Takeshi Murata

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.