Daniel Alexander Smith
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ABOUT THE ARTIST
Daniel Alexander Smith is a Boston artist, whose work explores the ways technology restructures human experience. He is currently a Design Fellow at Studio Echelman, where he works on design and project management for sculpture at city-scale. Daniel’s artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally at venues including the Indianapolis Museum of Art, University of Richmond Museums, the CICA Museum, SIGGRAPH, Boston Cyberarts, as well as galleries, universities, and festivals around the world.
ABOUT THE WORK
Machine Paths is inspired by medieval labyrinths, which always lead towards a central space by way of a single, convoluted path. Inside these spaces, one cannot become lost, because there is a single route. Their navigation offers a brief journey towards an internal state, a reflective, allegorical experience for the long journey of life towards the divine.
Machine Paths suggests such a journey, while in fact having no absolute direction. All walls open onto paths procedurally generated by machine. Rather than a single center, every wall is a labyrinth leading towards its self-center. It is a multidimensional labyrinth for a contemporary, secular, and technological culture. The warping, mirrored film the images are printed on presents transparency and obfuscation simultaneously. The reflected world is clear but confusing. The white marks, in turn are designed to appear like holes in the mirror surface. Rather than a unified direction, this mechanical image holds a multitude of paths.
Red Wave is a variation of a similar work I created in 2016, called 512 & 512,000. The original image superimposed two ballpoint pen drawings of a wave: one utterly reductionist and the other overwhelmingly complex. I thought of it as an illustration of the ways technology reframes reality.
Unlike the original work, Red Wave has violent marks and materials. The precision of meticulous ballpoint is obliterated in white froth and crimson wash. The color concept is explicit. “Red Wave” was repurposed by the president to refer to a looming Republican seizure of power within the legislature. This is strange, not simply because Republicans have already gained power in all branches of government. It is strange, because it reframes the previous American cultural understanding of “red wave” as a phrase describing violent revolution, typically communist or Russian. It is further strange, because it is a perfect reflection of a different reality. Political tensions are boiling: Nazis are having violent marches in America, and Russia is inciting revolution in Europe. And these are just the non-partisan realities. The Red Wave is our new, politically reframed reality.
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