Andorra and the Mountains

It’s strange how displacement from routine can change the most basic of ideas. Jeff and I drove to Andorra, a tiny country about three hours west nestled among the Pyrenees mountains, for the day. And though that is basically what I could do any day living in Portland, something about a day trip to a different country was just cooler when it’s going from France to Andorra and not the United States to Canada. (Andorra does have the benefit of being in the middle of a beautiful mountain chain, but the geography around British Columbia isn’t bad, either.)

It remains a puzzle but I think the general idea is that mobility and an understanding of different locations and cultures is essential to survival. As long as things are new, even the routine remains interesting, and the plausible opportunity is suddenly a fascinating chance. Encountering new names for similar ideas has won the world over in the advertising market, it’s a shame we choose to expand our consumer opportunities but limit our human ones based on names and affiliations.

Posted to Personal at 15:55 on 15 June 2018

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Deadly Sins

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Cecilia

Albi, France

I’ve been going to a lot of churches and cathedrals for a variety of reasons. I’m not a believer in any old or new form of organized religion and I’m not looking to become one, but the art and architecture is usually pretty stellar and the rooms still offer a rather serene sense of peace.

The thing that strikes me about organized religion is how power never changes. The hypocrisies of the church are nothing new, and some people make serious money joking about it. Yet our modern power structures are nothing different—advertising campaigns convincing people that affiliation excuses them from the oppression created by their presence. The very options of our society are usually limited to one of two or three major producers, all of whom tend to be deeply involved in the horror show of global economics. We buy Nike shoes caring not for the children sewing them together overseas, iPhones without a whimper for the suicide nets Foxconn had to put up, and vote for candidate after candidate who will perpetuate the military industrial complex. Because it’s the way things are.

Bemoaning the hypocrisy of the past is one thing, but to tolerate—and, in many ways, perpetuate—the current powers seems like a greater crime than those in the past were guilty of. I think of how American culture wars are being fought over the various potential definitions of identity, and people get in such a fury over these words, yet the truth of our identities—our actions, conversations, productions and dreams—are immediately volunteered to Facebook or Google in exchange for the briefest and slightest exercise in vanity.

Posted to Personal at 15:50 on 13 June 2018

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Mad World

I have a strange and almost immediate impulse to try and write online these days, and I guess for the past year or so it’s been increasingly difficult. It’s not for lack of occasion—plenty has occurred that is worth piecing a story together for.

But as the internet shifts, now toward monopolistic control more than ever, what was once an inviting platform to connect with people has become some hellish virtual mall where the police track every move you make and record every word you say. Over the nearly two decades I’ve run this site, the reasons to be on-line have transformed from a playground to a marketing campaign. How quickly consumerism has swallowed the greatest achievement of our time, and the way an entire generation perceives itself and the world with it.

There remain niche corners and writers worth following, but so much of how communication is handled happens with references to corporate entertainment or popular culture that subversion has even become a masquerade for trying to ‘make it’ in this concept of the world. All the meanwhile, I have to keep a piece of tape stuck over the camera on my laptop in case somebody is watching without my consent.

Posted to Social at 10:58 on 12 June 2018

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The End of Western Civilzation

At this point I’ve lost count of all the reasons I enjoy not having been in the US for two months, but after this latest round of diplomatic fuck-ups by Trump, the simple fact that nobody talks much about it is such a relief. In America, the constant static of public discourse—to little or no furthering of a conversation beyond, Did you hear?—was a never-ending drain on my ability to think straight. Even though the world is going to hell, at least the discussions in Europe are of a different slant, and the people I’ve been talking and associating with are actually doing something toward their own protection.

I’m not really sure how I’ll react to returning to the US in a couple months, or how long I’ll be able to stay before hitting the road again, but I check the news about once a day now and everything from America just reeks of either hypocrisy or bullshit. I’m not sure that it has ever been different, but it’s so much clearer spending time outside of that bubble.

Posted to Social at 00:54 on 11 June 2018

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On The Fly

I have one week to find a job somewhere outside the Schengen area for a few weeks but I’m pretty distracted by the Pyrenees right now.

Posted to Personal at 08:35 on 9 June 2018

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For the summer of 2018, I'm working my way through various European cities and towns while practicing more traditional methods of painting. Hopefully I'll be online only to post various scribbles from the road here and at The Post-Local. New & featured projects will return to regular updates in the fall, presuming I return to the States.

Thanks & good luck out there.

Information

Welcome to Distorted Perspective. A brief introduction—

—Colin Smith. Born 1982. Some punk rock kid turned multidisciplinary artist & graphic designer-type. An Alaskan in the wind by way of Oregon, New England, Georgia, Texas and California looking for an idea of hope and home. I work in the various languages of truth, systems and identity.

I create works of assembly. Taking a variety of disparate components in any given medium and attempting to build a cohesive whole, I look to mimic the disorder and confusion our conflicted, human lives end up creating naturally through time. My focus is not to communicate through any single process but rather create a language that translates across aesthetic approach; a message that resonates by any means of interaction.

Contact

E-Mail: colin at distorted perspective
Instagram: @aglowinthestatic, @colin.smith.art

Colophon

Distorted Perspective was registered in 1999; it has taken many forms since. Work from the project galleries is 2009-2018. All original content is © to Colin Smith. Please link back to work featured on blogs; contact for any other rights to republication.

The site is a custom built WordPress theme based in the Skeleton framework. The front page utilizes the Responsive Slides script. It is typeset in Bookman JF, Acumin and Vendetta via Typekit.

Elsewhere

The Post-Local, Jacob Edwards, a softer world, Carey Young, Matt Dorfman, Neasden Control Centre, void(), Jordan Swartz, Leica Blog, Carola Di Poi, The Baffler, Ilir Bajraktari, Ai Weiwei, Brand New, Noele Lusano, Dane Pollok, McSweeney's, Josh Mason, Artsy, Heidi Uhlman, Design Observer, LOKI, 99% Invisible, Rob Morton, William Basinski, Constellation, Matthew Woodson, AFRU, In B#, This Isn't Happiness, Ryan McCune, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, {ths}, Banksy, Morning Breath, Sarah Symmonds, Chapo Trap House, AWAKE, Hyperallergic, Jessica Clary, Manual, Contemporary Art Daily, Jeanne Fries, Shea Serrano, Robert Singler, Edward Tufte, process.life, Digg, Jacobin, Alex Webb, Jenny Holzer, Art21, Jeremy Okai Davis, David Carson

Exhibitions

* - Denotes group show