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