Who are you?
Kazumasa Teshigawara. I started qubibi to continue my work of creating.
You have a very interesting backstory written on your website. What would you say have been the biggest key moments in your life thus far?
When I was 4 years old, I lived with my mother in an apartment in the countryside. A huge rice field was spread out in front of our apartment and a round mountain behind us. There was a narrow road in the middle of the rice field, and there were countless corpses of frogs that had been crushed and flattened by passing cars. There smelled like frogs …more than rice field. But frogs were inexhaustible and singing in all directions, and insects and birds were singing from the mountains behind. When I looked up, I could see a huge sky dyed in red, blue, yellow and purple. I liked to walk this road alone in the evening. The most important moments are the sounds, smells and sights glorified in this memory! I want to go back.
When did you start making art?
Actually, I don’t know which one would be the art pieces, but I’ve been making things since I was little, and that’s all I can do, and since I’m an adult, I’ve been exchanging my creations with people and getting money. The name qubibi was created in 2006. I’ve been a web designer for about eight years before then.
What are some of the earliest artworks that you are most proud of?
India. I was ordered to make a work with India as the theme. It’s based on the caste system, but I replaced it’s appearance with the looks of today’s Japanese society. When the characters rolls around and sticks to another person, give a birth to a child, and when fall into the river (I mean the Ganges), dies in the afterlife. Infinitely looping interactive work.
How did you hear about Tezos?
I learned about hicetnunc from a tweet by one of my favorite artists, James Paterson (https://twitter.com/presstube). I think the influence of the independent culture that hen gave to tezos is huge. In a good way, of course. Even today, if Ethereum is on the front, Tezos seems be on the back. That’s why mimizu is black and wiwizn is white. Back is unsuitable? There are also clothes with cool linings.
You have multiple accounts across OBJKT. Can you explain which art goes on which account?
A dedicated wallet for mimizu that lasted from spring 2021 to spring 2022. Works are released at a price/number of editions that combine numbers determined every few days. It ended when the work No. 222 came out. @trill has the #1, and @blockbagel has the last #222. @ganbrood has a lot. Now I’ve completely stopped updating and this wallet won’t be resumed in the future, but sometimes someone buys and sells on the secondary.
While working on mimizu, I find a lot of scraps that looked cool but couldn’t be made into a work. So to speak, the leftovers, or perhaps the leftovers gnawed by mimizu. I wanted to take care of them first. Also, at the time, releasing each mimizu was a bit of a pressure, and I wanted a project that I could try more simple & relax. Like, if I leave it on the table, someone will eat it, huh? There’s only a plate left. Then, when I searched the English word for leftovers (I don’t know if it’s true but it was written in a Japanese-English dictionary), food remaining after a meal are “leftovers”, but when removed the “s” from it – “leftover”means something like a relic. this is cool! Leftovers become relics when the plural “s” is removed and left alone? This is like the process of mineral formation after thousands of years! …The actual meaning may be different, but in my mind, worms, leftovers, remaining after a meal, relics, minerals, and being simple are connected, then this project had been started. Over time, even scraps can become gems. If only a piece of it remained at that time.
To be honest, when I finished mimizu at #222, I thought I still had a lot of artworks. But the mimizu wallet had been already completed. When I was about putting away the rest of mimizu, I thought — “if these were physics works, I would probably put those in a storeroom. Then what kind of storeroom should I prepare for? It’s probably a dry wooden hut behind the gallery that no one ever visits, and you’ll have to rely on hanging light bulbs or the sunlight from the doors or windows to see anything. Maybe some quirky collectors will come along and buy the dusty pieces!”
It is the storeroom, I was able to start when such a scenery into my head.
This is like a test account when I started NFT. So there is no collection of works. I forgot about this wallet after mimizu started. However, 2 months ago, the offers for the works in this wallet suddenly non-stopped coming in, and I couldn’t keep up with them, so I sold all the works in the wallet at that time. So this is also sealed by me.
the rest are secret, or rather omitted…
Tell us more about “mimizu”.
When written in Japanese, ミミズ. If you read it as it is in English, it becomes ミ(mi) ミ (mi) ズ (zu). Mimizu means worm. That’s why everyone puts this Emoji 🪱. The beginning was a generative video artwork that was titled “Music Worm” in 2018. In Japanese, ONGAKU (music) MIMIZU (Worm). As I answered in the verse interview, while I was thinking about “music”, I found a delicious-looking terrine in the foodcourt of department store. When I saw the shape and the cross section, I thought that this was exactly “music”. Then one day, I found a dying earthworm on the side of the road. As I was looking at it, I realized that when the terrine stretch long, it would be an worm. In other words, worm is music! If I put my ear close to that tiny dying worm, I might hear music coming from there! ? I’m sure the worm’s organs are trembling and the roaring music is resounding inside of it. I draw the scene from the inside and record the appearance of the worm from the outside. You can see the depiction of dense lines, I call those digital stitch, in other words, those are the fibers of the flesh. It’s percussive in itself, and I think of it as a little rhythm. You can see some brown noise as well, I call those soil noise. Some people says worms are building soil, right? Mimizu started by creating still images for nft from those.
Could you tell us more about your Worm shop?
I needed some sceneries into my head to sustain mimizu. What is my role in this project? What kind of place is it? …In Japan, there are shops that sell insects, but what about overseas? The store manager hunts insects, puts them in baskets, display and price. Need to take care of the insects until some collector take them away. I am also the store manager of the “mimizu” shop as well. Search for mimizu in mountains, seas, roadsides, sewers, and deserts. Pick the most unique one. The sense of distance between the store manager and the insects may be same as the one between me and the works.
What is your creative process for making a work of art? Do you start off with a plan or is it mostly improvisation?
I need themes or sceneries in my mind. When the intersection of lines connecting various keywords emerges, it turns “I can do it, I should do it”. I tend to do that. This may be the first part of the plan.
I think my creative process is a little bit unique only for my works of generative art. I’ve been continuing to use this code from 12 years ago, so now it’s like black sauce that I’ve been adding for years. I will keep comparing the results generated from this process.
How do you know when you are done with a generative work?
Good question. It’s been going on for 12 years because it’s not finished. The core is the code I wrote in flash 12 years ago. I’ve been continuing to use this. Sometimes it just doesn’t look appealing no matter how I look at it. Sometimes I feel like I’m looking further into the abyss. There are still such unevenness. I may finish when it stabilizes.
How do you know when a work of art is deemed a “leftover”?
The time when the milk in the bottle was fermenting? The time when I check the refrigerator? The time when the friend in front of me is satisfied and full?
Did you expect such success with NFTs?
Totally no. I thought it would be nice if I could earn the money for my son’s monthly commuter pass.
Why do you make art?
All I want to do is be eating. I would be happy when I eat a lot of delicious foods in the world! When I’m eating, I only think about eating. I’ll be full soon though. I can’t vomit and eat again like in ancient Roman era. Next, sleeping. I’m an insomniac so I’m dying to sleep every time! I’m obsessed with sleeping and can’t sleep naturally. So I’m super happy when I can sleep. But…I cannot avoid waking up. Then, rest of my life would be “time for I don’t know what to do”, and the act of creating is to fill those gaps. If I don’t have it, I can only wander around. The act fills the gap between me, then defines me. So I feel at ease when I can be creating something. I don’t know if it’s art though.
What adds value to your art?
I had never thought about it. Value is determined by others, and the environment and time are also relevant. For me, the most valuable thing is “in the middle” of creative process. From the moment I put it outside, the value may be given by the outside world.
What is an important life lesson you would want to share with the world?
In other words, I should tell you my failure story, right? There are too many, so let’s just talk about a few. When I was in junior high school, I was hit by a car when I tried to cross a road without a pedestrian crossing. Hit by a Rolls-Royce, and I’m sure there were my handprints on that shiny bunker. I got severe whiplash. The lesson from this is to look carefully at cars, but 3 years later I was run over by a truck while crossing a road with no pedestrian crossing again. I almost died at this point. lol About 4 years ago, I did a client-work for “Attack on Titan”( Japanese comic). I was really focusing on my work every day, one day I had a wonderful dream — I became a naked giant and ran around the sandy beach. Then, the sandy beach was replaced with gravel in the garden of my house, and immediately after that, I felt a sharp pain all over my body!
With dreaming, I got out of bed, unlocked the window and jumped out into the garden. I woke up in the middle of falling from the window. I didn’t know why, but I crawled back into bed with covered in blood (trying not to wake my son, who was sleeping peacefully next to me). Next day, I told my family about it and the windows in my room turned to be locked with a double lock. What is the lesson to be learned from this?
What is something you want everyone to know about you?
It’s enough if you know I’m here!
What do you have planned for the future?
Something to do with FxHash / wiwizn at Verse / something that isn’t generative art.
The NFT world is changing super fast. On the other hand, my creation is too slow, so I feel I answer the same thing every time. Ah, but recently I’ve finally started working on printing and plottering. I might be able to deliver small physical pieces directly next year.
Is there anybody you’d like to shoutout?
die with the most likes!!!!!!!!!!! (https://twitter.com/toadswiback)
Please see also his website (https://onetie-alltie.com/). My personal disappointment is that I can only enjoy his post and article through translation. It must be super cool!