David Thomas Smith is a Dublin based, Irish artist who is a graduate of the University of Wales, Newport, where he obtained a (BA Hons.) in Documentary Photography. Smith has been exhibited in several European countries, to wide critical acclaim. Smith hopes to continue developing his photographic practice and pushing the boundaries of his medium.

 

“By the end of the 20th century, the problem was no longer how to create a new media object such as an image; the new problem was how to find an object that already exists somewhere. If you want a particular image chances are it already exists.”   p.35 - ‘The Language of New Media’ – Lev Manovich

 

Appropriated imagery is a predominant feature in my work; I think it’s a rather fitting way to work in a world that has become awash with images.I make work that is multi-dimensional. Having come from a background in documentary photography, it is important to me to draw attention to socio-economic and political issues. While at the same time exploring more metaphysical concepts.I make my work aesthetically pleasing, rich in detail and large in scale in the hopes that the viewer can reflect on the ideas and issues that are prevalent in the work, whilst also getting a better sense of their own position in the world.'

 

ANTHROPOCENE

'The term Anthropocene suggests that the Earth is now moving out of its current geological epoch, called the Holocene and that human activity is largely responsible for this exit from the Holocene, that is, that humankind has become a global geological force in its own right.' 

- Paul Crutzen

 

Composited from thousands of digital files drawn from aerial views taken from internet satellite images, this work reflects upon the complex structures that make up the centres of global capitalism, transforming the aerial landscapes of sites associated with industries such as oil, precious metals, consumer culture information and excess. Thousands of seemingly insignificant coded pieces of information are sown together like knots in a rug to reveal a grander spectacle.

 

Questions of photographic and economic realities are further complicated through the formal use of patterns that have their origins in the ancient civilizations of Persia. This work draws upon the patterns and motifs used by Persian rug makers, especially the way Afghani weavers use the rug to record their experiences more literally with vivid images of the war torn land that surrounds them. This collision between the old and the new, fact and fiction, surveillance and invisibility, is part of a strategy to reflect on the global order of things.

 

AWARDS

• UWN Academic Enhancement Bursary