A hand-held video that appears to have been shot by a human, but is in fact the work of a monkey. The Latin word ars is these days deemed to be the root of the word “art,” but is actually closer in meaning to the Greek techne meaning craftsmanship or technology. The bleached bone used as a weapon to attack an ape from a rival group in the opening scene of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is thrown into the air, morphing, in a striking sleight-of-hand, into a spaceship journeying across the cosmos. The metaphor of a bone, cutting-edge tool in antiquity, turning into a spacecraft, cutting-edge technology in our times, astutely skewers the concept of “technology.” Meanwhile, in Planet of the Apes, also released in 1968, the crew of a spaceship return to earth after a six-month voyage only to find themselves on the earth of the future, where highly evolved apes skillfully wield the “technology” of language to control mankind. In the climax of Ars, an ape determined to hold on to the camera starts to film people. The common sight these days of groups of protesters facing off with cameras in hand rather than weapons, filming each other, calls to mind the word “arm” meaning weapon, which is derived from ars. I still remember the chill with which I realized, during the making of the video, how quickly that monkey had learned the value of the camera as ars. Such contemplations around “technology,” eventually prompt the question, which was first? First that is, not to pick up technology, but to be destroyed by doing so.


"Domani plus online 2020" Special Website

Yuichiro Tamura solo exhibition "G" Yuka Tsuruno Gallery, Tokyo


Composer: Yuichiro Tamura

Camera: Luigi, Naruto

Edit: Subaru Moriwaki

Production Manager: Tomoko Noda (Ippongi Production)

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© 2017 Yuichiro Tamura