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Sam Smith

Sam Smith, Control structure 2008 (1)

Sam Smith
Control structure 2008 (installation detail)
Image courtesy: The artist and GRANTPIRRIE, Sydney

Sam Smith, Control structure 2008 (2)

Sam Smith
Control structure 2008 (video still)
Image courtesy: The artist and GRANTPIRRIE, Sydney

Sam Smith

b.1980, Sydney
Lives and works in Sydney

Sam Smith uses special effects technologies and digital filmmaking equipment as the subjects and apparatus for constructing parallel universes. The tropes of science fiction film and literature are ever-present and are used to suggest that the behaviour of form and matter is open to infinite possibilities within the digital realm. In Control structure, the artist’s head functions as a vessel and a portal for channelling two distinct realities. The head is presented as a substitute for the camera body. A large digital video zoom lens extrudes from one eye socket like a bionic appendage, while the other eye is caved in and blackened. The correlating viewpoints between human eye and camera lens remain in constant flux. In the accompanying video a film set becomes a doorway between two worlds and a single hovering lens contains traces (corrupted artefacts and static signals) of a parallel dataverse: a mirror world that is the digital realm. As the artist comes into contact with the lens, his world is transformed, causing images to change orientation and play in reverse.

Sam Smith’s installations combine videos and sculptures that reference the props, equipment and image-making processes of filmmaking and video in a digital realm. Smith has exhibited nationally in group shows at Macquarie University Art Gallery, Sydney; Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre, Sydney; Firstdraft, Sydney; 4A Asia Australia Arts Centre, Sydney; Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney; Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne; and Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts. In 2007 Smith received the prestigious Helen Lempriere Travelling Art Scholarship to undertake a series of artist mentorships in New York. He has since also won the inaugural 2008 Wilson HTM National Art Prize and the 2008 Churchie National Emerging Art Award.