Brian Reffin Smith
Born 1946 in Sudbury, UK. Artist, writer, theoretician of computer-based arts. He was a pioneer of computer-based conceptual art, with the aim of trying to resist technological determinism and "state of the art" technology which might merely produce "state of the technology" art. After showing interactive pieces in "Electra" at the Paris Museum of Modern art in 1983 he was invited by the French Ministry of Culture to intervene in art education, and was later appointed to a teaching post in the national art school in Bourges.
Smith is a member of the OuPeinPo group of artists, Paris, France; Regent of the College of 'Pataphysics, Paris, France, holding the Chair of Catachemistry and Computational Metallurgy. He is Professeur, École Nationale Supérieure d'Art, Bourges, France. Smith won the first-ever Prix Ars Electronica, the Golden Nike, in Linz, Austria, 1987. Areas of work, research, teaching and performance include the idea of Zombie in art and elsewhere, and the détournement or "hijacking" of systems, mechanisms, programs etc. from computing and other areas of science and technology, to make conceptual art.
He studied at Brunel University and the Royal College of Art, where he held a Research Fellowship in 1979 and was then appointed College Tutor in computer-based art and design at the RCA from 1980 to 1984. He taught widely in the U.K. and France including most London art schools and the Sorbonne in Paris. Lives in Berlin and France.
Exhibitions of conceptual art, installation art, performance art etc. shown internationally include "Electra", Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 1983; Fondation Cartier, Paris, Galerie Zwinger, Berlin, and Krammig & Pepper Contemporary, Berlin, 1986-2007.
In addition to eight books on computers for children and on computer-based arts for adults, he has written and broadcast widely on art and computers for art, science and computing journals and magazines, British and European television and radio broadcasters and newspapers, including recently a chapter in Mealing, Stuart, Ed. (2002). Computers and Art. Bristol, UK: Intellect. and the OuPeinPo group work Oupeinpo (2005). Du Potentiel Dans l'Art. Paris: Seuil.