The experimental Art Video 'RELEASE' clashes and unites conceptual art and a sensual cinematic experience. It explores disintegration, fragmenting unity into pieces, leading to temporary destruction, from presence to absence, releasing its own form.
Montage, time-space-context, sound and media-reflexive attention to the digital carrier-medium by turning to image-resolution - in German, resolution and dissolution are one word: Aufloesung - form the basis. The compression types JPEG,MPEG and GIF radically destroy parts of the film, create disruptive factors, trigger irritation and distance the audience from the film. Every day sound recurrently collide with the abstract black-and-white images. In between an almost cinematic music fills the space yet not long enough to be immersed in.
Using every aspect of the medium, re-building cinematic experience that is recurrently ruptured, disintegration becomes intellectually, emotionally perceivable.
The experimental film ‘RELEASE’ by Lia Sáile ranges between a conceptual work of art and a sensual cinematic experience – clashing and uniting both, creating a hybrid form, each questioning and deconstructing the other.
Breaking the media into its essential pieces it explores the subject of disintegration, breaking down a unity into its smallest parts, leading to temporary destruction; from something to nothing, from presence to absence.
Eastern and Western aesthetics, time-space-disruption and media reflecting attention to the digital (carrier-) medium itself form the basis of the work.
The digital medium becomes subject and object of the film while conveying the theme of loss, disintegration and absence. By turning to the film’s image resolution (in German, ‘resolution’ and ‘dissolution’ are the same word: ‘Auflösung’) the digital medium becomes the actual focus of the film. The two most common image compression types JPEG (MPEG) and GIF are systematically utilized to radically destroy parts of the film, frame by frame, destructing them by implementing different algorithms and degrees of data loss, creating disruptive factors in form of defects, glitches, pixel artefacts, which trigger irritation and distance the audience from the otherwise poetic film repeatedly. By breaking the digital image into its single parts, disassembling it completely, the subject matters of the film reflect and question the digital medium as well as ‘cinema’ and its perception itself on a seperate level. The impact of the internet on our perception of moving images (gif-loops, you tube compressed movies, glitches, vine, streaming interrupptions etc.) are inevitably part of the work.
A mix of every day sounds like cars, electric humming, crowds, tv sounds, re-arranged Muezzin-calls, ventilation systems and indistinguishable texture-like noises – also selectively digitally compressed - expand the visible space and recurrently collide with the abstract and deformed black and white images. A few times an almost ‘cinematic’ orchestral music fills the space, yet never lasts long enough for the audience to completely delve into it.
Intermittently withdrawing the film by clashing continuity with disruption and abstraction transmits the theme on the visual, acoustic and media reflective level. The audience is challenged to let go of what it experiences, to release what it sees and expects. By working with every characteristic inherent to the digital medium, breaking it down into its essential parts of information, (re-)building a cinematic experience that is recurrently ruptured, disintegration and absence become intellectually and emotionally perceivable.
(text update: April 2017)
Marcel ZaesSound + Music(Switzerland)
Nela AdamKey Cast(Germany)
Noel BorgSet assistance (maritime)(Malta)
Bernhard HochenauerPost Production Consultance(Austria)
Project Type:Short, Other
Genres:Experimental, Art, Video, Artistic, Gallery, Hybrid
Runtime:12 minutes 22 seconds
Completion Date:October 30, 2014
Production Budget:2,000 USD
Country of Origin:Austria
Country of Filming:Austria, Germany, Malta
Shooting Format:Digital HD
Film Color:Black & White
Internationale Regensburger Kurzfilmwoche 2015Regensburg, Germany
March 20, 2015
European premiere, German premiere
Athens International Film and Video Festival 2015Athens, Ohio, USA
April 8, 2015
North American Premiere
Cinerama.bc Vivo 2015Santa Catarina, Brasil
South American Premiere
13th Signes de Nuit Paris 2015Paris, France
November 10, 2015
Alternative Film / Video Festival, 2015Belgrade, Serbia
January 14, 2016
Lia Sáile was born in 1985 in the German industrial area Ruhrbasin. She studied theatre-, film- and media at the University of Vienna and attended classes at the academy of fine arts, next to studying one year abroad on Malta, where she specialized in philosophy and art history. She lives and works in Vienna, Austria and Cologne, Germany.
Media- and conceptual art form the basis of her works, while her focus lies on media-reflexivity on one hand and on posing, analyzing and discussing social questions on the other.
Next to a solo exhibition in the National Museum of Fine Art in Malta (2008), a solo exhibition at Hans Reh Gallery in Vienna (2014) she participated multiple group exhibitions and video-screenings for example in Germany, USA, Brasil, Austria, France, Czech Republic and China.
She also received grants and sponsorships from the C International Photo Magazine UK/Spain and recently from the City Arts Council of Vienna for the experimental film ‘RELEASE’. In spring 2013 she was the invited visual artist for the ‘Tonspuren’ Festival in Irsee, Germany, commissioned to create multiple site-specific video installations. In May 2013 she also launched the art project ‘Smallest Common Divider’ in New York, USA. In October she received a grant from ‘KÖR-Kunst im öffentlichen Raum, Wien’ and 'BMUKK - Bundesministerium Unterricht, Kunst, Kultur' for art in public space. Sáile will next show video installations in Bern, Switzerland, October 2014. In 2015 she produced multiple art videos and large scale sculptures installed in public space in Vienna called 'Largest Common Divider' in Vienna, on display for a year. Also this year she will exhibit art works in Malta at St James Cavalier Gallery, Valletta, in May
‘RELEASE’ was recently screened in Germany, France, Brazil and USA.
The experimental film RELEASE operates in multiple layers, ranging from a conceptual work of art to a sensual cinematic experience – clashing and uniting them, creating a hybrid form that intends to work on both levels, each questioning and deconstructing the other.
My wish was to create a film that explores the broad subject of disintegration. Dealing with the sub-themes information, stimulus, presence, absence, flaw/defect and fragmentation, the next aim was to analyze and reflect the medium digital film – especially comparing regular cinema to experimental/artistic film, and trying to create a form of film that could be appreciated in a cinema as well as shown in an art gallery. Another interest was to place the digital film in its context of the Internet era, exploring how it changes our way of perception.
The German word Aufloesung -transl.: dissolution- is the same as that of Bild-Aufloesung -transl.: image resolution. This coincidence and sameness served as a starting point on a medial and content level, with the word Aufloesung referring to the digital image itself and to the general process of dissolution.
The footage was shot via storyboard on Malta in 2010. The performer Nela Adam and I filmed many hours underwater without oxygen supply, shooting 2-5 minute shots, repeatedly resurfacing to review the footage and discuss the next shots. The same year a rough cut was made. In 2011 I finalized a first version, yet was unsatisfied. The film felt too poetic, too clean and cinematic, it left no critical impact. I felt it didn’t yet capture what it was about on the superficial layer disintegration nor did it yet reflect the medium. I needed to find a way to keep the audience from being immersed by the film without questioning it, at the same time wanted to use cinematic tools to create an aesthetic and emotional language that would hold the audiences attention and transmit the theme on a subconscious level too.
By 2012 I had completely fragmented the first version. To start the film with a long and intense sequence of moving plants and light reflexes, creating a stimulus satiation by visual information overload that would slowly dissolve into emptiness throughout the film was the only concept that remained.
Slowing down the film to its single frames and integrating stills were important steps, as was the inclusion of black frames. The digital carrier medium of the film started to play a key role. It became clear to me that I had to focus on the essence of digital information and its processing in order to reflect and analyze the medium and to convey the subject matter of the film: breaking down a unity into its smallest pieces, leading to temporary destruction; from something to nothing, from presence to absence, making each particle, each aspect, each layer visible on an abstract level – letting unity go and releasing its form.
By 2013 - with a grant from Wien Kultur that helped me focus on the film for two months without distraction - I finally had my breakthrough, realizing how I needed to break the film into its single pieces to make it work, using all available perceivable parts of the medium, clashing them against each other, abstracting and dissolving them.
The most important part was to create disruptive factors that would trigger irritation and distance the audience from what they see again and again. To achieve this I worked on its form, montage, time, space, sound, association, expectation and started to direct media reflexive attention to the digital carrier medium itself by turning to the films image resolution. I integrated fragmentation and abstraction into the moving images by utilizing the two most common image compression types JPEG, MPEG and GIF.
In the process I started to radically destroy segments of the film, frame by frame, blowing them up, tearing them down, distorting and disrupting them by using different algorithms, compression types, filters, degrees of data loss, of error and defects. By these means I was able to create a source of irritation, a visual impulse, repeatedly creating a distance between audience and film. Breaking the digital image into its smallest single parts and pixel information, disassembling it completely with GIF and MPEG-compression allowed me to visualize the subject matter and to reflect the digital medium itself. Simultaneously, tiny editing features became more and more refined, almost fading to invisibility unless watched in slow motion. To do all this without losing the films sensual and emotional quality to stay approachable was a huge challenge.
Another important factor was sound. I wanted the undefined, timeless space of the visual layer to converge and recoil with mundane real life acoustics. Sound samples were collected during my travels in Egypt, Malta, Helgoland, America and Italy and then post-edited and interwoven by sound artist Marcel Saegesser, who enriched the collection with his own samples, arranged minimal music for strings and created the final sound concept with great attention for detail. The final mix of every day sounds like cars, electric humming, boilers, crowds, tv sounds, re-arranged Muezzin-calls, ventilation systems and indistinguishable texture-like noises managed to expand the visible space and let it recurrently collide with the abstract and deformed black and white images. A few times an almost cinematic orchestral music fills the space yet never lasts long enough for the audience to completely delve into it.
Visual disintegration, fragmentation, clash, contrast, abstraction, discontinuity, stills, superimposition of imagery in different forms, transparency-layers, clash of sound and image, black frames and white frames, multiple degrees of image compression and defects became the main tools of the film. Continuously eluding the film from the viewers grasp by disrupting it thus helped to transmit the theme on the visual, acoustic and medial level. By working with every aspect inherent to the medium, analyzing each segment carefully before breaking it down into its most essential parts, I was able to finally implement the subjects disintegration and absence without losing the cinematic approachability of the film.