Yoshi Sodeoka’s Digital Distortions

An interview with the artist who focuses heavily on abstraction and surrealism when producing his digital artwork.


WordsSolenn Cordroc'h

© Yoshi Sodeoka

Everyone from the world’s biggest brands to musicians such as Tame Impala and Beck have been inspired by his work. Yoshi Sodeoka‘s digital artworks are part of the permanent collections at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York and the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco.

The work of this Japanese artist, based in New York, is instantly recognisable: he favours glitchy movements and his images are abstract or totally surrealist. His neo-psychedelic style plays with images, contorting them and adorning them with a lo-fi aesthetic. Pen spoke to Yoshi Sodeoka, considered as one of the leading figures in digital art.


How did you discover that you could make art using computers?
I’m not sure if there was any definite moment like that. I was making drawings and animating using computers without really thinking about whether I was making art or not. I think it was just a natural progression.

What role do glitches play in your work?
I’ve always been drawn to bugs and I would feel really uncomfortable with the idea of creating artworks that look perfect. There’s something about errors that is simply fascinating to me.

Do you promote the beauty of imperfection and mistakes through glitch art as a means of opposing the high definition of images nowadays?
Yeah, something like that, but I’m not sure whether I would describe my art as ‘glitch art’ strictly speaking. I just see interesting colours and shapes in the look of digital errors, which I incorporate into my artworks. There aren’t any philosophical or political motives behind any of my creations.

Would you describe your work as psychedelic?
I personally wouldn’t, but other outlets and people tend to attach the word ‘psychedelic’ to my art, and I have no issue with it.

Where do you get your inspiration?
Pretty much from anything that I see. News, nature, music, books, modern society.


Yoshi Sodeoka’s work can be found on his website.

© Yoshi Sodeoka

© Yoshi Sodeoka

© Yoshi Sodeoka

© Yoshi Sodeoka