: “Commons are social
systems in which resources are pooled by a community of people who also govern
these resources to guarantee the latter’s sustainability (if they are natural
resources) and the reproduction of the community. These people engage in
‘commoning,’ that is a form of social labour that bears a direct relation to
the needs of the people, or the commoners”.27 While the model originates in
historical ways of sharing natural resources, it has gained new momentum in
relation to very different resources, thus constituting a third paradigm of
production—beyond state and private—however, with all commoning activities
today still being embedded in the surrounding economic system.
As a reason for the newly aroused interest in the commons, de Angelis provides
the crisis of global capital, which has maneuvered itself into a systemic
impasse. While constantly expanding through its inherent logic of growth and
accumulation, it is the very same logic that destroys the two systems capital
relies on: non-market-shaped social reproduction and the ecological system.
Within this scenario de Angelis describes capital as being in need of the
commons as a “fix” for the most urgent systemic failures: “It needs a ‘commons
fix,’ especially in order to deal with the devastation of the social fabric as
a result of the current crisis of reproduction. Since neoliberalism is not
about to give up its management of the world, it will most likely have to ask
the commons to help manage the devastation it creates. And this means: if the
commons are not there, capital will have to promote them somehow.”28
This rather surprising entanglement of capital and the commons, however, is
not the only perspective. Commons, at the same time, have the potential to
create “a social basis for alternative ways of articulating social production,
independent from capital and its prerogatives. Indeed, today it is difficult
to conceive emancipation from capital—and achieving new solutions to the
demands of _buen vivir_ , social and ecological justice—without at the same
time organizing on the terrain of commons, the non-commodified systems of
social production. Commons are not just a ‘third way’ beyond state and market
failures; they are a vehicle for emerging communities of struggle to claim
ownership to their own conditions of life and reproduction.”29 It is their
purpose to satisfy people’s basic needs and empower them by providing access
to alternative means of subsistence. In that sense, commons can be understood
as an _experimental zone_ in which participants can learn to negotiate
responsibilities, social relations, and peer-based means of production.
_Art and Commons_
Projects such as UbuWeb, Monoskop,30 aaaaarg,31 Memory of the World,32 and
0xdb33 vary in size, they have different forms of organization and foci, but
they all care for specific cultural goods and make sure these goods remain
widely accessible—be it digital copies of artworks and original documents,
books and other text formats, videos, film, or sound and music. Unlike the
large shadow libraries introduced above, which aim to provide access to
hundreds of thousands, if not millions of mainly academic papers and books,
thus trying to fully cover the world of scholarly and academic works, the
smaller artist-run projects are of different nature. While UbuWeb’s founder,
for instance, also promotes a generally unrestricted access to cultural goods,
his approach with UbuWeb is to build a curated archive with copies of artworks
that he considers to be relevant for his very context.34 The selection is
based on personal assessment and preference and cared for affectionately.
Despite its comprehensiveness, it still can be considered a “personal website”
on which the artist shares things relevant to him. As such, he is in good
company with similar “artist-run shadow libraries”, which all provide a
technical infrastructure with which they share resources, while the resources
are of specific relevance to their providers.
Just like the large pirate libraries, these artistic archiving and library
practices challenge the notion of culture as private property and remind us
that it is not an unquestionable absolute. As Jonathan Lethem contends,
“[culture] rather is a social negotiation, tenuously forged, endlessly
revised, and imperfect in its every incarnation.”35 Shadow libraries, in
general, are symptomatic of the cultural battles and absurdities around access
and copyright within an economic logic that artificially tries to limit the
abundance of digital culture, in which sharing does not mean dividing but
rather multiplying. They have become a cultural force, one that can be
represented in Foucauldian terms, as symptomatic of broader power struggles as
well as systemic failures inherent in the cultural formation. As Marczewska
puts it, “Goldsmith moves away from thinking about models of cultural
production in proprietary terms and toward paradigms of creativity based on a
culture of collecting, organizing, curating, and sharing content.”36 And by
doing so, he produces major contradictions, or rather he allows the already
existing contradictions to come to light. The artistic archives and libraries
are precarious in terms of their legal status, while it is exactly due to
their disregard of copyright that cultural resources could be built that
exceed the relevance of most official archives that are bound to abide the
law. In fact, there are no comparable official resources, which is why the
function of these projects is at least twofold: education and preservation.37
Maybe UbuWeb and the other, smaller or larger, shadow libraries do not qualify
as commons in the strict sense of involving not only a non-market exchange of
themselves. This would require collective, formalized, and transparent types
of organization. Furthermore, most of the digital items they circulate are
privately owned and therefore cannot simply be transferred to become commons
resources. These projects, in many respects, are in a preliminary stage by
pointing to the _ideal of culture as a commons_. By providing access to
cultural goods and knowledge that would otherwise not be available at all or
inaccessible for large parts of the general public, they might even fulfill
the function of a “commons fix”, to a certain degree, but at the same time
they are the experimental zone needed to unlearn copyright and relearn new
ways of cultural production and dissemination beyond the property regime. In
any case, they can function as perfect entry points for the discussion and
investigation of the transformative force art can have within the current
global neoliberal knowledge society.
_Top Tens—Showcasing the Copy as an Aesthetic and Political Statement_
The exhibition _Top Tens_ provided an experimental setting to explore the
possibilities of translating the abundance of a digital archive into a “real
space”, by presenting one hundred artworks from the Ubu archive. 38 Although
all works were properly attributed in the exhibition, the artists whose works
were shown neither had a say about their participation in the exhibition nor
about the display formats. Tolerating the presence of a work in the archive is
one thing; tolerating its display in such circumstances is something else,
which might even touch upon moral rights and the integrity of the work.
However, the exhibition was not so much about the individual works on display
but the archiving condition they are subject to. So the discussion here has
nothing to do the abiding art theory question of original and copy.
Marginally, it is about the question of high-quality versus low-quality
copies. In reproducible media the value of an artwork cannot be based on its
originality any longer—the core criterion for sales and market value. This is
why many artists use the trick of high-resolution and limited edition, a kind
of distributed originality status for several authorized objects, which all
are not 100 percent original but still a bit more original than an arbitrary
unlimited edition. Leaving this whole discussion aside was a clear indication
that something else was at stake. The conceptual statement made by the
exhibition and its makers foregrounded the nature of the shadow library, which
visitors were able to experience when entering the gallery space. Instead of
viewing the artworks in the usual way—online—they had the opportunity to
physically immerse themselves in the cultural condition of proliferated acts
of copying, something that “affords their reconceptualization as a hybrid
creative-critical tool and an influential aesthetic category.”39
Appropriation and copying as longstanding methods of subversive artistic
production, where the reuse of existing material serves as a tool for
commentary, social critique, and a means of making a political statement, has
expanded here to the art of exhibition-making. The individual works serve to
illustrate a curatorial concept, thus radically shifting the avant-garde
gesture which copying used to be in the twentieth century, to breathe new life
in the “culture of collecting, organizing, curating, and sharing content.”
Organizing this conceptually concise exhibition was a brave and bold statement
by the art institution: The Onassis Cultural Centre, one of Athens’ most
prestigious cultural institutions, dared to adopt a resolutely political
stance for a—at least in juridical terms—questionable project, as Ubu lives
from the persistent denial of copyright. Neglecting the concerns of the
individual authors and artists for a moment was a necessary precondition in
order to make space for rethinking the future of cultural production.
Special thanks to Eric Steinhauer and all the artists and amateur librarians
who are taking care of our cultural memory.
1 Festival program online: Onassis Cultural Centre, “Shadow Libraries: UbuWeb
in Athens,” (accessed on Sept. 30, 2018).
2 _UbuWeb_ is a massive online archive of avant-garde art created over the
last two decades by New York-based artist and writer Kenneth Goldsmith.
Website of the archive: (accessed on Sept. 30, 2018).
3 Kaja Marczewska, _This Is Not a Copy. Writing at the Iterative Turn_ (New
York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018), 22.
4 For further reading: Kenneth Goldsmith, _Uncreative Writing: Managing
Language in the Digital Age_ (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011).
5 Many works in the archive stem from the pre-digital era, and there is no
precise knowledge of the sources where Ubu obtains its material, but it is
known that Goldsmith also digitizes a lot of material himself.
6 In German copyright law, for example, §17 and §19a grant the exclusive right
to reproduce, distribute, and make available online to the author. See also: (accessed on Sept. 30,
7 Eric Steinhauer, “Rechtspflicht zur Amnesie: Digitale Inhalte, Archive und
Urheberrecht,” _iRightsInfo_ (2013),
(accessed on Sept. 30, 2018).
8 In particularly severe cases of copyright infringement also state
prosecutors can become active, which in practice, however, remains the
exception. The circumstances in which criminal law must be applied are
described in §109 of German copyright law.
9 See, for example, “Shadow Libraries” for a video interview with Kenneth
10 Paul Torremans, _Intellectual Property Law_ (Oxford: Oxford University
Press, 2010), 265.
11 See also §53 para. 1–3 of the German Act on Copyright and Related Rights
(UrhG), §42 para. 4 in the Austrian UrhG, and Article 19 of Swiss Copyright
12 Simon Stokes, _Art & Copyright_ (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2003).
13 Steinhauer, “Rechtspflicht zur Amnesie”.
14 This discrepancy between a state mandate for cultural preservation and
copyright law has only been fixed in 2018 with the introduction of a special
law, §16a DNBG.
15 Steinhauer, “Rechtspflicht zur Amnesie”.
16 Bodo Balazs, “The Genesis of Library Genesis: The Birth of a Global
Scholarly Shadow Library,” Nov. 4, 2014, _SSRN_ , , (accessed on
Sept. 30, 2018).
17 Motto of Sci-Hub: “Sci-Hub,” _Wikipedia_ ,
/Sci-Hub> (accessed on Sept. 30, 2018).
18 Guillaume Cabanac, “Bibliogifts in LibGen? A study of a text-sharing
platform driven by biblioleaks and crowdsourcing,” _Journal of the Association
for Information Science and Technology_ , 67, 4 (2016): 874–884.
20 The current address is (accessed on Sept. 30, 2018).
21 Kate Murphy, “Should All Research Papers Be Free?” _New York Times Sunday
Review_ , Mar. 12, 2016,
/should-all-research-papers-be-free.html> (accessed on Sept. 30, 2018).
22 Richard Van Noorden, “Nature’s 10,” _Nature_ , Dec. 19, 2016, (accessed on Sept. 30,
23 Bodo Balazs, “Pirates in the library – an inquiry into the guerilla open
access movement,” paper for the 8th Annual Workshop of the International
Society for the History and Theory of Intellectual Property, CREATe,
University of Glasgow, UK, July 6–8, 2016. Online available at: https
(accessed on Sept. 30, 2018).
24 Balazs, “The Genesis of Library Genesis”.
25 Aaron Swartz, “Guerilla Open Access Manifesto,” _Internet Archive_ , July
(accessed on Sept. 30, 2018).
26 Balazs, “Pirates in the library”.
27 Massimo De Angelis, “Economy, Capital and the Commons,” in: _Art,
Production and the Subject in the 21st Century_ , eds. Angela Dimitrakaki and
Kirsten Lloyd (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2015), 201.
28 Ibid., 211.
30 See: (accessed on Sept. 30, 2018).
31 Accessible with invitation. See:
[https://aaaaarg.fail/](https://aaaaarg.fail) (accessed on Sept. 30, 2018).
32 See: (accessed on Sept. 30, 2018).
33 See: (accessed on Sept. 30, 2018).
34 Kenneth Goldsmith in conversation with Cornelia Sollfrank, _The Poetry of
Archiving_ , 2013, (accessed on Sept. 30, 2018).
35 Jonathan Lethem, _The Ecstasy of Influence: Nonfictions, etc._ (London:
Vintage, 2012), 101.
36 Marczewska, _This Is Not a Copy_ , 2.
37 The research project _Creating Commons_ , based at Zurich University of the
Arts, is dedicated to the potential of art projects for the creation of
commons: “creating commons,” (accessed on
Sept. 30, 2018).
38 One of Ubu’s features online has been the “top ten”, the idea to invite
guests to pick their ten favorite works from the archive and thus introduce a
mix between chance operation and subjectivity in order to reveal hidden
treasures. The curators of the festival in Athens, Ilan Manouach and Kenneth
Goldsmith, decided to elevate this principle to the curatorial concept of the
exhibition and invited ten guests to select their ten favorite works. The
Athens-based curator Elpida Karaba was commissioned to work on an adequate
concept for the realization, which turned out to be a huge black box divided
into ten small cubicles with monitors and seating areas, supplemented by a
large wall projection illuminating the whole space.
39 Marczewska, _This Is Not a Copy_ , 7.
This text is under a _Creative Commons_ license: CC BY NC SA 3.0 Austria