I suppose a majority of my attraction to art is in its relative nature to humanity. I see art as the way we push the energy of human experience through time. Creation is the process of controlling some combination of emotional & psychological chaos, molding it into a form of understanding. The conclusion, the ‘art’—some composed idea—is also, once experienced, the beginning of a new process—becoming a psychic energy, at first rigid and impressed, but slowly acting as influence in unknowable ways. This transition can continue back into inspiration & creation among the audience, continuing a cycle of reimagining tradition.

That being said, the ideas behind my work now are predominantly based in theories like the Spectacle (Debord) and the Medium & the Message (McLuhan)—a strong consideration for what methods of expression represent in a time of digital aggregation, what art poses in terms of ideas of value in late capitalism, or how the role of the artist shifts in a ‘content economy.’

In practice, I try to use each medium in a self-evident way—using the traits of physical paint or overexposed film as a noticeable contribution to the aesthetic. I use the processes of graphic design in making books or stickers or logos to employ traditionally commercial methods of creation in a completely opposed way. I maintain this web site because I think the internet was better off when it was full of random people on their weird-ass blogs than the strip-malls and marketplaces it’s become.

The amorphous nature of our current moment makes it hard to declare anything, much less write about the ideas of art—but I find in times of chaos, it is specifically that idea of what art can be that keeps us reminded of our humanity. That’s gotta mean something.

—cs, 08/2021

Self-portrait via Your Uncertain Shadow (Colour) by Olafur Eliasson · London, 2018

Home page portrait by Carola Di Poi.



First Friday

The Warehouse at 640 SE Stark, 2018

For five years, I was fortunate to be part of the artist community at the Warehouse 640 in Southeast Portland. A collective of painters, metalworkers, programmers, musicians and writers, on top of individual practices we worked toward establishing artist-run shows—providing a space for any & all creative voices to display or perform work, regardless of affiliation to the space.

After being shut down by the city in 2019, we continued efforts in another location but were ultimately unable to stay open due to complications caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. As the world seemed it was falling apart during that time, I moved to Los Angeles on a whim & continued my practice while looking out for new opportunities to create & perform.

I have kept a running list of exhibitions—both personal & group—of visual art shows, musical & spoken word performances beginning in 2013; I have posted a (somewhat) abridged listing here that will be updated as time goes on.

  • November · “The Pretty Ones Have Thorns” at PCH Open Mic ‡ *
  • October · “How Do We Hope Now” at PCH Open Mic ‡ ¬
    1. 2020
  • February · “Fake Flowers Last Forever” at Flux Upstairs
  • January-March · First Friday at Flux Creative Space ‡
    1. 2019
  • October-December · First Friday at Flux Creative Space ‡
  • April · “Volume 3 Release Show” at Zap Gallery
  • April · “Four-Color Process” at Zap Gallery *
  • January-April · First Friday at The Warehouse ‡
  • January · “Two Year Anniversary” at The Side Door ‡
    1. 2018
  • Monthly · First Friday at The Warehouse ‡
  • October · “Valence V-VII” at The Side Door
  • October · “You Against You Again” at The Warehouse
  • April · “Part Two: Sketchbooks” at the Staircase Gallery
  • February · “Home” at The Warehouse ‡ *
  • February · “Time Is A Maze” at iDoc Gallery
    1. 2017
  • Monthly · First Friday at The Warehouse ‡
  • August · “Valence I-IV” at The Side Door
  • July-September · “Mass Static” at The Eisenhower Bagelhouse
  • June-July · “Echoes” at Gallery 642
  • February · “At Risk” at The Side Door ‡ *
    1. 2016
  • December · “Showcase” at The Warehouse ‡
  • November · “Standing Still In A Storm” at iDoc Gallery
  • August · “Knives In The Gun Fight” at The Side Door
  • August · “Art At The Circus” at AFRU ‡
  • July · “Learning How To Lie” at Tiny’s SE
  • February · “Flesh” at Verum Ultimum ‡
    1. Key
  • ‡ · Group Show
  • * · Music Performance
  • ¬ · Spoken Word
    1. Notes
  • 2016-2020 shows in Portland, Ore. 2021-present in Los Angeles.
  • First Friday posters from 2017-2020 can be seen here.

Colin Smith (b. 1982, based in Los Angeles) works in a form of assembly within and across disciplines, both in digital and analogue formats. Following in the ideas of media theorist Marshall McLuhan, the medium of his work is often dictated by its message—the diversity of projects that result are each an attempt to represent a particular thesis, a certain context.

Educated in graphic design and photojournalism, and self-taught in the visual arts, Smith has additionally worked as an art director, freelance designer or creative consultant for a variety of small businesses and independent clients around the world.

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