Cauleen Smith is an interdisciplinary artist whose work reflects upon the everyday possibilities of the imagination. Operating in multiple materials and arenas, Smith roots her work firmly within the discourse of mid-twentieth-century experimental film. Drawing from structuralism, Third World Cinema, and science fiction, she makes things that deploy the tactics of activism in service of ecstatic social space and contemplation. Smith enjoys container gardening, likes cats and collects disco balls, vinyl records, and books. She is an avid leisure and functional cyclist. She lives in Los Angeles and is Art Program faculty at California Institute of the Arts. She received a BA in Creative Arts from San Francisco State University and her MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Theater Film and Television. Smith’s short films, feature film, and installation and performance were showcased at International Film Festival Rotterdam 2019. Smith is the recipient of the following awards: Rockefeller Media Arts Award, Creative Capital Film/Video, Independent Spirit Someone to Watch Award, Chicago 3Arts Grant, and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Chicago Expo Artadia Award, a Rauschenberg Residency, Herb Alpert Awards in the Arts in Film and Video 2016, United States Artists Award 2017, and was the 2016 inaugural recipient of the Ellsworth Kelly Award.
Photo credit: Dustin Aksland