Universe In Your Pocket

Universe In Your Pocket

These movies compress vastness into the smallest of spaces, and find mysteries of the cosmos in the most mundane of places. Some artists hack analog and digital technologies to construct low-tech time-travel machines. Others create spaces for things that do not exist yet. LUM

Joshua Solondz, Action for Camera 2
(Brooklyn, 3:00, 4.1 MB, 3:00 processing time)

Calling to mind magicians’ bodily disciplines that allow them to master things distant in space and time, a man submits his body to an array of small wooden antennas. Elegantly compressed from 16mm film. LUM

Azadeh Emadi, Entangled Orb
(Glasgow, 2020, 5:07, 4.8 MB, 8:00 processing time)

A lite-brite constellation of household textures and the primary color’s reminder of a desire for a child’s freedom, a piece which takes you to another world outside yourself. SB

E Lebo, Pretty Permanent
(Rochester, NY, 2020, 1.6 MB, 10:13 processing time)

In this stirring spoken-word piece, the speaker escapes the traps of love by mapping the cosmos onto her body and etching Cassiopeia into her arm. “I press my hands on my eyes, the stars are still there.” LUM

Aaron Tucker, The Photogénie Series
(Toronto, 2020, 1:24, 850 KB, 4 hours processing time)

The Photogénie Series stages a competition between the subtlety of human expression and the prurience of surveillance technology. As slight movements flicker across Jennifer Lawrence’s face from The Hunger Games, facial recognition software attempts to translate them into data. LUM

Shyra Desouza, A Scary Clown
(Berlin, 2020, infinite GIF, 4.8 MB)

This elegant GIF animation uses face-enhancement smartphone apps to create a sequence of images with incremental changes. In the micro-intervals, fantastical faces emerge and transform, only to disappear back into the banal. LUM

Screen Shot 2020-11-24 at 7.06.19 PM

Jason Livingston, Alexa, What Is Decolonize?
(New York, 2019, 0:32, 2.7 MB, 1:14 processing time)

Is artificial intelligence programmed to keep our gazes on our navels? Faced with a political assignment, Alexa stalls, complains, and asks Jason the most boring question there is. LUM

Lindsey Arturo, Message Received
(Internet, USA, 2019, 1:40, 0:02 processing time)

As a sweetly awkward figure floats over a text conversation about social media, Arturo stretches a pop song into the saddest music. It’s all about the gaps. LUM

Daniel Carter, Star Trek: Voyager Intro in 283kb
(Texas, 1:44, website, 283 KB)

The smallest file in the Small File Media Festival! Animating Star Trek credits with a heart-touching rhythm, Carter guides the bold little vessel round about the solar system. LUM

Click the image to view the web animation in its entirety! 

David C. Kane, I Dream to Kiss the Melting Land
(Liverpool, 2020, 3:19, 5 MB, 3:30 processing time)

Scale becomes indeterminate as a science-fiction dream discovers a mysterious object in outer space, a death mask maps onto the polar ice, and poet Lucia Fernandez-Santoro meets TC Kid’s beautiful poem “The Kiss.” What are my eyes caressing, the planet or the face of the beloved? LUM

Hân Phạm, Once Upon a Time
(Vancouver, 2020, 5:15, 5.67 MB, 14:00 processing time)

The walls shimmer and fall away, and the history of Vietnam floats into the artist’s bedroom: a century’s worth of noisy, jostling stories. Just as suddenly, the world retreats again, leaving no trace but a few compression artifacts. LUM

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