Etan Ilfeld's Tenderflix Film

The London-based gallery delves into the grey areas between art and technology via their ongoing film project

Paul R. Jones 'Boundary Interaction: To Roll' vide
Paul R. Jones 'Boundary Interaction: To Roll' video still

London-based Tenderpixel Gallery was launched in 2007 by the highly prolific Etan Ilfeld as a platform to showcase the digital endeavours of emerging artists. The film show, Tenderflix, is an extension of the gallery, working with Rushes to promote experimental films which they annually post an open call for (where this year saw the likes of Jordan Baseman, Max Hattler, and Peter Sant). Inviting experimental film/video art that includes animation, performance, abstract sound and video works, Ilfeld takes on the exploration of the intersections of art, technology and media. Graduating in Physics at Stanford University, followed up by Masters in Film Studies and also in Interactive Media, Ilfeld now works as an independent filmmaker and chief organiser of the 15th Mind Sports Olympiad.

Dazed Digital: How does Tenderpixel provide a unique platform for the exhibiting filmmakers?
Etan Ilfeld: I think that it's important to provide a platform for experimental filmmakers to be able to share their work within the context of an art gallery. Our annual experimental film festival, Tenderflix, is now into it's 4th year, and we have an open call for experimental films from around the world. This year, we received over 250 submissions, and selected 18 films, which were screened in the gallery and at Curzon Soho. We also made a DVD compilation of the films, which is available for sale at our gift shop, Tenderproduct.

DD: What do you think is the appeal of digital art for you?
Etan Ilfeld: Tenderpixel has shown some of the most cutting edge digital artists ranging from Squid Soup, and BAFTA award winning filmmaker Tal Rosner to GPS artist Jeremy Wood. For example, Jeremy Wood pioneered the act of drawing and mapping with satellite navigation technology and video by treating himself as a geodesic pencil; Wood has created some incredible artworks out of his GPS data, and last year we sold his My Ghost map of London to the London Transport Museum. We also recently had a great solo show by Patrick Tresset and his Aikon robot, which drew portraits of gallery visitors.
 
DD: How did you curate your artists? 
Etan Ilfeld: There are lots of creative films in this year's Tenderflix ranging from the un-categorizable to animation, comedy and sci-fi. My favourites include Deepest Sympathy by David Theobald which follows the life-cycle of a person's life via greetings cards, and Seek and Destroy by Jan Hakon Erichsen which begins with an arrow flying into a leather chair, which is later gutted like a wild animal (I'm a sucker for bizarre incongruence).

DD: Do you think there was a identifiable link between them and their work?
Etan Ilfeld: Absolutely. Experimental film is a wonderful medium for communicating a unique point of view, and you can really get a good sense of the artist's aesthetics, style and imagination. While Tenderflix happens each July at the gallery, during the rest of the year, Tenderpixel features a wide range of emerging artists which are exploring new forms of art practice. Each monthly exhibition showcases work that completely differentiates itself. It's wonderful for both Lisa Slominski and I to curate the gallery and have the opportunity to meet so many creative individuals - we love artists!  

DD: What was your favourite moment from the films showed?
Etan Ilfeld: It was great to see the gallery completely packed and hear everyone roaring with laughter at Paul R Jones' Boundary Interaction, which featured a man trying to roll himself up a hill - it was so simple and yet playfully brilliant at the same time.

Tenderpixel Gallery, 10 Cecil Ct, London WC2N 4HE

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