Staff picks: Cauleen Smith

Staff picks: Cauleen Smith


Clip from Cauleen Smith, Three Songs About Liberation, 2017.

February 1, 2022
Staff picks: Cauleen Smith
Now streaming
February 1–28, 2022
Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

e-flux Video & Film is excited to feature Cauleen Smith’s Three Songs About Liberation as the February 2022 edition of our monthly series Staff Picks. Cauleen Smith’s interdisciplinary body of work, according to the artist herself, is a meditation on ”the everyday possibilities of the imagination.” Inspired by Third World Cinema, and Afrofuturism, the artist’s films are deeply rooted in the tradition of mid- and late-20th-century experimental cinema. They focus on the legacy and cultural history of Black radical thought, elucidate the power structures that shape our contemporary world, and widen our historical lens in order to envision and visualize new Black futures.

Cauleen Smith, Three Songs About Liberation
2017, 9 minutes
Three monologues adapted from the groundbreaking book Black Women In White America (1972), edited by Gerda Lerner. Film commissioned by the Smart Museum at the University of Chicago in conjunction with the exhibition Revolution Every Day, curated by Zachary Cahill, Robert Bird, Diane Miliotes, and Christina Kiear.

About the artist
Cauleen Smith was raised in Sacramento, California and lives in Los Angeles. Drawing from structuralism, third world cinema, and science fiction, she makes things that deploy the tactics of activism in service of ecstatic social space and contemplation. Smith enjoys container gardening, likes cats and collects vinyl records, and rocks. She is Art Program faculty at California Institute of the Arts. She received her BA in Creative Arts from San Francisco State University and MFA, from University of California, Los Angeles School of Theater Film and Television. Smith’s short films, feature film, an installation and performance were work showcased at International Film Festival Rotterdam 2019. Smith has had solo exhibitions at The Whitney Museum of American Art, SFMoMA, and MassMoCA and most recently, LACMA. Smith is the recipient of the following awards: Rockefeller Media Arts Award, Creative Capital Film/Video, Chicago 3Arts Grant, and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Chicago Expo Artadia Award, and Rauschenberg Residency, Herb Alpert Awards in the Arts in Film and Video 2016, United States Artists Award 2017, 2016 inaugural recipient of the Ellsworth Kelly Award, 2020 recipient of the Studio Museum Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize, and 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship.

About the series 
e-flux Video & Film: Staff Picks is a monthly streaming series of staff picks and recommended videos designed to disrupt the monotony of an algorithm. Before the end times of big data, we used to discover suggested content along dusty shelves in video rental stores, where Post-it notes scribbled by shift workers implored us to experience the same movies that made them guffaw, scream, or weep. Sometimes the content bored us, sometimes it overwhelmed us, and sometimes, as if by magic, it was just right. e-flux invites you to relive this rental store mode of perusal, with personalized picks curated through judgment that does not take into consideration your viewing history. 

For more information, contact program [​at​]

RSVP for Staff picks: Cauleen Smith
February 1, 2022

Thank you for your RSVP.

e-flux will be in touch.


e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.