Kevin B. Lee is a filmmaker and critic who has made over 300 video essays exploring film and media. His award-winning Transformers: The Premake was named one of the best documentaries of 2014 by Sight & Sound Magazine and played in several festivals including the Berlin Film Festival Critics Week. In 2017 he is the first-ever Artist in Residence of the Harun Farocki Institute in Berlin.
Bottled Songs 3: My Crush Was A Superstar
The film is only available online from June 18-20.
The Bottled Songs of Lost Children is a series of four video letters investigating desire, power, propaganda, and terrorism in online and social media. The artists 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. These “desktop epistolaries,” recorded from the artist-researchers' computers, depict their experiences navigating through an unstable virtual environment of fear and attraction. The epistolaries examine a range of themes connected to ISIS media: specific videos produced by ISIS; spectral figures who appear in the videos; and viewers of the videos with a diverse range of motivations and interests. These video letters function in a variety of forms: a multi-part episodic series, multiple two-channel installations, a four-channel installation, a feature-length film, and audiovisual performance lectures.
The four chapters are:
- Bottled Songs 1: The Observer
- Bottled Songs 2: Looking Into the Flames
- Bottled Songs 3: My Crush Was A Superstar
- Bottled Songs 4: The Spokesman
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.
Please note: Not recommended for children and adolescents.
This work was realised within the framework of the European Media Art Platforms (EMAP) programme at m-cult (FI) with support of the Creative Europe Culture Programme of the European Union.