Day 14 | David Poolman


Iceberg is an excerpt of a little bit of nothing – a collection of eight videos that grew out of a small but significant translation I stumbled across in Buster Keaton’s autobiography. “A little bit of nothing,” comes from the Spanish term pamplinas. It is a word that does not easily translate into English. Keaton and a friend were attending the bullfights one afternoon, when the crowd realizing the silent film star was in their presence swarmed and began yelling at him. Keaton believed they were ridiculing him, taunting his American presence. Sensing Keaton was worried, his friend, a native of Spain, set the actor at ease. He told him not to worry, that they were in fact praising him and that their cheers were honorary. Inquiring as to what they were saying, Keaton’s friend replied they were calling him “a little bit of nothing”, which in Spanish is equivalent to the “hole in a doughnut” or a “blank sheet of paper”. This video work grew out of that small but significant translation.

Iceberg, 1998


David Poolman – Toronto Canada

8 thoughts on “Day 14 | David Poolman

  1. I think my favorite part about today’s video was not the video, but watching other people’s reactions. They were usually something like “What the crap?” in fact I think I actually heard someone say exactly that. Just utter confusion. It’s been pretty amusing and for that alone I enjoy this video.

  2. Everything fits into the video. The expression on the actor’s face, and the stale lighting. The soundtrack is great. It allows the viewer to stick with the video.

  3. I really enjoyed this video in the utter mundane look of the this guy in his salad. the setting of the video couldn’t be any better for what he was doing too it made him seem so much more depressing

  4. the setting of the video couldn’t be any better for what the character is doing it made him seem so much more depressing in eating his iceberg lettuce.

  5. I find this video quite entertaining , it kept my attention because I was waiting for something to happen with the broom leaning against wall. The sound matched and complemented the feeling of the piece.

  6. i do get a repetitive, disgusted feeling from it, but i don’t see the correlation with the video and the background origin behind it.

  7. the fact that this video is so bland and depressing is why it is hilarious and interesting to me. I stopped and watched this with someone else; and he started laughing and he thought it was great, “that dude is just sitting and eating lettuce!”. I think sometimes stepping back from the hype of art and creating something so humble is relaxing to all of us that are bombarded constantly with such big art ideas.

  8. This video had so much to say. It was fun to pass by it and just hear parts and know where it was going. The times that I felt the depression was when i would watch it a few times in a row. Then the quietness of the video settled.

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