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

Video

the night outside my window | dream one (1)

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I recently published “The Endless Distance | Dream Two (2)”, while I was reworking different elements of this film. The first of short films in the “Outside My Window | Dream” series. A subtle re-imagining of my sailing and boating experience last summer on the Patuxent River and Chesapeake Bay. So often, memories emerge in a dream like a returning ecstasy. Creating new relationships to the experience. And there you are, floating into the night, viewing it as if looking through the window of your mind.


the endless distance outside my window | dream two (2)

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I am immersed in a short film series entitled “Outside My Window | Dreams.” This is actually the second video in the series as I rework the first film. I cannot think of much to say about the series or this film at this moment. I just wanted to post it. I hope you, my readers, enjoy the shorter format and embrace the art.


into recollection | form and forever

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The memories behind you, impermanence, transcending the mundane, and a long forever.

It has been a while since I posted here on n e w d i g i t a l s c a p e s. And although I have not participated in this creative community as of late, I hope now to find the space that brings me back to sharing my prose, poetry, and art. I am not sure where the time goes anymore. A few years back, in another time of my life, I was very progressive in my blogging and interacting with fellow artists and writers. Sometimes I ask myself where did I find the time for such a committment. But as I pen this post, there are still no concrete answers to that question that I can fully embrace.

I completed this piece entitled “Into Recollection | Form and Forever” late last year. I wanted to create a piece for submission to film festivals in the “experimental art” (short film) category that was rather long in length (30 or 40 minutes are the usual short film limits). My films are often a collection of remixes from previous work, while simultaneously searching how to create and convey an entirely new vision. In this film is the continuation of my major artistic themes i.e. visual abstraction, dreams, memory attachments, ambiguity, and personal experience. It indulges in all these concepts, while supporting creative visualization and newly composed musical ambient themes.

Again, the film is rather long @ just over 29 minutes (and no dialogue), but it does flow quite well through its various segments. Enjoy.


into abstraction | form and data | on the edge of everything there is | a moment in time we can never bring back

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There is so much one can say about the possibilities inherent in the creative process. Do we move definitely in a pre-determined direction (unwavering, specific in structure), or allow our intuition (and the tool itself (in my case, the computer)) to guide us. Perhaps a little bit of both. Creating contradictions, beauty, and ambiguities along the way: Magic and Lost while searching through memories. Finding that time does not stand still at all, but evolve and return. A returning ecstasy. And so does a work of art. And so to the recollection inherent to its evolution. My video work is a collection of memories, images, and sounds, purposefully or unconsciously contradicting and re-inventing themselves. Disintegrating into loops of color, texture, movement, geometric form, data, time, and space. I want my work to reflect our internal and external existence; to visually and musically create a sense of things happening all at once.


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 | 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.


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.