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Artist Takeshi Murata is known for making digital works that at first glance might not look like art at all. His abstract videos take an appropriated source, here, a movie clip of a monster rising out of a pool, and distort it into something almost unrecognizable: a free for all of color, pattern and digital noise.

Monster Movie” (2005) might look like an unplanned exercise in digital degradation, with the original clip only barely visible in a sea of artifacts, pixellation and discoloration. But stick with the video and it becomes clear that every single distortion is a planned one, revolving and thumping in time with the video’s broken-jazz soundtrack. Colors quickly turn impressionistic and hallucinogenic while flashes of the real movie clip fade in and out of abstraction. It’s a wholly composed visual experience with the feeling of an extended improvisation.

Murata takes the idea of abstraction and brings it into the 21st century, exploiting the weaknesses in data transmission to create a new visual product from a vernacular source. Conceptually, it’s cool, but I think why I really love these pieces is their overwhelming visuality and relentless colors and motion.


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Kyle Chayka

Kyle Chayka was senior editor at Hyperallergic. He is a cultural critic based in Brooklyn and has contributed to publications including ARTINFO, ARTnews, Modern Painters, LA Weekly,...

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