Music Art Trends: 3-D-Rendered Music Videos = Oneohtrix Point Never + Takeshi Murata, Jimmy Edgar + Brez

In this first installment of Music Art Trends, a column detailing stylistic commonalities across music media, we highlight electronic musicians Oneohtrix Point Never and Jimmy Edgar‘s respective collaborations with artists Takeshi Murata and Brez. In the music videos for “Problem Areas” and “Hot Inside”, animated three-dimensional objects are the main focus (and in the case of Jimmy Edgar’s “Hot Inside”, one can also find another popular sub-theme often found in music art these days: that of finely-manicured female hands).


Oneohtrix Point Never – “Problem Areas” Music Video

In 2012, well-respected abstract data mosh artist Takeshi Murata cleaned up his style with a series of polished works entitled Synthesizers, which were concocted from a mixture of purchased stock objects and self-rendered 3-dimensional forms. Featuring soft lighting and charming coloration, the subjects in Murata’s series are objects one might find anywhere — the discarded and left behind, forgotten and unloved — made to look hyper-real and hyper-attractive.

According to the press release for the Fall 2012 show at Salon 94 in NYC:

[Murata’s] images display the technological innovations that invade our 21st century lives: sports drinks, antidepressants, Apple products, brand- name snacks, and exercise equipment. The objects have either been immaculately sculpted through computer programs or purchased as ready-mades from 3D web malls. Without access to a Hollywood animation studio, Murata relies on a shared knowledge from the online community including YouTube tutorials. Using the Open Source model of production, Murata creates digital pictorial spaces hovering between waking life and the dream world, i.e. conceptual photography and surrealism. The product of Murata’s trademark DIY high tech vocabulary, these contemporary still lives conjure at once Pixar’s Toy Story, Salvador Dali’s The Persistence of Memory, and the online 3D game Phosphor Beta 2.

By juxtaposing the high-end digital fidelity of Hollywood and video gaming industries with found underground methods, Murata’s “folk” versions appear as the leftovers of everyday life – the crumbs left behind. His process is an amateur’s personal immersion and examination of the “new normal” – a cinematic and brutal HD.

In Bullseye, a blue screen is the backdrop for a disparate collection of objects: stacked pills, empty pill bottles, blue dice and a failed game of darts. The product placement here points to the allure of hyper-reality, signaling how synthetic images invade our visual surroundings. Each work shows a “party” scene – but it is unclear what has been played out; a knocked over chessboard, scattered dollar bills, a half empty glass of wine. Elements of badminton, weights and darts hint to the leisure games we play and gamble (accentuating the origin and purpose of the graphics). And more, the objects point to the artist’s personal vocabulary – baby bottles, musical culture and 80s vintage movie posters.

Oneohtrix Point Never’s music video for “Problem Videos” is set to these images by Murata, and Murata’s approach to his works resonates in some ways with musician Daniel Lopatin’s philosophy behind the track:

“I wanted to characterize a linear world with cracks in its edifice. One with a veneer of being breakable, but that instead just bends and stretches endlessly like rubber, preventing you from ever understanding its true properties. The proverbial ‘endless vista,’ but with an end.” – Daniel Lopatin

Murata is also responsible for OneohtriPoint Never‘s current experimentally-rendered website, and Lopatin’s upcoming disc, R Plus Seven, comes out on September 30th/October 1st on Warp Records.


Jimmy Edgar – “Hot Inside”

For whatever reason, hand fetishism is all the rage in music these days (see: list of featured media below), and Jimmy Edgar’s music video for “Hot Inside”, animated by Ultramajic‘s Brez, certainly has aspects of that. Modeled hands become centerpieces when placed atop pedestals, as retro charm swirls all about in the form of sigils, hula hoop-type forms, and marble-lined rooms and hallways.

(Right) Jimmy Edgar – Hot Inside EP;
(Below) Slava – Soft Control EP;
(Also) Wax Fingers – Wax Fingers;
(Also) Zach Hill – “The Primitives Talk” Music Video

Also, get your dancing pants ready, because Jimmy Edgar and JETS (his project with Machinedrum) will be at the 2013 Decibel Festival. The Hot Inside EP is now out on Ultramajic.



Written by
Vivian Hua 華婷婷

Vivian Hua 華婷婷 is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer. As the Executive Director of Northwest Film Forum in Seattle and Editor-in-Chief of the interdisciplinary arts publication, REDEFINE, much of her work unifies her metaphysical interests with her belief that art can positively transform the self and society. She regularly shares human-centered stories through her storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE! In 2020, she will [hopefully] begin production on a comedic Asian-American series entitled Reckless Spirits.

Ask Vivian about MARSHMALLOWS, cuz she's gross... and being tips for being frugal while nomading!

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