January 07, 2015
CIA artist in residence premieres her "genuinely new and original cinematic language," Shockwaves
Kasumi, the internationally known media artist, professor for 13 years and now artist in residence at Cleveland Institute of Art, has been invited to premier her looping feature-length film, Shockwaves, at The Transformer Station, a contemporary art gallery and museum in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood.
The museum premiere of Shockwaves will play on a loop on Saturday, Jan. 31 and Sunday, Feb. 1, 10am to 5pm.
Shockwaves is an 80-minute perpetually looping media installation that depicts a man’s subconscious mind in the moments before his death. In this darkly comic psychological thriller, a man’s traumatic childhood memories send him on a hallucinogenic carnival ride of self-destruction and murder.
Kasumi deploys an astonishing 25,000 public domain film samples, rotoscoped and live action film clips, dance choreography, animation, and sound design to produce an exploration of the nature of memory and our collective consciousness that is at once grotesque, beautiful, and transcendent.
“Shockwaves is a film like no other,” said Cleveland Institute of Art President Grafton Nunes. “Kasumi has created a genuinely new and original cinematic language that depicts the dissociative and improvisational nature of the internal monologue of our minds. The film thus evokes the powerful and unsettling experience of epiphany-like memories with its borderless flow of nostalgia and alienation and the powerfully articulated themes of identity, exile, abandonment, homecoming, disguise and temptation.”
Nunes, who produced The Loveless (directed by Kathryn Bigelow), continued, “The originality of Shockwaves is also very much of this historical moment—one in which the very concept of originality is questioned and mashups and collage are at the forefront of artistic and literary thinking. Watching Shockwaves, with its cascading system of allusions and concentric circularity that replaces linear narrative development, requires close attention moment to moment, shot by shot.
“But beyond the pyrotechnics of Kasumi’s editing, Shockwaves is to be understood like a piece of fine art – disassembled and reassembled in the mind of the viewer, analyzed and interpreted by students and scholars for years to come,” Nunes said.
In 2011, Kasumi was awarded competitive fellowship grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the Cleveland-based Community Partnership for Arts and Culture, which funded her extensive work on this project. She was awarded a MacDowell Fellowship and Cleveland Arts Prize in 2014.
Shockwaves is available for purchase and rental on Vimeo On Demand. Vimeo’s General Manager, Audience Networks Greg Clayman said “Shockwaves is a powerfully articulated piece that breaks all boundaries in media art.”
Kasumi speaks about the process of making Shockwaves, her approach to her art form and her artistic influences in interviews recently published on justluxe.com and inmag.com. Cleveland art critic and painter Douglas Max Utter writes about Shockwaves in an article published in the CAN Journal.
Her previous work has been exhibited at hundreds venues worldwide including international film festivals in Sapporo, Melbourne, and Hamburg; major fine art fairs like Art Miami and the UNPAINTED media art fair in Munich; and museums such as The Museum of Fine Art, Houston, Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro, and The Museum of Contemporary Art Krakow. Among her live performances have been collaborations with the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center, the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, Grandmaster Flash, and DJ Spooky. Kasumi’s Breakdown won the Vimeo Festival Award for Best Remix in 2010.
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Above: From Shockwaves, courtesy of Kasumi Films.
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