In Defense of Junk Culture Part 3: Takeshi Murata’s “Get Your Ass to Mars”


I will make no secret of the fact that I am a huge Takeshi Murata fan. Ever since I bore witness to the throbbing intensity that is “Cone Eater” in 2006, I’ve been hooked. His “Monster Movie” was a breakthrough piece for the after-aftereffects generation, which singlehandedly gave birth to the now ubiquitous “datamosh” technique. (Props to Jacob Ciocci for coining such a brilliantly post-Hot Topic moniker). His short animations “Melter 02” and “Tarpit” were perfectly executed explorations in controlled psychedelia, eschewing the “shit maximal” aesthetic he had come to be associated with (see: Providence, 2003 et al).

Takeshi Murata - still from "Melter 2", 2003

But then, I stopped paying attention. And unfortunately, from about 2008 until today, I hadn’t heard the first thing about Murata or his new work. Now that I have, I’m kicking myself for sleeping on it. Murata’s new show at SF’s Ratio 3 gallery (which just so happens to be my new neck of the woods) is an amazing evolution, an exhibition of large-format prints, each a confounding and witty still-life, composed entirely on the computer.

Takeshi Murata - "Art and the Future ", 2011

Murata’s new direction shows a honing of nerdly computer chops and a practice of new compositional restraint. Each piece is thoroughly bizarre mix of real and imaginary objects, in glossy, slicker-than-life detail. A pristine fantasy assemblage sprinkled with frighteningly appropriate everyday bullshit, like the a stoner’s bedside table on Rinse Dream set pieces. While past work was experiential and process-oriented, the vocabulary of forms present here invites interpretation, with tongue-in-cheek echoes of Oldenberg, McCracken, and even a Duane Hansen-esque hyperreality.

Takeshi Murata, "The Heretic", 2011

The VHS-worship of the contemporary media arts scene is present, but dialed back (The “Total Recall”-referencing title of the show notwithstanding). It’s not about “memory vague” nostalgia-noise or post-digital downsampling, but a intentional juxtaposition of objects in dramatic nothingness (the emotionally charged vapidity that is “the experience of cinema-space” in so many of our shared memories). The inclusion of the books “Art and the Future” and “Expanded Cinema” are obvious in-jokes, reflecting the fall of critical discourse in the face of the free-for-all instant-publish world of style-jacking that is creativity 2.0.

Takeshi Murata - "Jazz Funeral", 2011

The exhibit is on display til June 11th @ Ratio 3 in SF.


One Response to “In Defense of Junk Culture Part 3: Takeshi Murata’s “Get Your Ass to Mars””

  1. Why people still make use of to read news papers when in this
    technological world everything is presented on net?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: