2022 Small File Media Festival

Small File Media Festival


Think Thrice! P-U-N-K C-H-I-C

Hello artists! The Small File Media Festival is back with our third iteration! This year we want to blow your mind with new categories. But above all, we want you to be PUNK + CHIC —forceful and elegant, streamlined and stealthy, uncompromising in vision, edgy in message.

We have been low-key, we have been playing it nice. The world is broken. This time we are demanding—stop fossil fuels dependence bringing war and destruction worldwide! We are demanding—unleash creative r/evolution! We are demanding—destroy the large-file clichés of thinking that prevent us from imaging a world otherwise![1]

When submitting you artworks, pick a theme + a file category.

Highlights from the 2021 Small File Media Festival



One would think NFTs are the last word in media art but Think Thrice!we have a new solution up our sleeve: Not So F*cking Tiny art. Here come the NSFTs. Send us your files and we will sell them for you at a festive live auction and create a REAL certificate! No need for blockchain: your tiny certificate will get a real rubber stamp of authenticity. Go ahead and make fun of NFT aesthetics, or do whatever you want.


One would think the earth is a landscape for viewing and a site for extraction but Think Thrice!— with our Portals theme. We are on the lookout for submissions exploring small-file media as portals to the unseen layers of the universe. We are interested in tiny artworks that act as points around which communities can converge, as crystals grow around a grain. Where new rituals and coalitions arise. Where strange new flowers emerge from ancestral seeds.


Singing, song-writing, and performance meet hugely tiny files. Think Thrice!: here comes Small-file song contest! Animal calls summon the world-yet-unknown. Small-file crooners and magicians woo the pixel moon. Plants and minerals thunder with secret sound. These are the sirens that assemble communities-to-come around their rallying call. We are looking for works that re-inventing song-writing and performance through the small-file medium.


Step up to the opposable-thumbed population’s social media obsession! Yes, TikToks are small media, but they still glut the networks. We challenge you to make your TikToks SmallToks! Show us your craziest dances, funniest pranks, and adorable pets as Lil’Toks in our new category. Don’t forget to compress them!


Don’t see your category above? Fearlessly enter The Other Category! As always, we’ll make up award categories for the most mind-blowing smallfile works, from Best Cat Video to Lowest Bitrate to Best Haptic Renunciation!


One would think media art needs to an energy-hungry high-resolution urban projection Behemoth parsing millions of data but Think Thrice!—we have three weird submission file  categories.

MOLECULES—for infra-small, ultra-small, Demoscene and looped media (GIF, etc.) works under 1 MB.

RIPPLES—for works up to 5 MB

TROUBLE—for multiple-episode bingeworthy series up to 22 MB in total

These files NEED to be small to be accepted into the 2022 Small File Media Festival so make sure you squish them down to size – 1MB a minute max! 

[1] Information and communications technologies are now estimated to generate about 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions. About a third of that, or 1%, is the infrastructural share of data centers, networks, and devices that support streaming media. The whole category is busting out of control with the normalization of 4K and 8K video and the expansion of streaming platforms, alongside the scary growth of cryptocurrency, artificial intelligence, and the internet of things.

Ask an Environmental Expert: What’s the Carbon Footprint of the Internet?

Read Dr. Laura U. Marks “Ask an Environmental Expert: What’s the Carbon Footprint of the Internet?” featured in The Walrus!


Thank you to all of the artists, curators, organizations, planners and promoters who made the 2021 Second Annual Small File Media Festival possible! This year we are proud to present the following artists with the coveted Small File Mini Bear award:

Programmers’ choice: Noor Abouchehade, Diaspora
Most environmentally friendly: Pierre Leichner, Worm Art #9 (Sink) and many other works
Best Bingeworthy:
 Somayeh Khakshoor, glints
Best Storytelling: 
 Mariana Sanson, My Niece is a Dragon. 
Best Oceanic sound design: 
Mar Alzamora, Interstitial
Best Postapocalyptic: Monique Motut-Firth & pr0phecy sun, Pocket Theatre 
Best haptic renunciation: Zach McLean 
Best Bio-arousing: Anabella Costa, FLIES
Spellcasting: Fereshteh Toosi, Toxic Acceleration Spell
Best Cat Video: Rachel Stuckey, Convalescing Camcorder and Two Cats
Best Earth Mov(i)e: Erini Tampasouli, The Shore
Best streaming video cautionary tale: Christopher Carruth, why wonder
Lowest Bitrate: Andrew Roach, Expedition Sasquatch   
Supersmall: byteobserver, Glow in the Dark Slime
Honorable mention: Zoey Beerhorst, Very Pathetic; Markus Maicher, 10Mb of memory

Cairo Video Festival Award
Sunny Nestler, Cone Worms
Monique Motut-Firth & pr0phecy sun, Pocket Theatre 

The Film and Video Poetry Society Award
Noor Abouchehade, Diaspora
Marilia Kaisar, My Grandmother and the Eating Disorder

VIVO Distribution Award
Tamara Bilankov, Magical Car Track
Sunny Nestler, Cone Worms (Near Burrard Inlet
Joseph Clark, Persistence & Loss
Somayeh Khakshoor, glints (1-4)
Leanne Dunic, Snow White
Rachel Stuckey, Convalescing Camcorder and Two Cats
Charlie Cooper, Series 1-4
Qianlin Wang, Waiting Room Special Education Programme
Christopher Carruth, why wonder

Small file love, the SFMF Team ❤

You can find our research confirming the carbon footprint of streaming media at:


The Small File Media Festival grows out of the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada, on the unceded territory of the –Sḵwxw̱ ú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səlío lwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) nations.

We are grateful for funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.