Problem Areas by Takeshi Murata

The centerpiece of this year’s festival is a program of short works by Japanese-American video artist Takeshi Murata (Fri 11/6, 7 PM), which ranges from digitally manipulated 2-D animation to pieces of computer-glitch art. In many of the selections Murata uses computer feedback loops to break down recognizable figures into blocks of color, suggesting new avenues for abstract beauty in the digital age. The festival continues with two shorts programs (Sat 11/7, 1 and 3:30 PM) that mix pioneering works with shorts by young, contemporary artists. Both programs emphasize abstract animation, though two of the standout shorts are representational works made on computers: in Plants (1989), from the first program, Deanna Morse creates still-life portraits of flowers using rudimentary (but then-sophisticated) computer drawing tools, and in the dreamlike comedy Law of Averages (1996), from the second, James Duesing blends anticapitalist satire with funny non sequiturs.