Portrait of the Artist as a Small File

Portrait of the Artist as a Small File

“Let’s try again!” says Emma Ciprian in Self-Tape, capturing the essence of the films in this program. Our Small File artists explore the materiality of their surroundings—including their own bodies— in relation to the technologies available for story-telling. Whispering questions of an ontological nature, they offer no answers but intrigue us with their confesssions, failures, alterities, and the many quests that have escaped their interest.—FY

L.C., Very Pathetic
Germany, 2021, 3:05, 3.9 MB

Surely the Angela Schanelec of small-file media, Beerhorst creates a space where the question of what is art can hang in delicate suspension. Our team is gratified that the small-file challenge ushered the artist through a period of uncertainty and artistic angst.–LM

Hernando Urrutia, mirARTE interFACE II
Portugal, 2020, GIF image, 0:05

Brief flashes of a technomancer offer a stylistic glimpse of a grunge-era cybernetic visage.—JM

Cat Hart, Strip
Canada, 2:05, 2.9 MB, processing time 2:00

Identity masks vigorously stripped in a choreographed tango of dramatic pixels, luscious colours and punchy sound design.—RP

Michael Demetriou, Muscles
Greece, 2021, 5:00, 4.8 MB, processing time 2 hours (including failed attempts)

Demetriou’s strobing editing both protect and reveal this full-lipped, downy-chested weight-room Adonis. We suggest you defocus your eyes and mind and let your rods and cones vibrate in tune with his flexing muscles.—LM

Emma Ciprian, SELF-TAPE
Canada, 2020, 2:58, 5MB, processing time 1:00

A behind-the-counter experience of an actress as she performs her daily routine. Saturated with anxiety, criticism, doubt, and defeat, Ciprian’s performance still attracts respect as she moves on to the next take.—SB 

Rrose Present, Failed Self-Interview
Cuba, GIF image, 5 MB

I am what I see. / I see what I am. / I walk, what I see transforms me, / I dissolve into the landscape like a chameleon. / PAS characteristic of people with excess empathy and sensitivity.—RP

Rachel Stuckey, Convalescing Camcorder and Two Cats
USA, 2021, 4:30, 4.7 MB, processing time 22:50

A gentle commentary on human vanity and obsolescent culture. With the camera at floor level, Stuckey invites the human to take a step back and respect the recalcitrant wisdom of ‘technologies’ we abandon too hastily when they don’t reflect our ideal of perfection. The big gray tabby’s grave, eternal gaze looks through us toward something more eternal. So does the old VHS camcorder’s patient, textured regard: demagnetization shutters it now and then, like a slowly blinking feline.—LM