Artist Spotlight: Cassie Kise

Updated: Aug 14, 2018

Name: Cassie Kise City: Carmel Valley, CA 


Medium: Sculpture and Technology; Cultural Consideration

Where are you originally from, and how did you find your way to the Monterey area?

"Originally from Philadelphia, moved here is 2007 with my family. I grew up around art because of my mom. Right now I work at CCA in San Francisco in the wood and metal shop."

How would you describe your process?

"A lot of my work consideration is derivative of familial histories around American media, and the role of critical thinking in mass media; the role of a critical response to powers of structure.

"The way that I work is that I typically read a lot, historical non-fiction in conjunction with Internet articles and academic journals. Then something in the day-to-day will anger me, and make me feel really intense and in a way that I will not be able to identify. My work is that intersection. A question I’ve been asking myself lately is 'in a world that has become so disembodied and therefore disengaged, how do you re-embody to reengage?

"I try to recreate an object through those questions. I try to avoid commodity based and that kind of thinking. I like to make it a bit more confusing so people have to think their way through it. To me it’s more about strategy and tactic, instead of what it’s labeled as."

Tell us something about yourself that most people might not know.

"I couldn’t read until I was in 6th grade, and I wrote backwards, like the Leonardo think. I’m pretty up front about things, so that’s why I’m trying to think so hard, but at the same time I don’t admit much about me." 

Who are some artists, local or otherwise, that you hold in high esteem?

"Trevor Paglen, I just saw him talk on Friday. Laura Poitras. Rene Magritte, a surrealist. Home Funishing is my buddy’s design practice out of New York. My friend, Hanna Hirekorn, out of Chicago.

"I try not to do too much admiration. My mom always told me as a kind, ‘Don’t take other peoples stories as your own’. Yes, conversation and dialogue is amazing and vital with other artists, but I think adoration can be destructive of your own process." 

Where do you find yourself drawing the most inspiration?

"Day-to-day life. Conversations I have with strangers. Conversations with strangers end up showing what the reality of the public sphere is - with the Uber driver, people in bars - there isn’t an obligation to talk about something specific. 

What advice would you give to other emerging artists, especially those who would like to use their art as a means for income? "This is a hard question, because it’s not about your art, it’s about the way you treat other people. I credit much of my success to the people I have known and the people I have invested in, and who have invested in me. You can make great art, but if you’re shitty to people, you’re not going to get anywhere.

"And this is really import – learning how to create self-systems of patience and discipline. You have to figure it out for yourself and how you will get your work done. If you work best in the middle of the night, do it in the middle of the night. You have to figure out it. Also practicing patience. If you don’t practice patience you won’t figure out what is wrong with your work, and grow from there.

"It’s important not to think of things as binary. The world is extremely binary, 0’s and 1’s, good and bad. It’s important to step over that way of thinking and realize that there are infinite ways to see things."