This summer, from June 7 through August 25, 2018, the exhibition A Visibility Matrix featuring time-based (sound/video) artwork by UF School of Art + Art History Associate Professor Dr. Craig Smith is on display at the Douglas Hyde Gallery in Dublin, Ireland. This fall, the exhibition will travel to Toulouse, France.
The exhibition, curated by Gerard Byrne and Sven Anderson, explores network culture through a space that is composed of multiple screens that display moving images and sounds. A variety of artists collaborated on this exhibition to shift focus from present-day culture of instant online-video-sharing to experience a shared, fixed-time spatial context addressing and reflecting on universal conditions.
Currently, Smith’s works are displayed within the white gallery space of the Douglas Hyde Gallery across an array of multi-screen video projections and monitor arrays that peer into a documentation of an archaeological dig.
In describing his work, Smith says that it is not like watching a movie or television show, as it is more like looking at a painting or performance unfold in real time.
“The whole process happens like a theatrical performance,” Smith said.
The 14-minute video sequence spreads out across various monitor screens so that it is divided up into six different individual pieces. According to Smith, the six parts do not run sequentially but rather run simultaneously.
While scenes of an excavation are occuring, an original musical soundtrack plays continuously in the background. It includes the symphonic sounds from Oklahoma City Philharmonic as well as Smith’s vocals, guitar and keyboard. The soundtrack is both written and recorded by Smith and produced by Dave Copenhaver.
“Old habits of viewing are challenged by an interesting dynamic of no narrative structure, repetition and visual motifs occurring and recurring,” Smith said. “There is an unsettled and charged dynamic sense of time when you are in this space.”
This is not the first occasion that Smith’s works have been featured internationally. Since 2005, his exhibitions of photography, live sound performances, lectures and other art media have been featured in galleries across the globe including China, Ireland, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Canada, Mexico and Spain.
Smith is an associate professor of creative photography at the University of Florida and a 2016-2019 Provost/ University Term Professor. He has been an instructor of What is the Good Life and Uncommon Arts / Uncommon Reading as well as a member of the Gator Golf Boosters. He is the director of culture for Column Health, LLC in Boston.
Smith is currently a visiting scholar in residence at the University Immersion Program hosted by Sichuan University in Chengdu, China.
Smith’s upcoming projects include a five-song EP of theatrical rock and roll songs that is planned to be released in October on vinyl and digital formats. In November, his book Relational Art: A Guided Tour will be released. His artworks will be featured in an exhibition at Art Basel in Miami Beach in December.