Beijing based animator Liu Sha conjures up a fantastic netherworld of digital spew with It Is My Fault. Just like Happiness last week, this is a four minute, dialogue-free animation. Where the former takes comfort in firm allegory, It Is My Fault writhes in abstraction.
The film opens with a young woman guzzling “nao can” (stupid) pills before going to sleep. It’s our introduction to an a e s t h e t i c dreamscape of floating detritus and rainbow vomit. The style of the film is heavily influenced by David O’Reilly’s 2010 short The External World, and shares a thematic preoccupation with artistic frustration. What is unique to Sha’s film is a motif of soul-deadening, mechanic repetition. Bodies are disassembled on an assembly line, and childhood memories are duplicated to the point of meaninglessness. Both mind and body are industrial fodder.
The visuals recall early computer animation, and are replete with intentional glitches. Accompanied by a screeching chiptune score by Ma Yao, there is a constant sense of instability that promises doom. As a literal dickhead ejaculates a fountain of poop emojis, this volatile film world disintegrates into a mess of pixels. Sha cleverly frames the end credits as a series of program crash windows to drive home this point of digital breakdown.
It Is My Fault vividly captures the feeling of creative anxiety in the digital world. This glitch-ridden nightmare of self-lacerating images will evoke memories for anyone who’s ever pulled an all-nighter with Adobe, or found themselves twenty tabs deep into online research. It’s a bizarre mental landscape where your world is made up of pixels, and as the title suggests, it is a reality we have made for ourselves.
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DIRECTOR: Liu Sha
WRITER: Liu Sha
MUSIC: Ma Yao
SYNOPSIS: After the compression of the spiritual world by the force of regulation, there will follow a series of emotions such as introspection, violence, self-destruction, and untangling. This work utilizes the own approach of the digital medium itself to deconstruct, to form the subliminal synesthesia visually and to create a fictional experience for the mind.