nedjelja, 17. studenoga 2013.

Takeshi Murata + Robert Beatty - Soundtracks for Takeshi Murata (2013)

takeshi murata

Ratopljena digitalna lava Takeshija Murate plus sondtrack za njegove filmove Roberta Beattyja.

Takeshi Murata produces extraordinary digital works that refigure the experience of animation. His innovative practice and evolving processes range from intricate computer-aided, hand-drawn animations to exacting manipulations of the flaws, defects and broken code in digital video technology. Whether altering appropriated footage from cinema (B movies, vintage horror films), or creating Rorschach-like fields of seething color, form and motion, Murata produces astonishing visions that appear at once seductively organic and totally digital. -


Melter 2 2003, 3:50 min, color, sound 
Cone Eater 2004, 4:26 min, color, sound 
Monster Movie 2005, 3:55 min, color, sound 
Untitled (Silver) 2006, 11 min, b&w, sound 
Timewarp Experiment 2007, 2:37 min, color, silent 
Untitled (Pink Dot) 2007, 5 min, color, sound
I, Popeye 2010, 6:05 min, color, sound
Infinite Doors 2010, 2:04 min, color, sound
No Match 2010, 17:16 min, color, sound

EAI 40th Anniversary Intro 2011, 1:04 min, color, sound

The Creators Project: Much of your work centers on the appropriation and distorting of things to the point that they’re entirely something else. I was wondering how you feel about this on a larger scale with something like the internet, where everything is just floating out there in an open space without regulation. Do you feel that, overall, it’s beneficial to art or does it make it easier for people to claim other people’s ideas as their own?
Takeshi Murata: It’s great. I see a lot of things online that inspire me greatly. One of the things I’ve learned as my work has become more public is that knowledge can go in any direction. It could be selling dog food or something, and you have to be open to that and see where it goes. It’s a cool thing. But I love sharing techniques and ideas and whatever else I’m doing. The people I talk with are really open and have taught me a lot. The internet is great for technical things.
Does this overarching online community give your work more context?
Yeah. People who don’t work with computers aren’t sure about people like me. They might think a computer made the whole thing and I just pushed a button. Ultimately, I hope that the work inherently shows that there’s a human behind it and that people can have an emotional response from watching it. When people are working and sharing ideas and sharing techniques online, it does give it a context and does allow people who might not be into computers to see the work more clearly—that there’s a community behind it. As time goes by it becomes older technology and the same thing happens. I think about stuff from the 80s—at the time it must have looked like it was coming from Mars, but now we understand those things in a different light.
How apparent is the actual use of technology in your work? In other words, do you try to self-reference the uniqueness of whatever program or code you’re using to create new images and ideas?
In the best sense it’s pushing forward the ideas of what I’m trying to achieve with the animation, so it’s not necessarily in the forefront. But I also like it to be present and not keep it hidden. For instance, you could make something on the computer, project it, and then draw it out. Then the technology is helping you animate it but the final piece is hand-drawn and not technically coming from the computer. I like the feeling of the digital textures and weird things the computer can do with color that you can’t get with standard drawing tools.
Are there any technologies currently in development that look as if they will completely revolutionize the way you work, or the way artists work in general?
I’m not fully up on all of the technology stuff. It’s great to get a new computer and experiment with applications I couldn’t use before. I guess you could say that I’m more concerned with technologies that make things faster—being able to put an idea down quicker. And, to me, there’s always room for that. A good example for me is two-dimensional animation, which I can do very quickly now because I can just composite things without waiting for them to render. But when you get into hardcore 3D animation the computer still has to work and you have to wait. When those kind of times get shorter, I’ll be happy.

Salon 94 Bowery presents Takeshi Murata’s long awaited first show in New York, entitled Synthesizers. This exhibition introduces seven large-scale digital prints, alongside a new video work.
Famous for his pioneering “data mosh” and abstract videos, whose style reverberated on MTV and the net for the past decade, Murata's new work uses his trademark application of homemade technology. Beyond a tech whiz fan base, Murata engages the art history buff with a constructed world of hyper real interiors and still lives. -

Robert Beatty, Soundtracks for Takeshi Murata (2013)

GLISTENING EXAMPLES is proud to announce “Soundtracks for Takeshi Murata” (GLEX-1302), the debut LP/CD of Kentucky-based electronic musician Robert Beatty under his given name.  Beatty has long been a presence in the experimental underground as a member of Hair Police and more recently performing and recording solo under his Three Legged Race moniker.  He is also well known for his visual art, which encompasses installation, drawing, video, and album artwork design for countless artists including Oneohtrix Point Never, Real Estate, Vybz Kartel, and Peaking Lights.
“Soundtracks for Takeshi Murata” collects Beatty’s compositions for digital video glitch pioneer Takeshi Murata, produced between 2004-2007.  Beatty’s collaborative relationship with Murata has spawned some of his strongest work to date, and Glistening Examples is honored to present this music to the public for the the first time outside of screenings, museums, and galleries.  Beatty has performed alongside Murata’s work in New York, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Beijing, where he performed several shows, including at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art during the 2008 exhibition, “Stray Alchemists.”

The formative elements of the recent Three Legged Race full length “Persuasive Barrier” (Spectrum Spools, 2013) are apparent in the rubbery pulsations of “Escape Spirit Videoslime” and the ghostly buzzing harmonics of “Untitled (Silver)”.  Moving between hypnotic minimalism, dense processed atmospheres, and spacious drones, often in the same track, these pieces are the perfect corollary to Murata’s fractured and viscous visuals.  While the video and audio are linked in the same fluid time space, the soundtracks are presented now as stand-alone works, powerful compositions drawn from the same underlying chaos apparent in Murata’s ever-shifting psychedelic environments.  This is exciting electronic music that invites the listener to imagine their own videoscapes with or without having viewed Murata’s work. -

There is good reason to be skeptical of the possibility of divorcing musical works from the film they soundtrack or the installation they inhabit. Split from the visual, the audio loses context and is thereby in danger of losing its initial sense. In some cases, this loss of sense is an accident of the repackaging, a sacrifice made to more exhaustively capitalize on the work of creation, in hopes that the listeners, whether followers of the musician or audiences of the original, will suspend the need for this original meaning in favor of an audio fragment. Perhaps in some cases, such as major Hollywood soundtracks, the repackaging represents a kind of trust in the audience’s memory and the strength of each piece to evoke those scenes they once accompanied. Or maybe it reflects a hope that they will find use as mood music for new “scenes” that the listeners themselves will create — for instance, gamers soundtracking their sessions with the OST of The Lord of the Rings trilogy or Braveheart, or haunted house creators filling their space with horror soundtracks.
But another possibility exists: the musical work, shorn from its original context, becomes a new work altogether. Robert Beatty’s Soundtracks for Takeshi Murata, though having arisen as a result of the collaboration with artist Murata, escapes the pitfalls of mere repackaging by its avoidance of narrative and its otherworldliness, its original context now held as an inspiration for a new work.

It goes without saying that you don’t have to be familiar with Murata’s work to appreciate Beatty’s sound design, but some description helps to illuminate why Soundtracks is successful here. Murata’s work is various, but with the exception of “Cone Eater,” the pieces collected here primarily soundtracked Murata’s digitally-glitched video pieces. Murata pioneered the now viral technique known colloquially as “datamoshing,” in which he purposefully over-compresses video so that it tracks only movement. It transforms typical scenes from films such as Pink Dot and Rambo into landscapes of multiplying frame-superimpositions, out of which only the most dynamic movements and dramatic cuts rise through the morass of data. The technique has found its way into everything from animated GIFs to Kanye West videos, but these appropriations are significantly less considered than Murata’s works, which employ hand-selected frames from specific films in order to craft a work more meaningful, if not significantly more narrative. Pink Dot, soundtracked by Beatty’s “Untitled (Pink Dot),” is a slightly more narrative exception, as Rambo, constantly battling through the film to escape the glitchscape, finally does succeed in emerging from the grey wash of data and destroying the omnipresent pink dot at the center of the frame; a “plot” event finally does occur.
The usual lack of narrative and the noumenal images that compose Murata’s films require a very different sort of soundtrack than, say, the soundtrack to the original Rambo, one that evokes mood and texture as opposed to plot or character. It’s less crucial that the sonic environment links to the visual as an evocative narration of the specific events depicted; instead, Beatty matches Murata’s visuals through a kind of textural symphony. Where Murata’s film Silver seethes with layered glitch patterns and absorbs recognizable images into its folds of data, Beatty’s soundtrack washes in heavily modulated, liquid synth lines, while melodies and samples echo into a delayed oblivion. The linkage here is one of inspiration, not interpretation. Although the original work obviously includes both audio and visual, Beatty’s collected soundtracks achieve an aura of their own because they are not semantically tied to the films.

In listening to Soundtracks, a nagging curiosity about the film that inspired each piece hangs about the music due to the historical linkage implied by the title. That curiosity seems external, however, to the works themselves. Having watched Murata’s Pink Dot in its entirety, Beatty’s soundtrack seems only to evoke the consistent but amorphous central pink dot, not the emergent Rambo scenes. In this way, “Untitled (Pink Dot)” makes almost more sense in the context of the album. Its subtle, evolving repetitions over its 20-minute length are much easier to investigate without splitting attention with the visual. However, its separation from the visual also increases the demands the listener places on the piece, requiring more novelty to capture the listener’s interest. “Untitled (Pink Dot)” does occasionally drag because of this, but when it was a soundtrack, that problem was not apparent. Were Beatty to have given the track more movement, it may have distracted from the video.
Beatty’s Soundtracks works well as an album, using the conceptual inspiration of the video works to unify the collection. As soundtracks to Murata’s video work, they are the perfect accompaniment, but as a new work, its soundscapes rarely rise above the level of interesting textures. This raises some crucial questions: What structural requirements do we make of experimental video, and how do they differ from those we require of music? To what extent should the time-functions of a soundtrack sync to its video, especially when it eschews narrative and plot? These are perhaps more suited to different works. Ultimately, it’s these slippery questions that allow Beatty’s works to have an independent existence that seems more real than a typical repackaging of orphaned pieces, lost from their original context. These pieces, in their strangeness and textural depth, invite deeper listening in their new context, the listener now liberated from the fascination with the visual. - 

Takeshi Murata and Oneohtrix Point Never’s Artificial Still Life

Oneohtrix Point Never's Problem Areas 1

Oneohtrix Point Never's Problem Areas 2
“This? is some serious computer generated porn,” DallasCharter says, a note that is the most up voted comment on the new Oneohtrix Point Never music video. The artist much like the video is synthetic. His name is barely able to be articulated without some rigorous athletics because, like his sound, his name is something you expect to be intimidated by: it’s a high end, brilliant, fusing of basic techy concepts with a sublime slant. OPN’s aesthetic is a gold plated Casio. His newest music video feels like this too.
Directed by video maker, tech experimenter, and one of my favorite all time artists Takeshi Murata, the music video for the song is an appropriate mashing of the real and fake and real fake real. “Problem Areas,” the first song off of OPN’s latest single R Plus Seven and his first Warp release, is a typical OPN song highly polished and meditating on a simple chord structure beaten with plain bass and funny synth notes. Like the song, the video is completely artificial. Outside of the human hand pounding a musical or computer keyboard, nothing is actually made by hand: it’s made with a hand and executed by a computer.

The “Problem Areas” vide has Murata’s style of “video” still lives lent to creating moments of normalcy art directed by a genius thirtysomething who only has access to garbage, childhood horror films, and objects from a Goodwill set dressed by a villain who died in a Christopher Reeve Superman film. There are Coors Light cans next to slumping French Horns, tangled iTunes headphones staring at a glass of wine, painted Pringles next to textural paint chip cousins, twisted bikes and twisted plants, broken iPhones, silver bananas, and so much more: “Problem Areas” is photographic evidence that the future will look more minimal yet more maximal. It is one of those productions that makes you dream about the possibilities for New Aesthetics, an area that is as nebulous as it can be fun in the irony that it revels in. The video for “Problem Areas” exemplifies this. In case you were wondering, everything in the film is made up. No, the references aren’t Murata’s creating but the form, the digital recreation, is. The video scans these scenes that Murata—a super accomplished, rad video artist—made digitally for you, as if you were a cast member of ReBoot who just got home and turned on his version of MTV.
All of this is to say that the new song by OPN and video made by Takeshi Murata is perfect. I could gush about this for millennia, all to say, “Watch this new OPN video.” Even if you don’t fully understand it or if you don’t have any idea how to pronounce “Oneohtrix Point Never,” you will at least be on the ground floor of his new effort. I don’t even know how to say “Oneohtrix Point Never” and I’ve been following him for years. That’s part of his thing, too.
August 2, 2013 / By

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