Wayne Smith is a visual and sound artist who lives and works in San Francisco. Working in a variety of media including drawing, installation and scanner-based technology, he has been shown locally and internationally. Repetitive drawing and collage processes are a recurring motif in his visual art practice. Grids of ink on pieces of found wood reduce drawing to a “plotting” activity whose parameters are decided upon prior to its execution. The instability of the wood grain assures that “mistakes” will occur, the surface gradually becoming a timeline of the imperfect process created by applying ruled ballpoint pen ink to the uneven grain of the wood.
Having made field recordings for many years, Smith began assembling these recordings into musical compositions in the late 1990s. Combining them with elements of live improvisation and digital manipulation, his compositions alternate between being harmonic and noisy, often in tandem. They parallel his visual work in their use of repetition, overlapping fields, and exploitation of accidents.
His visual work is included in the collections of BAMPFA and The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. In 2011, Smith scored the soundtrack for D-L Alvarez and Kevin Killian’s The Visitor Owl, which was screened at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Live performances of his sound work, accompanied by Cliff Hengst and Scott Hewicker, have taken place at the Meridian Gallery and Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, and The Schindler House, Los Angeles.