Greg J. Smith
Since 2003
Works in Toronto Canada

Greg J. Smith is a Toronto-based designer and researcher with interests in media theory and digital culture. Extending from a background in architecture, his research considers how contemporary information paradigms affect representational and spatial systems. Greg is a designer at Mission Specialist and is a managing editor of the digital arts publication Vague Terrain. His writing has appeared in a variety of publications including: Creative Applications, Current Intelligence, Rhizome, Vectors and the Handbook of Research on Computational Arts and Creative Informatics.

Greg has presented work at venues and institutions including EYEO Festival (Minneapolis), the Western Front (Vancouver), DIY Citizenship (Toronto), Medialab-Prado (Madrid) and Postopolis! LA. He is an adjunct instructor in the CCIT program (University of Toronto/Sheridan College) and has taught courses for CSMM (McMaster University) and OCAD University.

The Search for a Center: Vito Campanelli's Web Aesthetics

"Why look at Gustave Courbet when you can download free porn?" is a question posed by one of the animated characters in Parker Ito's sardonic Artist Statement (2009), a piece that both mocks and celebrates a selection of trite, blanket statements regarding media art. Ito's humorous animation is one of the many projects enmeshed within the dense weave of Vito Campanelli's new book Web Aesthetics: How Digital Media Affect Culture and Society (NAi Publishers), a sprawling examination of post-web visual culture and the cultural implications of various forms of digital media. While the last decade has yielded a considerable amount of scholarship judging and qualifying online interactions, tracking the transformation of identity and contemplating the changing nature of attention, Campanelli's writing project extends beyond these stock investigations and sets out to identify how the web has altered our means of experiencing and evaluating contemporary art and media. The browser, internet mailing lists, peer-to-peer networks, spam, MP3 files, vernacular video and numerous other everyday platforms and protocols are put under the microscope in the interest of cultivating a broad aesthetics of digital media. While these topical, episodic investigations are generally quite successful, Web Aesthetics is not lacking in fundamental structural and stylistic idiosyncrasies.


Interview with Jeremy Bailey

Jeremy Bailey is a Toronto-based new media artist whose work explores custom software in a performative context. Powered by humor and computer vision, his work wryly critiques the uneasy relationship between technology and the body while playfully engaging the protocols of digital media. Over the last decade Bailey has exhibited and performed at a range of international festivals and venues including the 2010 01SJ Biennial, HTTP Gallery, Subtle Technologies and in 2001 he co-founded the (now defunct) 640 480 Video Collective. I conducted the following interview with Bailey over email and we used our conversation to delve into a number of his projects from the last five years.

Code Crossings: A Review of Form+Code: In Design, Art, and Architecture

Form+Code: In Design, Art, and Architecture is an ambitious new text that investigates the creative exploration of software across numerous disciplines. A collaborative venture between artists Casey Reas, Chandler McWilliams and the graphic design studio LUST, the book presents both a succinct history of computational design and an indexed guidebook of strategies and approaches. Form+Code fundamentally differs from more traditional, tutorial-based books on creative coding by delving into precise contextualizations of the origins of various tangents within software art. The scope of these nuanced discussions is both sweeping and extensive. For example, within the space of six pages, the authors examine the computer as a drawing instrument starting with Ivan Sutherland’s Sketchpad proto-CAD workflow (1963), then turn to advances within various proprietary applications, which opens up into a discussion about digital representation and fabrication. Form+Code is full of these compact histories, and each is tastefully illustrated with related contemporary projects and (sometimes surprising) precedents and predecessors. Op-artist Bridget Riley’s Polarity (1964) sits in a spread beside Martin Wattenberg’s music visualization The Shape of Song (2001), highlighting the similarities in the graphic language of luminaries from two distinct generations.

Knowledge Work(s): In Search of a Spreadsheet Aesthetics

I sympathize with the protagonist of a cartoon claiming to have transferred x amount of megabytes, physically exhausted after a day of downloading. The simple act of moving information from one place to another today constitutes a significant cultural act in and of itself. I think it's fair to say that most of us spend hours each day shifting content into different containers. Some of us call this writing.

- Kenneth Goldsmith, 2004

While Kenneth Goldsmith's wry statement about knowledge jockeying is directly discussing the plight of the contemporary author, his comments are useful for thinking about other disciplines. In editing this quote, the word "writing" could easily be replaced by any number of verbs (programming, composing, painting, storyboarding, etc.) as we undoubtedly inhabit an era where creative transposition rather than raw creativity can be enough to drive a project. The ctrl-c clipboard, the layer palette in photo editing software and the flash memory of a microcontroller are all examples of spaces that serve as staging grounds for storytelling and crafting aesthetic experiences — these are interstitial zones where art gestates. Goldsmith clearly doesn't approach the creative process with reverence, and his blasé attitude is an excellent springboard into reading contemporary artistic production in relation to knowledge work. An important question: How might we appropriate this daily activity of "shifting content between containers" as a site (rather than a means) of artistic production? This article will consider the aesthetics of the spreadsheet, and act as the first installment of a series that will engage projects that explore the documents, software, interior architecture and politics of the contemporary workplace.

Imperfect Sound Forever

Many scholars within the field of media archaeology opt to focus on the backstory behind an influential medium or technology and map out how its inception and organizational logic (re)shaped the world. An alternative approach is the excavation and arrangement of fringe/forgotten prototypes into an array to problematize dominant historical narratives regarding technological progress. Caleb Kelly's recent text Cracked Media: The Sound of Malfunction uses two consumer technologies, the phonograph and the compact disc, to survey 20th century musical and artistic production. The book catalogs a broad range of experimentation with these playback technologies to create detailed timelines of misuse and critical engagement. In bracketing this realm of sound-producing practice, Kelly proposes "cracked media," a subversion of technological devices whereby " of media playback are expanded beyond their original function as a simple playback device for prerecorded sound or image." Given the prominence of the glitch and lo-fi malformed digital artifacts everywhere from media art to pop music to web video, it is easy to take the aesthetics of failure for granted. The investigation executed within Cracked Media prefigures many of the discussions that underpin generative and glitch aesthetics by focusing on work that foregrounds and interrogates the materiality of two specific mediums. Kelly methodically tracks projects that subvert the CD and phonograph over the entire 20th century and in doing so he builds a fascinating discourse about musical performance and reproduction that is equally comfortable referencing Friedrich Kittler as DJ Qbert.

Discussions (37) Opportunities (5) Events (15) Jobs (0)

audio artists/musicians call for work - vague terrain 04: the body digital

Tue Jul 04, 2006 21:28

call for audio artists/musicians - vague terrain 04: the body digital


In his 1964 text "Understanding Media" media theorist & future-caster
Marshall McLuhan stated that electricity was an extension of the nervous
system. The next issue of Vague Terrain is dedicated to continuing this
line of thought and exploring both the interface and friction between
contemporary digital technology and the body. Vague Terrain 04: the
body digital will serve as a catalog of new conceptions of the
intersection between the physical and digital realms, one in which the
body is read as a dataset, instrument, and host to new economies and

The Call:'s fourth issue will be entitled "the body digital" and
we are currently seeking the work of audio artists and musicians whose
work deals with the interface between the body and contemporary
technology to showcase in this issue. Vague Terrain 04: the body
digital will be published online in early September 2006 so work would
need to be submitted by mid August. Vague Terrain audio submissions
generally consist of 30-40 minutes of original sound/music which is
distributed through our publication via an author sanctioned creative
commons license.

Please see for more information about the
scope of our publication.

If you are interested in contacting us regarding submitting audio work
to this issue, or have any questions please contact us via

Thanks for your time!

Greg Smith & Neil Wiernik


Please direct your attention to - which
features a very biting parody of the new MPAA videos being distributed
on commercial DVD's. The site includes instructions for removing the
original MPAA "respect copyrights" video and replacing it with this
alternate version if you feel so inclined.

A direct link to the quicktime movie is:


greg smith


announcing vague terrain 03:generative art the Toronto-based digital arts quarterly, has just launched its third issue: vague terrain 03:generative art. This issue is dedicated to an exploration of generative art through various texts and multimedia projects which document and illustrate the tools, techniques, and discourse surrounding 'automated


Call for Participation: IEEE Visualization 2006

Mon Jun 05, 2006 14:38

Call for Participation
IEEE Visualization 2006

Art Exhibit Submissions
Information visualization is traditionally viewed as a tool for data
exploration and hypothesis formation. Because of its roots in scientific
reasoning, visualization work has, until recently, been limited to a
role of analytical tool for sensemaking.

In recent years, however, both the mainstreaming of computer graphics
and the democratization of data sources on the Internet have had
important repercussions in the field of information visualization. With
the ability to create visual representations of data on home computers,
artists and designers have taken matters into their own hands and
expanded the conceptual horizon of infovis as artistic practice.

In its first edition, the InfoVis Art Exhibit examines the merging of
artistic intention and visualization technique. We are looking for
artwork that reveals data patterns in aesthetic, innovative ways. The
goal of the exhibit is to steer viewers towards greater introspection
about what information is worth visualizing and why.

The InfoVis Art Exhibit will consider the following types of work:

interactive CD/DVD-ROM work
interactive web-based work
printed artwork

Interactive pieces should run on a standard computer configuration
(Windows Operating System, 512 MB RAM, 20 GB hard drive, 1024 by 768
pixels monitor resolution) as such systems will be available at the

If your artwork requires special hardware or software configurations,
please contact the Art Exhibit chairs at

How to submit:

Email the following materials to the Art Exhibit organizers
A filled-out InfoVis 2006 Art Exhibit Submission Form. Click here to
download form.
A two-page paper describing the concept behind the piece and its
technical implementation. Please click here for formatting information.
Physically mail the following materials to the Art Exhibit organizers:
CD/DVDs for interactive pieces that are not web-based
printed materials for still-image artwork
Must be mailed to the address below by June 30th and must include the
following printed information:
piece title
name(s) of author(s)
all materials should be sent to:
Fernanda Viegas
IBM Research
1 Rogers Street, Room 5114
Cambridge, MA 02142, USA

Note: if your interactive work is web-based, it suffices to include a
link to your piece in the submission form.

Fernanda Viegas, IBM Research
Martin Wattenberg, IBM Research
Andrew Vande Moere, University of Sydney

Deadline: Friday, June 30, 2006 5:00pm PST


mutek / may 30th - june 4th / montreal.canada

Wed May 31, 2006 00:00 - Tue May 23, 2006


Press Release

Montreal, Tuesday, April 25, 2006