Shinji Murakami

Murakami builds his LED works much the way he makes his wood sculptures – i.e. painstakingly by hand, designing the code, connecting each wire, and cutting and sautering the metal backings. They are as much physical works as they are tech pieces.

@elonmusk is linked to Elon Musk’s tweeter account and updates in real time. The work highlights the opposite of the simple 8-bit technology Murakami’s work traditionally springboards from. Murakami sees Elon as the future – a vision of tech that will take the human race to Mars. It is also Murakami’s version of a text work: “I was always jealous of artists like Jenny Holzer and Christopher Wool who could use English so beautifully. As a non native speaker, I was always scared to insert my own words into works.”

One day, when Elon Musk will pass, or when Twitter will be replaced by the next social platform, whichever happens first, @elonmusk will mark a moment in time – Elon Musk’s last tweet, holding those last words and becoming a static light painting marking our collective passage of time and how it all freezes at some point.

@elonmusk, 2017,
LED matrix panel, computer, microSD card, twitter feed, wifi router, aluminum, two-way mirror, screw, glue and power cord, 30 × 30 in | 76 × 76 cm