The Moonwalk Machine – Selena’s Step

Material/ Techniqueinstallation with video projection and sand (color, sound), screen, lambda print, device:steal, aluminum
Size/ Durationvideo: 4min. 30sec., device: H115×W75×D70 cm
Copyright Notice© Sputniko!
Year of acquisition/ donation2015
DescriptionBorn in Tokyo, Japan in 1985. Lives and works there.

Sputniko! received her MA in the Design Interactions Programme at the Royal College of Art in 2010. After an assistant professor at MIT Media Lab, she has been working as a specially appointed associate professor at the Tokyo University since 2017. Taking as her theme the way people and society are changing as a result of technology, Sputniko! organizes a different production team for each work via social media and creates music video-like works featuring her own devices. These works, which draw on elements of pop culture such as SF, anime, B-grade splatter movies, and YouTube, and are not overly concerned with scientific validity, raise questions around such things as trans-gender issues and augmented bodies that will be posed in future societies as a result of advances in new technologies such as information engineering and biotechnology.

"The Moonwalk Machine – Selena’s Step" is an installation comprising a stage set recreating the lunar surface and a video depicting a young girl designing and building on her own in a tiny apartment a prototype of a lunar rover equipped with high heels, in an effort to realize her dream of being the first woman to leave footprints on the moon. In the video, a determined lifestyle of striving to achieve seemingly unachievable goals is depicted via scenes showing the young girl, who is also a self-projection of Sputniko! when she was a student, absorbed in the development of the lunar probe with scant regard for food, clothing or shelter. As well, as part of a story within the story, the video is interspersed with footage of the protagonist’s fictional hero, Lunar Girl (played by Sputniko!), reciting the signature phrase from the anime "Sailor Moon" and, in a scene reminiscent of the movies "Lady Snowblood" and "Kill Bill", slashing the screen with a samurai sword as she seeks vengeance on evildoers. One could also read into this a cynical message directed at the male-centered society that surrounds young girls.