The Kodak Moment

As part of The Florida Review and Aquifer: TFR Online’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month and Latinx contributors, we are featuring the work of multi-media artist, theorist, and historian Michael Betancourt. We will feature one video by Betancourt every week until October 15th, starting today with The Kodak Moment. Betancourt’s work will also be featured in the upcoming fall print issue of The Florida Review.


The silent film actress Mae Murray, known as the “girl with bee-stung lips,” appears in fancy dress, pouting and flirting with the audience. Hers is an archetypal image of white feminine beauty from the start of the twentieth century, a form that was already old when the source film was shot in 1922, here glitched and fragmented—yet remaining coherently recognizable throughout this movie. The music is from a vintage 1920 recording of inventor, visual music pioneer, and symphony piano soloist Mary Hallock-Greenewalt playing Chopin’s Nocturne in G Major.


Michael Betancourt

Michael Betancourt is a research artist, theorist and historian. His movies have screened internationally at the Black Maria Film Festival, Art Basel Miami Beach, Contemporary Art Ruhr, Athens Video Art Festival, Syros International Film Festival, Festival des Cinemas Differents de Paris, Anthology Film Archives, Millennium Film Workshop, the San Francisco Cinematheque’s Crossroads, and Experiments in Cinema among others. His writing complements his movie making. He has been translated into Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Persian, Portuguese, and Spanish, and published in many magazines, including The Atlantic, Make Magazine, Millennium Film Journal, Leonardo, Semiotica, and CTheory. He wrote The ____________ Manifesto, and the books The Critique of Digital Capitalism, Glitch Art in Theory and Practice, and Beyond Spatial Montage: Windowing.