Discipline: Interdisciplinary Art – multimedia installation

SA Smythe

Discipline: Interdisciplinary Art – multimedia installation
Region: Toronto, CANADA
MacDowell Fellowships: 2024

SA Smythe is a multi-instrumentalist, writer, and educator choreographing indeterminate cartographies of Black life. Smythe's transmedia creative practice navigates soundscape composition, poetry, performance, light sculpture, film photography, and archival ephemera. They are assistant professor of Black studies and the archive at the University of Toronto, where they serve as director for the Collaboratory for Black Poiēsis.

Their work has been developed or presented in anthologies, at international festivals, and art institutions including FADO Performance Art Centre and the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto, BASE in Milan, Mattatoio Museum in Rome, the Lindemann Performing Arts Center at Brown University, Berkeley Arts Centre, Palazzino indiano arte in Florence, and GXRLSCHOOL in Los Angeles.

A recipient of the 2022 Rome Prize for Modern Italian Studies, Smythe is one half of the multiscalar performance collective THEYFXRST with Rome Prize and MacDowell Fellow Autumn Knight. In 2024, Smythe will be a composer-in-residence at the Virgina Center for the Creative Arts and an artist-in residence at the Villa Lena Foundation in Tuscany.

At MacDowell, Smythe worked on the libretto and soundscape composition for "black Mediterranean blues," movement four in their nine-part multimedia installation and performance suite, /proclivity/. They also drafted "Neither/Nor/Necessity," for their poetic essay collection about anarchiving black trans life.



SA Smythe worked in the Watson studio.

Built in 1916 in memory of Regina Watson of Chicago, a musician and teacher, this studio was donated by a group of her friends, along with funds for its maintenance. Originally designed to serve as a composers’ studio with room for performance, Watson was used as a recital hall for chamber music for a…

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