Stewart Smith
Stewart Smith Code Play Hero 1

Code Play

Invited to speak at London’s Creativity and Technology conference (CaT), I gave a twenty-minute lecture on the intersection of art, design, and software as illustrated through my “Stewdio” portfolio.

My talk, titled Code Play, focussed on playfulness as the unifying theme running through my various works up to that point in my very young career. (I was only a few years out of graduate school and not yet thirty years old.) In a way this lecture was a follow-up to my interview by Jamie Kim for Creativity Online.

I used the following five projects to illustrate various points about how I’d been approaching my creative work up to that point:

In closing I briefly mentioned The Pendulum Swings Again music video, the Exit (Terre Natale) data animation, and the then-in-progress collaboration with Robert Pietrusko titled Under Vine for the SFMOMA exhibition How Wine Became Modern. (Since completed and exhibited.)

See also these relevant hyperlinks to third-parties, in order of their mention: Dominic Matar created all of the audio compositions for Browser Pong. Panic Software loaded the Jed video onto their Apple //e using an iPad. Nicky Ramone programmed a music video for Up the Down Escalator video by The Chameleons using the Jed source code. David Friedman inspired Histoface with this post on his blog, Ironic Sans. Tomas Halberstad is the musician and face behind The Pendulum Swings Again music video. Robert Gerard Pietrusko was the collaborator on Under Vine and Exit (Terre Natale).

The conference was kind of a weird and special mix of folks. I got to meet Aaron Koblin and Chris Milk in person for the first time—characters that I’d only known through email up until that point. Tommy Pallotta was there; hadn’t seen him since we’d met at a Res Magazine via Eva Prinz circa his A Scanner Darkly film. One of the more consequential meetings that day took the form of Iain Tait asking me during my post-slideshow Q&A what my advice to someone in corporate advertising might be. (I suggested making use of iQuit.) Within two years I’d be living in New York again, working for Iain at Google Creative Lab.