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The Science of Art
The influence of Kasumi’s parents affected her nontraditional career trajectory. “My mother
was an artist who worked in a variety of media and my father was a NASA scientist
literally a rocket scientist, so I had the mixture of art and technology from the word go. My
mother used physical found objects in her work in very creative and unusual ways. She
was also quite entrepreneurial forming little companies to sell her work and talents as
artist. The ultimate optimist, she even delved into theater. The other side of the equation
was my father engineer, rocket scientist, the eternal skeptic, systematic, questioning but
with a goofy Jerry Lewis sense of humor. Both my parents also had innate musical
aptitude. If you put all these traits from both sides into a blender, puree, and you kind of
get me.”
There is a science to Kasumi’s art. She is meticulously professional in her planning and
implementation. She suggests that being a performing musician was helpful in providing
discipline. “Practicing is practicing. If you’re a musician and don’t have ‘chops’ can’t play
your instrument you’ll be laughed off the stage. In the fine art world and this is an
argument I have with the post-modern theorists: the lack of craft and destruction of the
‘object’ in favor of the concept. My old school background has caused a kind of ‘object
worship’ whatever I do has to be perfect and well crafted, perfected to the nth degree of
perfection. If I have something to say, I want it to be honed.”
We Are All Experimental Artists
With commercial work as a designer or writer keeping her afloat, Kasumi followed her
passion for experimental video without worrying about how she was going to make a living.
She recalls her initial involvement, “as a single mother, my child was very creative as you
know, kids are like sponges they want to try everything. One of the advantages of being
a single parent is that they get your full attention and you get their full attention. Up to a
certain age, there’s no one to tell you no. His father was in Japan. We were completely
abandoned. There was no one to tell me, no that’s not appropriate or no, he’s too young.
It’s like yeah, let’s do it. He got involved in acting and film. To tell you the truth, I
discovered digital movie-making technology when he was auditioning for films.”
Kasumi’s ability to take a tough situation of what she considered abandonment and turn it
to her advantage is what a great improviser does. Innovative individuals often take a huge
leap of faith and trust their instincts when everyone else tells them otherwise. For Kasumi,
the creative process allows her to make sense of life’s complexities, while also helping to
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