Month: January 2015

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January 31, 2015

Transformer Station to debut Kasumi “Shockwaves” video described as a “kaleidoscopic nightmare tapestry of abuse and revenge”


By Steven Litt, The Plain Dealer


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CLEVELAND, Ohio – The video artist known as Kasumi, a longtime teacher of video production at the Cleveland Institute of Art, is known for colorful, nerve-jangling works that rock the senses and electrify the eye.


Her latest production,”Shockwaves,” will have its official museum debut Saturday at the Transformer Station gallery in Ohio City, 1460 West 29th St.


“It promises to be pretty intense,” Transformer Station co-founder Fred Bidwell said in an email about the event.


Transformer Station is a collaboration among Bidwell and his wife, photographer Laura Bidwell, and the Cleveland Museum of Art.


Kasumi’s 80-minute production will be screened in a continuous loop Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Admission is free.
A reception for the artist will be held at 5 p.m. Sunday.


Kasumi builds her videos like real-time collages by rummaging among thousands of public-domain snippets from vintage Hollywood films and other sources.


Her quick-cut montages create throbbing, vibrating loops of imagery that she combines with rhythmically intense and insistent scores that evoke high-tech dance music.


For “Shockwaves,” Kasumi scavenged 25,000 public-domain film samples, plus Rotoscoped and live-action film clips, plus dance choreography, animation and what Transformer Station calls “stunning” sound design.


The result, the gallery says, is a “brilliant, darkly madcap, grotesque, beautiful and transcendent exploration of the nature of memory and our collective consciousness.”


The gallery says that the video explores the traumatic childhood memories of a man who goes on “a hallucinogenic carnival ride of self-destruction and murder.”


The protagonist travels through “a Möbius strip of alternate realities, shifting times and multiple dimensions. ‘Shockwaves’ weaves a kaleidoscopic nightmare tapestry of abuse and revenge.”


The gallery quotes Kasumi as having said that her video “expresses what film until now has not been able to.” It is “a genuinely new and original cinematic language that goes beyond images, entering intravenously into our visceral understanding.”