Fotograf Magazine

Chloé Galibert-Laîné

Differing Times, Degrees and Methods of Exposure

The treatment of a disease unknown to experts, the media image of a terrorist organization, crowd sourced investigations and the techniques of representation, not just on social media… these are some of the many themes we come across in the media, in order to watch, think, fabricate and leave our own testimony, adding yet more digital traces. Where, from what positions, for whom and in what ways we do this all form part of the message itself. In the form of a non-fiction desktop diary, the filmmaker and theorist Chloé Galibert-Laîné explores online technological images and their relation to contemporary modes of knowledge production.

“‘We’ll have to explain all of those things, to clarify, get to the bottom of it… (…) in reality the world is like a screen, it does not manifest itself to me except by references referring me further and further, leading on and on – things that play with me like a ball!”1

Chloé Galibert-Laîné uses the term “netnographic” to describe moving images (as well as photographs and sounds) created in and by the internet environment, testifying to a certain online community and the fact that they are most frequently viewed on a computer monitor2. Her desktop films confront these images in a way that is simultaneously analytical and emotional. Deploying this theoretical apparatus, she explores their aesthetic codes, social context and technological procedures of production, at the same time relating to them as a viewer who remains open to their emotional meaning and potential for fictional narratives. The desktop interface gives these films an ambiguity: it is above all a display that facilitates viewing (at home on a computer, or in a cinema), but can also become transformed into a terrain for producing a performative response to the content being viewed.

Chloé conducts her performative and intimate dialogue with already extant online content in its own language: using found footage by authors both known and anonymous accessible in online databases, she transplants this material from its context, burying it even deeper in the mass of contexts generated by algorithms, or weaving it into a mesh of her personal associations and essaystic reflections, while at the same time observing her own emotional response (Watching the Pain of Others, 2019). She further appropriates these moving images through the use of editing programs, analyzing the composition and language of their original edits (Forensickness, 2020). She analyses, cuts, slows down, speeds up, confronts these with other images or texts. The entire procedure is accompanied by a contemplative voice-over, which constructs her persona as author-protagonist within the film. Chloé works with a minimum of devices, available to all users with access to digital technologies that form the basic standards of most contemporary viewers – consumer-based mainstream platforms (YouTube, Facebook, Google, reddit, Skype, etc.) and commercial applications (Adobe Premiere Pro etc.). It is this very seemingly uncritical and at the same time exclusive userhood that enables her to enter a form of universal – but firmly situated – experience that speaks to a broad virtual community of susceptible viewers and artists, which remains one of the most revealing glimpses into Western society to date. Chloé presents herself as a reflective, hesitant, non-authoritative subject who is nevertheless ready to step out of the shadow of the voice-over and become a member of the online community she is investigating (Watching the Pain of Others, 2019; Forensickness, 2020). Her work itself, arising in dialogue with these images and simultaneous theoretical research3 jointly disrupt the sense of distance, neutrality and verifiability of the still dominant scientific approach, pointing out its faultlines and creating a new type of knowledge.

1 Witold Gombrowicz, Kosmos, Praha: Argo, 2007, pp. 46-47. 

2 Chloé Galibert-Laîné, Netnographic Cinema as a Cultural Interface, Iluminace 32/2, Prague: National Film Archive, 2020, pp. 53-69.

Galibert-Laîné presented her dissertation “Documenter internet: Essais sur le réemploi d’internet dans le cinéma contemporainde non-fiction” (Documenting the Internet: Essays on the Re-employment of the Internet in Contemporary Non-fiction Cinema) at the École normale supérieure de Paris in November 2021. (Personal communications with the artist, 10/2021).

Chloé Galibert-Laîné is a filmmaker and researcher, exploring the relationship between cinema and visual culture in the internet environment. She currently works as post-doctoral researcher at the Lucerne School of Art and Design, and lectures in Paris, The Hague and Stuttgart. Her films have screened at festivals such as IFF Rotterdam (NL), FIDEM Marseille (FR), Ji.hlava DFF (CZ), EMAF (DE), transmediale (DE), etc.

Alexandra Moralesová is an audiovisual artist and theorist of media and experimental cinema. She is currently a student in the doctoral program at FAMU, Prague (Film and Television School of the Academy of Performing Arts).