words and art by w a l t e r w s m i t h

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into abstraction | form and memories

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Into Abstraction | Form and Memories, the artist Walter Smith continues his exploration of field recordings translated into abstract constructs.

into abstraction | form and void

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The exploration of abstract forms and memory attachments.

into abstraction | all the days are long | a we’ve come so far remix | a place of subtle nuance

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In life it seems, at times, that all the days are long. Caught in-between work, play, dreams, and aspirations. Those days can take the form of too many hours worked, too many hours away from home and loved ones, or too many memories and missed opportunities–taxing, struggling, pushing forward day after day. Sometimes we get a moment of reprieve; a day at the beach, a solitary place in time and space, the joining together of friends, family, and loved ones, or a beautiful hike on the summit of a mountain. Subtle nuances all converging in daily life, testing our resolve, our purpose, or giving pleasure and peace to our efforts.

into abstraction | a better place

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Sometimes in the waking the reality is more pressing than the dream. And the search for “a better place” takes me inside the abstract. It seems that for only a moment, when art becomes a reality, that I am free from the stress and trials of life. When burden by the complexity of life, I long for escape: Into the abstract. Into the meaning of what it is to be alive. To delineate the constraints of the mundane. To have passion. It is here, in the expression and story of my life through the process of creativity, that I encounter that which gives me any measurable sense of peace and self-awareness.

“Into Abstraction | A Better Place (a viable nuance remix)” continues the theme of the smallest of nuances being the focal point. Within those nuances, the layering of sound and imagery are explored through the digital process. Each film builds upon the vision and nuances of the previous films.

into abstraction | nuances – extended video remix | an abstract thought becomes reality

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Nuances, the extended video remix is a further working towards the abstract in form and complexity. Each element of the video is explored through various micro-tonal nuances via add-on effects. Through this process, I am gaining insight into the various visual options I have via the software and how to implement them to create a visual cohesive construct. The variations seem infinite indeed. Again I am using both my own film and stock film together. Musically I am continuing the theme of electronic ambience, through the use of sound samples, field recordings and piano phases. As I explore the makings of sound for my films, I will be utilizing various sound effects and recording techniques in the process. Slowly things will evolve, as the learning curve for both the visual and aural elements are investigated, manipulated and constructed.

into abstraction | nuances

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This is the first film of 2015 in my new series entitled: “Into Abstraction”. The piece is called “Nuances”. It is a short multi-layered video and electronic soundscapes. As the series implies, the idea is to progress towards a state of abstraction both psychologically and visually: An inward emotional journey; full of delineated thoughts, complex constructs and fused memories. Although this piece contains figurative images and landscapes, it is the nuances of the film that contain elements of the abstract. I hope to slowly evolve through the series to a more definitive state of abstraction. It is true that I often merge, both surrealism and the abstract to create my visual themes. I also will be experimenting to the best of my ability to create beautiful and challenging electronic soundscapes, full of sampled ambient drone, field recordings, glitch/IDM, and thematic sounds.

into abstraction | all these nights in blue are where our love use to be | rooms of indigo paintings | i dream dreams without you

all these nights in blue

My first piece of 2015 in the new series entitled: Into Abstraction ~

all these nights in blue are where our love use to be
rooms of indigo paintings
i dream dreams without you

your world beginning | catalogs, maps, and memories – final day

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This is the final video in my 2014 series Your World Disappearing and Your World Beginning. It explores past artistic influences and reflects on the creative process as well. In 2015, I will be starting a series titled “Into Abstraction”. I have not completely thought out the direction of this new series. It may in some form be a continuation of the 2014 series or a new direction with an emphasis on the abstraction of imagery and sound. I want to explore and utilize visually, the micro-tonal effects of the new video software I just purchased. And musically, I want to produce a more distinct electronic sound from my own remixing and editing of sound samples. And again, in addition to the new video software, I will be using a new music editing program to produce the music. This process will be a challenge indeed, and a learning curve over time.

your world beginning | there’s never a dream i need to follow . video remix . piano and waterfalls pt 2 . day 10

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2014 is coming to a close. The major theme has been the two video series entitled “Your World Disappearing” and “Your World Beginning”. I initially created the two series as separate entities, however they have morphed into the same conceptual idea i.e. our lives and the experiences within it are simultaneously disappearing and beginning again and again. There is a merging of the sustainability of the mundane and the wishful aspirations of dreams and a better life. As I worked through the series this year, there was a lot of emotional ambiguity. I have tried to explore the comings and goings of my daily life, and put it into a perspective that negates anything more than what exists in the present moment. However, I can get lost in dreams and desires, the past and memories; believing that there is something significant there. So perhaps the thing that I have discovered is that there is no real disappearing of things or beginning of things just now. The present, mundane, and wishful dreams … inside my head.

Technically the film is a product of several excursions into the process of filming life at home and out in nature. Again, I have used footage from my recent hike along the Graveyard Fields’ trail in North Carolina. Upon reaching the top where the Upper Falls is located, I treaded out among the rocks. I then filmed using a macro (zoom in) setting, the pulsating flow of the falls. It gives the film a lot of its movement in an abstract form. I combined this movement with spatial and ethereal forms as well; fusing the two elements to further the sense of abstraction. These two forms are juxtaposed by the three ‘Transcending the mundane’ clips of life at home; repairing my bike, feeding the cat, and making pasta. The soundtrack continues the theme of “Piano and Waterfalls”. I used samples of field recordings and sublime piano phases to produce a rather delineated and ambiguous sense of being in the moment.

your world beginning | piano and trails – day 9

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Day 9 in “Your World Beginning” is a multi-layered abstraction of landscape and portrait. Filmed in beautiful Haywood County, North Carolina during the Fall, while on the back roads to Waterrock Knob off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. This is my second video featuring the trail and summit of Waterrock Knob (see the post Maps Mountains and Trails – Day 7). This is the second video using my new Sony software, and I wanted to explore some layering effects with a colored pencil effect as well. And again, I am combining samples of piano and electronic field recordings for the soundtrack. Actually the audio composing, is a very exciting aspect of the video production. Especially when it is within the realm of ambient and electronic composition.

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but Nature’s sources never fail” ~ John Muir

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