Ladytron are electroclash pioneers, and remain one of the UK’s most important bands. But these days, they’re not just harbingers of beat-pumping pop music. One quarter of the Liverpool-formed quartet, synth wizard Reuben Wu, has turned his hand to photography.
Reuben shoots stunningly surrealist landscapes that could be mistaken for stills from a Fritz Lang Sci-Fi epic. One shot is a large-panned view of a man as he is framed by an alien-looking, green-lit mountain range. Another shows a large boat locked in a frozen river. He makes films, too, and was commissioned to co-direct a film for Nine inch Nails’ main man Trent Reznor’s side-project with Atticus Ross. The result is a slow-burn and, you guessed it, alien-looking journey through a rocky wilderness.
Last December, Wu’s blue-hued shot inside the Kawah Ljen mountain in East Java was selected for WIRED magazine’s “Best Otherworldy Science Images” shortlist. That same year, Wu was commissioned by Google to produce a film for their newly-opened headquarters. Wu described “Ascension”, the film short, as a “a future vision of online Chicago.”
Back in 2014, San Francisco’s respected Loft21 Gallery hosted Infinite Sustain, a selection from Wu’s photography archive spanning 2011 to 2013. It was a mystical journey through Wu’s perspective, and features just about every nuanced variation in the colour spectrum. Elsewhere, Wu’s worked has been featured in leading technology and natural sciences publications, from National Geographic and Colossal to The Creator’s Project and Design Week.