live @ WORM Rotterdam with Lucas Simonis: “Worm Pirate Bay” opening_9.9.2016
Live improv set with Lucas Simonis at the opening of “Worm Pirate Bay” archive at WORM in Rotterdam.
WORM Institute for Avant-garde Recreation introduces the WORM Pirate Bay Media Archive: a no fee lending archive with an online database, a duplication service and a unique preview space in WORM’s building.WORM’s Pirate Bay archive has two key features.
Firstly, the WORM Pirate Bay has both an online and offline presence. Guests can access the database online via thepiratebay.worm.org, a web application which is specifically designed to make WORM’s archive user friendly. It is possible to browse by media type (VHS, DVD .. etc), genre, release year, etc or search the entire database by keyword. Creating a profile on thepiratebay website will allow users to save items to their profile, rate them, leave comments or copy them inside the WORM Pirate Bay. A user who wants to copy an item can put it in his or her queue and will be notified when it’s ready to be picked up at WORM.Visitors to WORM are able to browse and preview the media, get staff recommendations, and enjoy the selection of games and gadgets. Furthermore they can also take the chance to preview the WORM Pirate Bay archive in “DISPLAY”, a multi-functional art-design-non-object by Amy Suo Wu. “DISPLAY” facilitates reading, watching, listening and sleeping in a cocoon, all while on display. “DISPLAY” is all about display, it doesn’t discriminate between inanimate objects and body as objects.Lastly, visitors of the WPB can ask our staff for a free duplication of their favourite item.This offline presence is both an answer and a credo. It is WORM’s response to the growing need for tangibility, something that the digital revolution has paradoxically brought about. Moreover, it comes from acknowledging that format is organic to the aesthetics of certain artworks; something that calls for the preservation and distribution of the original. As film activist Pip Chodorov said, “Better watch avant-garde films on VHS than on DVD because digital compression technology has been optimized for mainstream film and kills off the aesthetics of the analog film originals!”.
Secondly, by virtue of its comprehensiveness, the WORM Pirate Bay archive is one of the most important and valuable collections in the Netherlands.The archive comprises of four modules:
a. In 2013 WORM inherited an extensive VHS collection from Re:voir in Paris featuring the very best of international avant-garde film from 1920 till today. It includes films from the Dadaist, Surrealist and Letterist movements, films from the American avant-garde, diary films, found footage films, structural films, films evoking body art or performance art, arthouse features, animated works, hand-painted films etc. This collection gives an idea of the extent of practices and approaches used by experimental filmmakers in the principal centres of film production, namely North America, Austria, France, and Germany. Moreover, a large part of this collection consists of unique, unpublished tapes that were personally given by the filmmakers to Chodorov.
b. The WORM Pirate Bay archive also houses the collection of the Cultvideotheek NextPage: one of the last video stores standing in the Netherlands! An archive consisting of 5000+ movies on DVD and VHS consisting of trash, underground, B-movies, arthouse, horror, sexploitation, blaxploitation, world cinema, documentaries, animation, music films and many more. With an extensive (and forever incomplete) collection, the Cultvideotheek answers to cult movie enthusiasts. From Russ Meyer to David Lynch and from Russian sci-fi to Japanese schoolgirl zombies: to each his own!
c. WORM’s own productions form another part of the archive. The majority of the items were produced in the WORM SoundStudio and cover projects like Radio WORM (a monthly radio magazine that run from 2000-2012), Horspil (a series of radio plays produced from 2009 to the present day), and the Soundpiece Series which were released on LP. There are also many printed publications, such as artist Dennis de Bel’s “A Very Hard Cover Book” and publications by The Parallel University of WORM such as Omar Munoz Cremers’ “De Toekomst Hervonden”.
d. The WORM Pirate Bay archive involves a collection of Books, Magazines, Recordings (on CD, LP, Cassette), Film (DVD) and sound gadgets curated by WORM Director Hajo Doorn and Mariëtte Groot from the Underbelly shop. Thematically this collection is based round the early avant-garde, experimental and underground music, sound art, film, media art, outsider art, DIY, activism and philosophy. The collection has both a national and international scope, with Dutch and English editions, and a preoccupation with the local and international art scenes.