Chloé Galibert-Laîné & Kevin B. Lee

Artist

Chloé Galibert-Laîné (FR)
Kevin B. Lee (DE)
Bottled Songs 3 & 4 (2018)
  • Bottled Songs 3 & 4/Chloé Galibert-Laîné, Kevin B. Lee (FR, DE/US), © Chloé Galibert-Laîné, Kevin B. Lee
  • Documentation of the installation at Ars Electronica Festival 2018 © Chloé Galibert-Laîné, Kevin B. Lee
  • Documentation of the installation at Ars Electronica Festival 2018 © Chloé Galibert-Laîné, Kevin B. Lee

Bottled Songs is an ongoing media project depicting strategies for making sense of online terrorist propaganda. Filmmakers and media researchers Chloé Galibert-Laîné and Kevin B. Lee compose letters addressed to each other, narrating their encounters with videos originating from the terrorist group the Islamic State (ISIS). They use a desktop documentary approach to trace and record their investigations playing directly upon their computer screens. 

The first phase of the project consists of four short films, each taking the form of a desktop epistolary composed by one researcher addressed to the other.

In Bottled Songs 1: The Observer, Chloé finds a phone video showing hundreds of ISIS captives running through a desert. She is puzzled that the video is posted on YouTube by Les Observateurs, a French state-funded news channel as a work of “citizen journalism”. While the video has been removed from many other channels, the French news channel’s legitimacy allows the video to remain online and spread terror over several years. Further investigation uncovers multiple variants of the footage on countless other sites, leading her to despair.  

In Bottled Songs 2: Looking Into the Flames, Kevin analyzes a video described as the “first feature film” produced by ISIS. Struck by the mainstream media’s fascination with the video as a movie, he explores possible cinematic connections: Nazi propaganda movies, Hollywood, and early leftist revolutionary filmmaking. Afraid of facing ISIS images directly, he adopts interruptive viewing techniques to bypass the video’s terrorist qualities and uncover insights into its contents.  

Artist presentation Video of work in progress (password required): http://vimeo.com/452574106
Professionals: for password request contact info@emare.eu

The installation version of Bottled Songs 1: The Observer and Bottled Songs 2: Looking Into the Flames is presented by Memory. It premiered at the 2020 True/False Film Fest.

Tech rider preview here

Screening of Bottled Songs 1-4 at the London Open City Documentary Festival, Sep 12th 2020

In Bottled Songs 3: My Crush Was A Superstar, Chloé tracks a French ISIS fighter, Abu Abdallah Guitone, through a trail of messages, videos and postings to uncover his existence in both social media and reality. This leads to an uncomfortable first-person exploration of the gender dynamics behind ISIS recruitment strategies.

In Bottled Songs 4: The Spokesman, Kevin investigates the online traces of a British news reporter who was kidnapped and appeared in several Islamic State propaganda videos.

Bottled Songs 3: My Crush Was A Superstar and Bottled Songs 4: The Spokesman were presented at the following festivals:

2018 Ars Electronica Festival in Linz

2018 Impakt Festival, Utrecht, Netherlands

2018 Bandits-Mages Festival, Bourges, France

2019 Media Art Biennale WRO, Wroclaw, Poland

2019 Videonale.17, Kunstmuseum Bonn

2019 Online Imaginaries Exhibition, Oodi Bibliothek and m-cult, Helsinki

Bottled Songs was conceived with the support of the Harun Farocki Institut, sponsored by the Goethe Institut. It was further developed at m-cult(Helsinki) within the framework of the European Media Artists in Residence Exchange, funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

A feature length version of the project is currently being developed with support of the Eurimages Creative Labs Project Award.

Watch an interview with Chloé and Kevin at the Eurimages Lab Project Awards at the 54th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

Read an interview with Chloé and Kevin about the project.

Awards:

€50,000 Eurimages Lab Project award at 54th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

m-cult (2018)