Greg J. Smith
Since 2003
smith@serialconsign.com
Works in Toronto Canada

BIO
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.

digital mapping performance


losttime.jpg

a live performance illustrating the digital mapping process normally occuring within a computer.

an ASCII version of Marcel Proust's novel A la Recherche du Temps Perdu is recoded into zeros & ones & then read by 2 performers alternately (one is reading the zeros, the other one the ones). the 3rd person is a CPU, as she interprets the zeros & ones with the aid of an ASCII allocation table, cuts out the corresponding letter from the prepared sheets & turns it over to Display, who sticks it onto the wall panel. after 8 hours of performance about 250 characters are processed.

[link: khjeron.de|via we-make-money-not-art.com]

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Electric Sheep Project (Spot at Santa Cruz)



Scott Draves (aka Spot) gave a great talk on the Electric Sheep project yesterday to the Digital Arts and New Media program at UC Santa Cruz. Spot is well known for his algorithmic artwork based on cellular automata (CA) and fractals. When I knew him at CMU in 1996-1997, he had been working for several years on a CA-based screen saver called Bomb.

Electric Sheep combines the concepts of screensaver-based massively parallel supercomputers (ala SETI@Home), genetic algorithms, and fractal generated art (using recursive set functions that employ non-linear rather than the standard linear transfer functions) to generate morphing fractal animations that breed and reproduce. Scott’s server now contains thousands of these sheep, both the ones that were popular (received many votes while running on screensavers, and thus reproduced) and ones that weren’t. He has recently teamed up with the famous UCSC chaos theoretician Ralph Abraham to statistically analyze the properties of the sheep stored on his server, looking for correlations between formal properties of the sheep and aesthetic judgments (based on the popularity votes that drive the evolution of the sheep). They are currently focusing on fractal dimension as the correlate.

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presidential speech tagcloud


presidenttagcloud.jpg

An interactive tagcloud of the words that US presidents used frequently in their speeches, showing which issues they deemed important over time. the dataset consists of over 360 documents, from speeches, official documents, declarations, & letters written by the Presidents of the US between 1776 - 2006 AD. a timeline slider allows users to animate the tagcloud over the years.

see also parsing the state of the union & power of words & state of the union visualization.

[links: chir.ag|via boingboing.net & datapacifica.blogspot.com|thnkx Mart!n]

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Will Wright in The New Yorker


Continuing the recent trend of feature articles about games and game designers in highbrow magazines (1 2 3), Will Wright is profiled in The New Yorker by one the magazine’s tech-friendly writers, John Seabrook, and accompanied by a sweet illustration by Istvan Banyai (one of my favorite contemporary illustrators).

While the material on Spore, E3, etc. will be very familiar to GTxA readers, the piece does delve into Will’s background and personal life more than anything else I’ve read on him.

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brian eno music paintings


brianeno.jpg

a collection of computer-generated art works that combines & layers Brian Eno's hand-made slides based on parameters from his ambient music. the program can generate 77 million different artworks automatically. Eno said: "I think of these things as visual music ... intended to occupy television downtime so that, instead of having a dead hole in the wall, you have a living picture."

[links: allsaintsrecords.com & sean.co.uk & amazon.com]

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

Vague Terrain 19: Schematic as Score


Dates:
Mon May 02, 2011 00:00 - Sat Dec 31, 2011

Over the past few years, a strong reaction against the sterile world of laptop sound and video has inspired a new interest in analog processes, and a fresh exploration of the pioneers of the electronic arts during the pre-digital era of the 1960s and 1970s. Artists and inventors such as Nam June Paik, Steina & Woody Vasulka, Don Buchla, Serge Tcherepnin, Dan Sandin and David Tudor all constructed their own unique instruments long before similar tools became commercially available or freely downloadable--often through a long, rigorous process of self-education in electronics. John Cage once quipped that Tcherepnin's synthesizer system was "the best musical composition that Serge had ever made", and it is precisely Cage's reformulation of the concert score from a list of deterministic note values to a set of indeterministic possibilities that allowed the blurring of lines between instrument-builder and music composer that followed.
The current issue of Vague Terrain, curated and edited by Derek Holzer, features an eclectic range of young, contemporary artists who have revisited and expanded upon the philosophies and works of this earlier generation. Operating at the extreme edges of the DIY electronics scene, builder-composers such as Peter Blasser, Jason R. Butcher, Moritz Ellerich, Lesley Flanigan, Martin Howse, the Loud Objects (Kunal Gupta, Tristan Perich and Katie Shima), Jessica Rylan and Synchronator (Bas van Koolwijk & Geert-Jan Prins) all represent some of the most radical and idiosyncratic artistic approaches to creative circuitry of the moment. Their compositions take the form of systems which provide a map of what is possible, but lack a prescribed route on how to get there. The discovery—-and the risk—-is left to the moment of the performance.


OPPORTUNITY

Ongoing Call for Guest Curators


Deadline:
Fri Aug 31, 2012 00:00

Vague Terrain ( http://vagueterrain.net ) has recently entered its fifth year of showcasing progressive, idiosyncratic digital art practices. Our growth is due in large part to the contributions of guest curators who have shared their expertise and energy with us, including Joshua Noble, Kim Cascone, Paul Prudence, Rob Cruickshank, CONT3XT.NET, Carrie Gates and David McCallum. We would like to continue to collaborate with members of the digital art community, and are inviting proposals from interested artists or curators to work with us on future issues of Vague Terrain.

Journal Format: The best way to get a sense of our project is to browse the archives. Each issue is a mix of essays, interviews, in-depth documentation of multimedia projects, broader surveys of art practices and EP-length audio art and experimental music releases. We aren't locked to a specific formula and have featured issues almost entirely dedicated to article-length essays or music. Each issue should feature 8-15 contributors.

Schedule: We are looking for guest curators for issues to be published in January 2011 and onward. A curator will need about 90 days of lead time to organize an issue and establishing communication with the invited artists at the beginning of the process is one of the most involved tasks. The guest curator will work with the Vague Terrain team to set up a timeline for participating artists to follow.

Responsibilities - A guest curator is responsible for the following:

*Writing an initial statement and using it to invite artists to participate in the issue
Ensuring that participating artists understand our submission guidelines (we provide documentation)
*Ensuring that incoming submissions are approximately on schedule and complete
*Writing a forward to frame the issue theme and contextualize included work

Support - Vague Terrain offers the following assistance with the above duties of the curator:

*Provide documentation regarding submission guidelines
*Arrange for the proofreading and editing of content
*Organizing and publishing all the content that the curator has solicited
*An FTP account for the issue through which contributors can upload their work
*Once the issue is launched we will promote the material through various online art/media networks

Interested curators and digital artists should email us with the following:

*a brief abstract describing their proposed theme and how it relates to their research
*An artistic or scholarly CV or a link to a personal website
*Optional: a list of artists whose work would be representative of the proposed topic

Deadline: This is an open, ongoing call. However curators interested in the January slot should contact us ASAP as we'll be selecting the curator for that issue in early September.

Submissions and inquires should be sent to submit@vagueterrain.net


DISCUSSION

Required Reading


@Edwin "No one really knows what is in the box" That line makes me think of 'Kiss Me Deadly' and The Great Whatsit! Perhaps that divine glow is that magic that makes Apple industrial design so alluring (at least at a product launch, before the bugs are apparent).

@Thomas - the video sounds fascinating. I'm downloading it now.

Thanks for posting this Ceci!

DISCUSSION

Untitled (2008) - Igor Eskinja


These pseudo icons are even better than the real thing. This is the only time I will ever quote U2.

EVENT

Vague Terrain 16: Architecture/Action


Dates:
Wed Feb 17, 2010 00:00 - Wed Feb 17, 2010

Announcing Vague Terrain 16: Architecture/Action

The latest of edition of Vague Terrain presents a timely and nuanced consideration of ubiquitous computing. Guest curated by the American artist/programmer Joshua Noble, the issue provides a window into the practices of several leading researchers. Given the arrival of gestural interfaces and preliminary deployments of augmented reality technology and "intelligent" architecture, it is an important moment for thinking about the relationship between technology and the body. Noble on this current milieu: "All technologies reshape the body and the space around the body, from the bow and arrow to the steam engine to the telephone. It may be that we are beginning to truly see how computing and ubiquitous devices will once again reshape our bodies and our conceptions of ourselves in space."

The issue features text, interview and project contributions from: Jonah Brucker-Cohen, Golan Levin, Pierre Proske, Mark Shepard and Marilena Skvara.

To view the issue please visit: http://vagueterrain.net/journal16