smudge studio is a collaboration between Elizabeth Ellsworth and Jamie Kruse, based in Brooklyn and founded in 2005. We have used multimedia and performance to trace ancient shorelines of a long disappeared Pleistocene Lake (Utah), live time differently in dune shacks of Cape Cod, performatively inhabit a WWII Quonset hut (Utah), and signal the rising waters of Captiva Island. Resulting works include a poetic field guide (Geologic City: New York City is a Geologic Force) and a video documenting our experience of traveling on nuclear waste shipping routes (American Southwest). Our current project is Living Deep Time Calendar Year 000001. We have presented work at MoMA, MIT, Nevada Museum of Art, Parsons, Proteus Gowanus, Sonic Acts, Kyoto University of Art and Design, Oslo School of Architecture and Design, and the “Anthropocene Opening” at HKW (Berlin). Jamie teaches at Parsons School of Design and Liz at The New School, Media Studies.
Since 2005, smudge studio has pursued what we take to be our most urgent and meaningful task as artists and humans: to invent and enact practices capable of acknowledging and living in responsive, creative relationship to forces of change that make the world. Through our current projects and performative research, we design and cultivate embodied practices that support humans in paying sustained, nuanced attention to the fast and intense material realities that are now emerging on a planetary scale. We offer them to audiences as aesthetic antidotes to reeling states of distraction or despair.
We continue to benefit from SFAI’s courageous support of our work. Our residency allowed us to share Look Only at the Movement and receive feedback from a local New Mexico audience. Such an exchange was a core intention of the work. Our residency gave us a chance to pause and meaningfully pay close attention to the landscape/culture of New Mexico for an extended period. That precious period of reflection fuels our practice to this day. SFAI stands alone in our collaboration’s history as the nourishing environment that provided the rare freedom (time, housing, studio, resources, colleagues, etc.) to explore new directions and ideas without additional pressures, expectations, or institutional agendas. The artists and curators we met while on residency, the cultural vibrancy of Santa Fe, and the inspiring architecture of the residency space itself combined to enrich and inspire our ideas and embolden our making.