Bike Culture

On a random journey around Amsterdam seeking some inspiration, I found myself drawn to a small park. (I’m not even sure if it’s officially a park—on Google it’s simply called Plaza de la bodoka.)

I’ve returned to the park most days since I’ve been here to work on this painting and there are more than a few reasons I enjoy it. There’s an eclectic mix of people, a small but great corner view of some interesting houseboats … but most of all, for as close as it is to some major city streets, not a single car can be heard.

I don’t know if there’s a park or really place I’ve been to in America where it’s a public and well-trafficked space and not heard a single car. It’s these little things that really add up to the broader argument about cultural differences between America and the rest of the world. All that noise, and for what? Fewer amazing parks?

Posted to Social at 13:29 on 21 April 2018

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A Dry Wit

What I don’t get about America—what I really want to know is—are people really that stupid?

Franz was an older gentleman, born in Amsterdam but living in Norway for 39 years and perfectly represented the strong, quiet stereotypes of the Norwegians. He was one of four other people in the room, all of whom turned their heads toward me after he finished his question, as if to say, “Okay, you’re on, make your case.”

Over the next five minutes I talked about my various ideas regarding media proliferation, capitalist influence and Ronald Reagan as to how America’s social fabric has deconstructed and what brought about the timeline that ended up with the Trump administration. I mentioned how the very type of conversation we were having is relatively unheard of in America because individualist competition comes into play even in politically aligned dialogues. That the fundamental understanding of what being a citizen is in a democracy is not really taught as a point of pride and influence, but rather submission. That definition of identity is assumed through purchasing and what is possible for one to purchase, rather than being a part of a community.

It was a stirring political dialogue that ended with the others in the room—an Aussie, a Brit, Franz and his son—all talking about how they perceived America and its recent fall from the rails of normalcy. Their observations and assumptions weren’t wrong, if perhaps just a little confused as to the How could you let this happen? question of American society. I spoke a bit more about how much commercial influence has governed the evolution of what community is defined as, instead of people leading the way. The room seemed to approve of me, which is a test I’m familiar with. Being an American abroad right now is not an advantage, it’s a trial.

At the end of the night, Franz took up and said, I’d best be going, shook my hand on the way out and I asked him not to give up on all of us. He just turned to me, smiled and said, “Make America great again, please.”

Posted to Social at 06:30 on 16 April 2018

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Nothing New Here

CNN.com · Current front page

As I’m writing this, there is an active shooter situation at a university in Colorado—a situation that doesn’t even warrant the largest headline on a major news outlet. The fact that Nor’Easters happen less frequently than school shootings and are therefore the bigger news story … I mean, I just don’t even know how to write about this shit anymore.

Posted to Social at 11:05 on 2 March 2018

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The Echoes of Inaction

This is disgusting. Not that Marco Rubio finally got put in the hot seat, but that it took a nation of adults watching children slaughter each other—in classrooms, for twenty years—before they then … sat around Tweeting while they let the children also ask the question, “Why is this happening?” to an elected official.

It’s fucking dystopic that paid, professional reporters would propagate a system that allows these shills and empty shirts sitting in Congress and the White House avoid tough questions regarding the influence of lobbyists and the responsibilities of a democratic government.

I get a lot of people telling me I bitch too much about capitalism, but find any reason in the world why so-called responsible adults will let children shoot each other in the back walking out of class that isn’t tied to who gets paid at the end of the day. The ruling class will not care about school shootings unless one happens at some private prep academy where a kid with an inherited future in the C-suite of a Forutne 500 company dies.

This fucking country.

Posted to Social at 08:59 on 22 February 2018

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Ad Nauseam

It’s pretty fucking sickening we live in a time and place where reading that fifteen high school students are dead in a random, gun-related attack feels repetitive.

In case you don’t click on the link: it is February 14, 2018. We are 45 days in to the year and this is the eighth shooting at a school in America.

Posted to Social at 15:06 on 14 February 2018

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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 Oregon by way of New England, Georgia, Texas and California looking for hope in the wind. Working 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 2009-2017. 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

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