Artist: Tom Smith | Curated by Ben Byrne | Avantwhatever Festival | Australia | 2020

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Core Principles is a taxonomy of movements essential to everyday life and functioning in digital environments; a typology of actions synonymous with platformed existence. Core Principles draws on the scientific management techniques of Frank and Lillian Gilbreth, contemporaries of Frederick Winslow Taylor. In the 1910s Gilbreth compiled a series of 'motion studies’ designed to optimise the movements of workers and maximise their productivity. Core Principles transposes the Gilbreth’s motions into the always already optimised field of digital labour. Core Principles takes inspiration from a long history of documentary filmmaking depicting everyday labour, including the Lumiére Brothers' Workers Leaving the Factory, Louis Malle’s Humain, trop Humain, Jean Luc Godard’s British Sounds, and Harun Farocki and Antje Ehmann’s Labour in a Single Shot. 

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Tom Smith is a Melbourne-based artist, musician and researcher. His practice combines performance, video, electronic music, curatorial projects and critical writing. Tom’s work is concerned with the politics of creative economies, generic digital aesthetics, ambivalent affect and music as mode of critical inquiry. Tom’s work explores the tyranny and poetics of computational systems and other technology through eerie video assemblages and live performances of digital work routines and aesthetic production. Tom is also one half of production duo Utility, and runs an independent record label called Sumactrac with Jarred Beeler (DJ Plead) and Jon Watts.

  • Artist: Tom Smith

  • Music: Utility

  • 3D Automaticity: Jon Watts

  • Avantwhatever Festival

  • Language: English

  • Country: Australia

  • Genres: Animation, Experimental

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 Artist: Tom Smith


Core Principles screens at GIFF20 as a browser-based presence through collaboration and support from Avantwhatever Festival, a cutting edge biennial of experimental music, sonic art, and design which took place between 8-12 July 2020 showcasing work from around the world through a program of live performances, AV premieres, workshops and installations.  Festival director and conceiver Dr Ben Bryne delivered the third edition of Avantwhatever to an acclaimed celebration of some of the best cutting edge practice-based outputs from leading world practitioners. GIFF20 welcomes the Avantwhatever Festival as a like-minded partner and a premier destination for culturally important experimentation.