Dr. Craig Smith is an American media artist whose art and research focuses on the process, aesthetics, and ethics of human‐to‐human interactivity in contemporary art, especially photography, sound, and socially engaged performances. Smith and his contemporaries are active in a diverse, media-enriched and socially engaged cultural field in which curating and the production of spaces of encounter are conceptualized, defined, and instrumentalized. Such a concept of curating space is a response to the situational structure of artistic practices that are no longer bound to the fixed and private location of a studio space for making art, nor to a gallery or museum for presenting artifacts from that private activity killing time in the studio. Instead, Smith’s research – based practice can be produced in innumerable locations because of an effort to combine the history of a particular site with its everyday use, its population, and the context of how such a population occupies a named ‘site.’ The artwork in such cases is filtering the everyday use and context of the actual location. Location and theatrical space become inclusive formal elements in these art practices that maintain a fidelity within their objects to the goal of making a reality of specific and incredible encounters possible for the viewer.
Smith’s traditional art practice includes the production of photography, performance art, sonic art, video, writing and sound recordings. His exhibitions of photography, live sound performances, lectures, and other art media have been featured at an international range of museums, galleries, art fairs, athletic facilities, and financial organizations including the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., PS1MOMA Contemporary Art Institute in New York, The Tate Modern in London, The George Eastman House in Rochester, the Hudson River Museum, and the Burchfield Penney Art Center as well as galleries and art fairs including CEPA Gallery (Buffalo), Galerie Schuster Photo (Berlin), RARE Art (New York), SCM Hong Kong, ARTSPACE Sydney, The Kent Gallery and White Columns (New York), and the Scope Art fairs in London, New York, and Miami. He has had twenty-one solo exhibitions of photography and other media in the last ten years of his career.
Smith has been awarded grants from numerous organizations including the New York State Council on the Arts as well as the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. In 2013 Smith curated the exhibition Art of Sportusing diverse conceptual aesthetic modes to address the social engagement with a culture of competitive sports in the United States and abroad. The exhibition featured an international group of artists including Lee Walton, John Baldessari, Matthew Bakkom, Daria Martin, Paul Pfeiffer, Brad Beesely, Mitch Miller, Hans van der Meer, Vesna Pavlovic' and Catherine Opie.
Smith’s books about art practice and social engagement include Training Manual for Relational Art (2009) as well as On the Subject of the Photographic (2007). Smith’s forthcoming book publication, entitled Relational Art: A Guided Tour, will be published by I.B. Tauris, LTD in 2016.
Smith has held teaching positions at numerous universities and colleges including New York University, Goldsmiths College, and the London College of Communication (University of the Arts London). Smith joined the University of Florida in 2010.