Bottled Songs

Bottled Songs is a multi-platform investigation of desire, power and terrorism in online and social media. The work consists of video letters exchanged between the two artist-researchers - Chloé Galibert-Laîné and Kevin B. Lee.

The first chapters investigate a deceased ISIS social media star and a British journalist who becomes an unlikely spokesperson for the Islamic State. The video letters, recorded from the researchers’ desktops, combine and recombine to form multiple narrative pathways and surprising intersections, revealing larger technological, economic and ideological networks through which desires circulate.

They function within multiple forms: a feature length film, an installation, and audiovisual performance lectures. These multiple manifestations of the work account for the volatile and mutational nature of contemporary terrorism across medias: a network of intersubjective desires perpetually (mis)perceived, (mis)understood, commented, shared, re-purposed and re-contextualized.

The videos alternately depict and interrogate their subjects’ compulsive engagement in the production of everyday myths and fictions about themselves and others. How do personal truths impose their will upon the realm of facts to craft images of reality? How have the utopian promises of the social media age given way to nightmares? How might those promises be retrieved?

Bottled Songs was conceived in 2017 with the support of the Harun Farocki Institut, and the artists developed the project during their EMAP residency with m-cult in August-September 2018.

The installation version of the first two chapters was presented at Ars Electronica Linz, Impakt Festival and  at the Rencontres Bandits-Mages in 2018. Further chapters will be released in the Network Effects exhibition in Helsinki, November 2019 and the final feature film will premiere in 2020.