Kasumi - The drowning9:42, 2010, Experimental
3 video channels, 6 audio channels.
The Drowning is a shorter version of my work "MO-SO, " an EMPAC DANCE MOViES Commission 2009-2010, supported by the Jaffe Fund for Experimental Media and Performing Arts, Experimental Media and Performing Arts, Rensselear Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY.
In “The Drowning, ” I wanted to explore the impressions running through a man’s mind in the moments before his death: the sensation of time slowing down, of heightened bodily perceptions, and the simultaneous unreeling of an internal cinema of images -- seemingly unrelated - that create an unconscious narrative of personal history and emotion. The story in his head changes in the last seconds as the oxygen-deprived brain starts shutting down, speeding faster and faster, turning into a surreal, psychedelic collage of colors and primary symbols, the foundations of learned experience reduced to their individual blocks of information, electrified and dispersing like split atoms or dying stars.
Quest-ce qui traverse votre esprit dans la langueur des derniers moments de votre vie ? Ce film constitue une élégie à la mort venue dun autre monde, oÎ mémoire et sensation sentremêlent dans une lutte sans merci, placée sous la voute étoilée, aux relents oniriques, dinsaisissables galaxies dont le perpétuel mouvement jaillit tel un parcours visuel sans fin.
DirectorKasumiProducerKasumiCrewDancer: Chan U Hong
InterviewWho is Kasumi?
RnKasumi is someone who constantly lives in a “what if” state of mind.rnI desire to solve problems by asking questions that in turn generate other questions and ideas. This kind of divergent thinking involves experimenting with new and unusual elements, combining materials and ideas outside of the “norm” and definitely thinking in metaphor, rnRestructuring my environment, and re-framing problems. It’s about using unconscious processes – using alternative neuro-pathways – somernCall it intuitive thinking – to solve problems and learn new things.rnI feel as though I’ve been following a giant question mark – perpetually one step out of my reach – throughout my life.rnrnWhat is your film The Drowning about?
RnIn “The Drowning, ” I wanted to explore the impressions running through a man’s mind in the moments before his death: the sensation of time slowing down, of heightened bodily perceptions, and the simultaneous unreeling of an internal cinema of images -- seemingly unrelated – that create an unconscious narrative of personal history and emotion. The story in his head changes in the last seconds as the oxygen-deprived brain starts shutting down, speeding faster and faster, turning into a surreal, psychedelic collage of colors and primary symbols, the foundations of learned experience reduced to their individual blocks of information, electrified and dispersing like split atoms or dying stars.rnrnHow did you start with film? And do you have an educational background in art or film?
RnI have both an art and music background, but none in film. That realm of my life just evolved.rnrnWhat is the main difference to you for showing The Drowning as a single-channel video, or installation?
RnShowing The Drowning as a single channel work seems like a film with a very wide aspect ratio, while the 3 channel version - with six channels of audio- is more of an immersive experience.rnrnHow important is the reaction of the audience to you?
RnIt’s quite important. I will not have succeeded unless the viewer/participant feels the emotions I felt during the creation of the work.rnrnHow important is sound in your work, and in particular in The Drowning?
RnIt’s impossible to separate sound and image for me - one is a metaphor or reference to the other.rnrnCould you tell us some of the problems you faced during the production process of The Drowning?
RnGoing back and forth among the three timelines and keeping audio tracks in synch nearly drove me insane! RnrnWhat is the relationship between performance and film in your work?
RnEspecially in The Drowning, completely integral.rnrnWatching your films seems to be an embodied experience, why do you think this is the case?
RnI think partially this has to do with the tight integration of sound and image - one amplifying the other. It drives the emotion behind the work deeper into the brain.rnrnDid the internet changed your view on art, or your career, or the way you work?
RnIt has facilitated my growth as an artist (and human) exponentially. At this writing I’m in Paris collaborating with a fantastic artist I met through Vimeo, and several more of myrnCollaborators - also met through Vimeo - are contributing video, music and animation to my current project. Without the Internet I’d bernSitting in a studio somewhere tearing my hair out.rnrnWhat are you working on now?
RnI’m in the middle of production for a feature film entitled Shockwaves. Like my other work, Shockwaves’ scenes full of myth and symbol will seem to flicker through the mind: slightly disjointed, other-worldly, conveying not so much factual truth as the resonance of perception, the depth and irrationality of feeling, and the strange power of cognition to shape impressions into an individual sense of self and the world. It explores, through memory and the subconscious, how children are shaped by the character and life experience of their parents.rnIn Shockwaves I’ll try to depict the subconscious mind and its labyrinth of memory and illusion inviting the viewer into a vividly surreal universe in which moving bodies, shifting times and events travel in multiple dimensions, colliding within a tightly enclosed, finite space. Each collision will evoke the entire powerful, unsettling experience of almost epiphany-like memories, with its borderless flow of nostalgia and alienation.