Trudi Lynn Smith (PhD) is Artist in Residence in the Making Culture Lab at the School of Interactive Art and Technology at Simon Fraser University and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the School of Environmental Studies at The University of Victoria.

Research interests

An anthropologist and artist, Trudi works with cultural practices of media, museums, and archives. Her current research interests include the role of entropy within archives, and helping to re-establish connections between contemporary photography practices, camera obscuras and non-toxic, everyday plant-based emulsions.

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?

More about Trudi

More about Trudi’s projects

image showing a glass plate with anthotype print underneath it

Cultivating photodynamic gardens

Experimental ethnography. 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.

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the drift camera installed at the AGGV

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.

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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.

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Artist Krista Caballero working with the breath camera

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.

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still from the 15 minute video studies for the perfect moment by Trudi Lynn Smith and Krista Caballero

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.

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Image of a photocollage showing Dawson's 1874 image of present day Waterton Lake with collaged butterflies by Trudi Lynn Smith

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).