The artist travelled around the island of Gotland to meet with key people and specialists like Tom Mels, Associate Professor, Department of Social and Economic Geography Uppsala University, Dr. Gustaf Svedjemo, lecturer at the department of Archaeology and Ancient History Uppsala University and local fossile expert Sara Eliason at the Gotland Museum. One year Sam Smith returned to shoot a film at locations like Brucebo, Suderbys Ekoby, Uppsala University Campus Gotland, the archive of the Museum of Gotland and the Cementa lime stone quarry. The work resulted in the experimental documentary Lithic Choreographies, that mixes historical facts with speculative fiction to chronicle different chapters embedded to the island’s geological strata.
Scanning the landscape characterised by paleo-sea-stacks, fossil coastlines, concrete production plants and limestone quarries, the film focuses a lens on minerals circulated in economic, cultural and agricultural contexts. Working with locals to ground the film’s investigations within the myriad communities of Gotland, Sam Smith seeks to re-imagine our modes of engagement with and contributions to ecological assemblages.
Sam Smith is a video installation and performance artist born in Sydney, Australia (1980), currently living and working in the UK. By treating built forms as active things, Smith gives resonance to the histories within their material structures. The locations of past films and 20th century Modernist residences become vibrant entities, capable of reorganising matter, facilitating life and playing a crucial part in their own narrative.