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CPAC: How did you get introduced to your craft? What made you choose it as a profession?
Kasumi: I came to the world of experimental media through the back door, looking for a way to combine the art forms, methods and techniques in which I had previously worked: painting, music and writing. The new digital tools and modern technology allow me to incorporate movement, sound, literary elements, acting, dance, music, installation, painting, sculpture and live-performance and unite them into a unified work of art. This lets me use the elements of each medium to their fullest expressive extent.
CPAC: What are some things that have influenced you or your work?
Kasumi: My influences run the gamut from early Renaissance painters to Abstract Expressionists like Robert Motherwell and Franz Kline; filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino and Jim Jarmusch; situationist and Marxist theorist Guy Debord; political historians Isaiah Berlin and Chalmers Johnson. Japanese calligraphy, Ukiyo-e, and scroll paintings exert a large influence in my work as does music in a multitude of styles and genres. Of course, my mother was an artist working in a variety of experimental genres AND my father was a rocket scientist, himself the son of an inventor and artist – so something strange was bound to happen. There was never a time in my life that I wasn’t creating art. Both my parents were fearlessly creative and inventive. In addition, living in different countries, speaking different languages and hearing the rhythm of languages - each culture possessing different senses of timing and aesthetics - definitely affects my work.
CPAC: How do you generate new ideas?
Kasumi: For me, creativity is the ability to make unexpected connections and always living in a “what if” state of mind. It’s the desire to solve problems by asking questions that in turn generate ideas. This involves experimenting with new materials, combining materials and ideas outside of the “norm” and definitely thinking in metaphor, restructuring my environment, re-framing problems. It’s about using unconscious processes – using alternative neuro-pathways – some might call it intuitive thinking - to solve problems and learn new things.
CPAC: Why have you chosen Cuyahoga County as a place to live and work?
Cuyahoga Country, particularly the Cleveland area has always had a gritty, underdog feel to it, which has developed a certain feisty spirit and attitude that appeals to me. There’s so much art and music innovation in the area, partially because housing and rental costs are very low. This allows artists to afford substantial studio spaces that would be unthinkably expensive in other cities. University Circle, of course, is Art Mecca.
CPAC: What is your favorite place, event, or “hidden gem” in greater Cleveland?
Kasumi: I absolutely love the microcosm that is the Cedar-Lee neighborhood in Cleveland Heights. In addition, the bridges in the Flats and even the degradation of parts of Cleveland possess a unique beauty. The Cleveland Cinemthéque at Cleveland Institute of Art is, of course, the greatest institution of its kind in the world.
July 2011; Kasumi; Experimental Media Art
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