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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Taking Requests

Drew and I getting the First Friday spirit started, well, I guess literally at the first moments of Friday.

Posted to Personal at 00:35 on 2 March 2018

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The Past Few

Hanging around

I have been ridiculously sick, but have been finding my way around nonetheless.
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Posted to Personal at 08:40 on 4 February 2018

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What We Can Make With Space


Marcos & the shop as a reading room

We’ve been doing this a year and I just now realized there’s an entire website for First Friday events. Amazing.

Regardless, another month passes and somehow a single night remains to prove life has much to offer. These shows have become almost reliably amazing, and this was no different. Some documentation follows; there’s more out there.
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Posted to Personal at 10:44 on 9 January 2018

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The Cutting Room Floor

San Francisco

SoMA Signage

San Francisco

Hiking the North Bay

When it comes to photography, I’m pretty terrible at editing; a sense of nostalgia always clouds my judgment regarding the quality of some shots stacked up against others. The past few days I’ve been working on a final edit for my San Francisco gallery. These are shots that were tough to cut, but ended up getting cut nonetheless.
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Posted to Work at 12:56 on 21 December 2017

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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.


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


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.


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


* - Denotes group show