I personally handpicked these little gems for the Odds and Ends screening," writes curator Karl Lind in the notes for his upcoming video program. "I am constantly amazed by the sheer awesomeness of the work I see [here in Portland] and am perpetually inspired by [it]." This is the perfect point of inspiration for curating an exhibit, and Lind makes it seem effortless: This Friday night, he'll be screening a load of short films, videos, and animation from local and national artists, billing it simply as "an eclectic mix."
Probably no curator in the world could program a series of short films that batted 1000 with me or anybody else; this show, as you should rightfully expect, is filled with hits and misses, but overall promises to be one of the better video nights in recent memory. Lind sent over a DVD sampler of Friday night's lineup—here are some of the highlights:
E*Rock's video for Tobias' "I Love Your Music" is predictably entrancing, retro-futuristic, and glitchtastic. Eight-bit androids stomp and wave their arms to Tobias' bouncy electropop beats, while geodesic meteors fly through space and lo-tech faces sing the song's chorus. Fans of E*Rock's Flash-based visual style (or of his production collaborative Wyld File) will be on familiar ground here, but the techno cracked-out aesthetic is intoxicating enough to demand its own night of programming.
Animal Charm, the Los Angeles collective famous for re-editing found video footage and archival TV clips into cruddy, charming remixes, throws up a brick with "Sunshine Kitty." It's a clunky short about cats and veterinarians that never gets off the ground, and recycles its tepid footage into an overly long, big "eh" of a piece. And if that sounds harsh, it's only because Animal Charm has done much better work in the past, and it's a shame that they're represented by a piece as forgettable as "Sunshine Kitty."
Stephen Slappe fares better with "Increasing in Significance," a four-channel video about the relationships of distance that's well executed and sort of perfect, in its own modest way.
Among the many other participating artists, expect to see good stuff from Cat Tyc, Michael Paulus, Dan Ackerman, and others. If you've had any urge to catch up on a smorgasbord of contemporary video art, a better chance than this probably won't come around anytime soon.