Interview: Murray Smith


Murray Smith

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a 22-year-old Film major living in Calgary, AB, Canada. Although I’ll likely never work as a professional artist, I am deeply interested in creating art—particularly in the realm of short/experimental film (and often with a tinge of web- or new-media influence). I greatly enjoy web design, particularly the coding, and have a highly theory-orientated frame of mind. (more: http://film.mismith.info/bio/)

Would you class yourself as a performer, technician, director or other?

Filmmaker (Editor/Writer/Director, or just: Artist)

What projects have you been working on lately?

My Honours thesis about cinematic depth, which I term the “density of perceptually-concurrent, meaning-bearing information contained within any arbitrary filmic quantum.” Though the paper is not art, per se, the undercurrents of holistic conceptual thinking being explored are exactly the kind that flow through all my work.

What has been the highlight of career?

I don’t have a career, but of my limited experience thus far, I would say being selected for EMMEDIA’s annual Production Access Grant (2010), which essentially gave me unlimited access to all the organization’s equipment and resources for a summer-long media arts project. This was the piece for which I first came into contact with Isadora.

How would you describe your artistic style?

Theory-heavy exploration of big ideas; trying to communicate complexity in an engaging, thought-provoking but also tangible and bearable manner—so often with a subtle dose of irony, satire or sarcasm.

I love art especially because it’s all but useless in a practical, societal-progress-forwarding sense. Thus, I’m able to channel my creative abilities away from the degradation of society (i.e. toward an increased level of entropy) and into a realm where such chaos is inherently valuable yet profoundly fruitless. In plain English, that means that art, to me—and subsequently my underlying artistic style—is a process of communicating depth through balance. (and apparently upholding pretentiously vague clichés, too)

What technology do you use most often?

Camera (film or digital) + edit suite (Final Cut Pro).

More and more I’m looking to meld my programming with my artistry.

How has the Troika Tronix Isadora software helped you with your work?

I chose Isadora for its ability to randomly play and manipulate footage in real-time. I coded a number of patches to help me generate and control this (perceived) randomness, and was thus able to effectively sculpt ‘luck’ in my piece. Despite its limitations, my favourite aspect of the program is the ability to create/code your own custom patches since this openness at the root level obviously allows for a ton more openness at the end-user level. Another cliché (but it’s true): without Isadora, I couldn’t have completed (or even really started) my project.

Describe your work/style in three words:

philosophical formal experimentation

Feel free to add any extra comments here:

Cool idea; keep up the good work on your blog and beyond. (Thanks Murray, and thanks for the beer!)

Do you have a website:

http://blog.mismith.info/

If you want people to contact you you can also provide an email address here:

murray[at]mismith[dot]info

 

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