Trudi Lynn Smith

Victoria, Canada

Trudi Lynn Smith brings anthropology, art and curatorial practice to bear on her studies of places and conventions of photography and film. She holds degrees from Dalhousie University, Emily Carr University and the University of Victoria, Canada. Her interdisciplinary PhD (2010) draws together Visual Art and Anthropology to explore the relationships between photography, archives, and protected areas (National Parks) and the impact they have on one another. She is particularly interested in bringing together the methods of art practice and social research and published Repeat Photography as Method in Visual Anthropology in Visual Anthropology (2007).

In her recent position as a SSHRC Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Humanities at York University, ON (2010-2013), she continued her fieldwork in parks and protected areas in Canada and the USA, returning to locations that historical and often iconic photographs were made from. Contesting the monumentality of colonial archives and the effect that these objects have on ways we relate to parks and protected areas, she takes archives for a walk to examine and interrupt their relationship to truth, and to carefully consider the material and imaginative practices and politics through which photographs are produced. The Anthropology of Historical Photography in a Protected Area: Life and death in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta (Anthropologica forthcoming 2014) considers how a photograph becomes possible though multiple forces, and how these come to bear on flourishing in the park. Opening up this inquiry to the public, Smith guides participants to re-locate photographs and to set up Portable Camera Obscura: a walk-in room sized camera. Since 2010, Smith has guided participants into popular locations and into epic backcountry locations, the camera provides ground to think about photography: To loiter, converse and sense connections between technologies, natures and communities in parks.

With a focus on investigating and agitating archival practices, she recently collaborated on Re- connections: Coast Salish Knitting and Resilience in Chicago (in collaboration with Andrea N. Walsh, Joni Olsen, Adam Olsen, Sylvia Olsen) curated by Ethnographic Terminalia 2013 at Arts Incubator, Chicago, IL; and with an interest on exploring the way that archives intersect with places through time, she is currently building a large format (16×20) camera as part of project that includes an artist book produced in collaboration with artist Lynda Gammon about the long term history of an artist studio in Victoria, 562 Fisgard Street.

Trudi is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria, BC.

2012, 2014 and 2016 Participant

Please click on above images for links to additional work by Trudi Lynn Smith