Born 1988, Sydney, Australia. Brenton Alexander Smith is a Sydney based artist who primarily works in the mediums of sculpture and digital imaging. He is a proficient photographer as well, but in his approach to art making the medium he chooses to use is secondary to the concept. If he does not have the skills to execute an idea, he will learn them or seek assistance from somebody who has them. He is influenced by themes of technology, space exploration and cyberspace.
Smith’s interest in technology has manifested in in his work where aims to generate discourse about the application of such technology. His does this through the creation or adaptation of dysfunctional machines that either appears to be somehow in pain or cause discomfort and hinder the user. Other times he will explore aspects of technology (particularly cyberspace) in unusual ways in an attempt to understand them. In his ongoing project The Bicycle Man he created hindering prosthetics from old bicycle parts, which evoked ideas of the cyborg (or in the case the ‘anti-‐cyborg’
as he calls it). In this work three sculptures made from old bicycle parts make up a kind of “bicycle suit”. They are prosthetic attachments, but instead of enhancing or replacing parts of the body they hinder the wearer. The Bicycle Man is the imaginary person who wears the prosthetics and is weighed down by them, forcing him to slow down and consider his movements. A major concern in this particular work is the rate at which technology is advancing and the moral implications of using this technology; we are at a point where we cannot function without our technological attachments.
Metaspace Exploration is the term he uses for his exploration of the virtual space
that we call the Internet. Google’s “search by image” function allows you to conduct a web search by using an algorithm to analyze an image rather than keywords. You can also use this to find images on the Internet that are visually similar to the one you upload. Smith used this function with images from the Rover that was landed on Mars in 2012 to create a kind of visual guide to life on Earth for extraterrestrials. The images that he discovered ranged from astrophotography to historical records to screen shots of virtual spaces (3D models and videogames).
Smith is currently studying for a Bachelor of Visual Arts at Sydney College of the Arts. He began his course in the photomedia studio and has since shifted his focus to sculpture. In 2012 he was heavily involved in Iris Häussler’s work in the Sydney Biennale, where he acted as an interpreter.