Shinji Murakami’s work springboards from the philosophy of Gunpei Yokoi, the famous inventor of Nintendo’s Game Boy: Withered Technology – referring to a mature technology that is cheap and well understood; and Lateral Thinking – the finding of radical new ways of using such technology. Le Coeur (The Standard) plays with this relationship. Love is a mature emotion that is cheap and well understood; but today we must find radical new ways to access it within ourselves and share it with others.
While Murakami does not believe that profound human understanding has caught up to the explosive evolution of modern computer technology, he does have faith that humans are capable of love for others. The pixelated expressions of 8-bit video games at the root of his work, which are one withered part of this evolutionary process, speak to our child selves, a time when love was not so hard and we were never afraid to share it with those around us regardless of race or creed. Murakami interrogates lateral thinking of this pixel, and with Le Coeur, he calls upon us to do the same with love.
The installation graced the roof of The Standard New York during the winter season of 2017-2018.