Trudi Lynn Smith (PhD) is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the School of Environmental Studies at The University of Victoria and Artist in Residence in the Making Culture Lab at the School of Interactive Art and Technology at Simon Fraser University (2016-2019).
An anthropologist and artist, Trudi works with cultural practices of media, museums, and archives. Her current research interests include the role of entropy within collections, and helping to re-establish connections between contemporary photography practices, camera obscuras and non-toxic, everyday plant-based emulsions. Her work is grounded in collaborative practices.
Project affinities and methods
Reconsidering the technofetishist impulse in media practices— an impulse with grave impacts for human and more-than-human worlds— Trudi’s work as a political ecologist asks: what can more just image-making practices look like?
Cultivating photodynamic gardens
Experimental ethnography. Leaves of stinging nettle, mashed up rose and bee balm petals, elderberry: Cultivating plants with photo-sensitive properties to re-consider the meanings of image security in communities, and to privilege the disruptive force of impermanence in photography.
A continuous slow movement
A continuous slow movement (Drift camera) is a camera reconstructed around the force of drift as a way to use photography to think about what escapes capitalist extractivism. A proposal for how we might forge different relations to photography.
Anarchival materiality within archives
An ongoing research creation project that documents the generative force of entropy in archives. The force of molecular transformation, violence, displacement, and other human and non-human agencies render archival materials as fugitives, both eluding and driving preservation.
Breath Camera (prototype I)
A wearable camera form about impermanence: camera bellows, viewing screen, and a 3 x 9 foot darkcloth mix the fleshy with the fleeting.
Studies for Making and Unmaking
A 15 minute film loop that brings digital and analogue archives into projections and performances. Making and unmaking encounters, curved by gusting winds, the squeak of technological breakdown, and the distortion of projections on paper.
Life and Death in Waterton Lakes National Park
Life and Death in Waterton Lakes National Park: A research program grounded in re-enactments of archival images to understand instability, ongoingness, and difference — what I consider as vital impulses in photography. Photographs are not only fixed as images or objects, but lively, entangled and emergent events (2003-present).