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.

digital mapping performance


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.



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.


presidential speech tagcloud


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:|via &|thnkx Mart!n]


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.


brian eno music paintings


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: & &]