Jordan Strafer, SOS, 2021. HD video, color, sound; 11:08 min; courtesy the artist.

Video shoot co-direction: Jordan Strafer with Carl Knight and Zacry Spears. Animation: Jessica Wilson. Art Direction: Chloe Cerabona. Camera and various on-set roles: Larry Bovik. Original music: Lazar Bozic. Voice: Phoebe Osborne, Carlyn C., and Katie O. Color: Alex Zandi. Sound mixing: Aron Sanchez.

Jordan Strafer’s SOS (2021) interweaves fantastical scenes with the artist’s autobiography to address themes of human cruelty, power, and futility. The work cycles through scenes of night and day, with dolls as protagonists: a girl seemingly stranded on a snowy beach, an elderly man on a medical stretcher, and two EMTs who attend to him. Strafer employs strategies of doubling, interchangeability, and scale shifts, with large hands occasionally swooping down to animate, caress, and bathe the dolls—perhaps in acts of care and/or control.