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« John La Farge | Main | Economics and Art Appreciation Redux »

December 03, 2002

Free Viewings -- Elka Krajewska

Friedrich --

A couple of years ago, when I first heard that it had become possible to make movies on a home computer, I was stunned and excited. Imagine! Then I learned what was meant by "movies" -- tiny, short things with awful visual qualities. My excitement waned. Movies? Those aren't movies.

It's possible today to make much better-looking computer-video than it was a few years ago. But I've changed too. These days, I'm thinking: Why shouldn't a movie be a short, tiny thingee? Or, even if it's better to reserve the word "movie" for long-form celluloid narratives, what's wrong with making and enjoying tiny, short computer-video thingees?

The form (if I can use the word form here) suits home computers, the current size of hard drives, the current speed of the Internet, as well as the contemporary (ie., chopped-up) schedule. And, given how expensive narrative movies have become, the tiny computer-video thingee might be a sensible medium for people interested in personal expression to take advantage of.

Hey, these things could be audiovisual poetry for the computer age!

Thank heavens for my theory that a few people seem to be approaching the medium in that spirit. Here's one whose work I enjoy: Elka Krajewska, who evidently mixes together photos, scanned images, and footage from a webcam.

She seems to be a born miniaturist. Most of her thingees are less than a minute long, and most of them run in frames that are considerably smaller than a 3x5 card. But I find them to be rich little aesthetic experiences -- miniature landscapes of the mind. What are those rocks that you crack open, and then inside you find that they're full of crystals? Well, that's what Krajewska's little thingees are like.

You can watch them here. Very interested to learn how you react to her work.



posted by Michael at December 3, 2002


Thanks for the pointer. I've only looked at the first one so far (the download was agonizingly slow), and I'm not sure of what was going on except for the green gloves guiding the planet, but it was quite satisfying to watch several times.

Posted by: Nancy Lebovitz on December 4, 2002 06:31 PM

Hi Nancy, Sorry to hear downloading the little movies was a pain. Do you have a dial-up connection? I have a cable modem, and things went ok with that. What did you think of the short, tiny internet-video thing as an art form?

Thanks for stopping by,


Posted by: Michael Blowhard on December 4, 2002 06:57 PM

I have a dial-up. I'll be downing more movies, and if I'm lucky, that very slow download will be a fluke.

Elka makes the micro-movie work as an artform--I'm amazed at how long and interesting she can make 47 seconds seem. I don't know whether anyone else is doing comparable work.

Posted by: Nancy Lebovitz on December 6, 2002 03:46 AM

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