On Hamburger Square, 2016

“In her app- and web-based audio tour, On Hamburger Square,
New York-based artist Samara Smith made it her mission to understand
the ins and outs of this city space, and created a multi-layered
experience based on extensive interviews.”

Hidden Histories of Greensboro,
Fabric of Freedom, National Folk Festival


Horizon Lines, 2016

“Horizon Lines is described as ‘uncover[ing] the edges that mark the neighborhood’s undefined and immutable borders.’  While the piece is strikingly visual, the usage of urban sounds plays a pivotal role, as they surround the viewer in the space. “

Power Up Your Mobile Device For /Rive Collective’s
‘Anamorphosis’ At Open Source Gallery
by Donny Levit, Park Slope Stoop


 

Convergence Lines, 2016

The experience for this installation begins with a text message to activate your involvement in the exhibit… an intriguing opportunity for neighbors and participants to engage in shared and public spaces, and the collaborative creation of the installation… The exhibit seamlessly connects with Open Source’s vision for 2016. “We realize that art is not only important within communities, but that community is also critical to art making,” says Sorensen, “and we want to explore how art can not only generate communities, but how it can also be a catalyst for social and political change.”

Power Up Your Mobile Device For /Rive Collective’s
‘Anamorphosis’ At Open Source Gallery
by Donny Levit, Park Slope Stoo


Game Room, Chain Reaction (Westwood), 2012

“Each piece within “Game Room” redefines the idea of game design and artistic purpose by letting visitors escape boundaries, whether personally, with a deck of reimagined playing cards, or outwardly, with a navigational game that guests can play while walking through Westwood.”

Game Room” Exhibit at Hammer Museum Encourages Interaction
The Daily Bruin

“… And, Samara Smith’s place-related game, tailored to Westwood, calibrates players to their physical surroundings. Collectively the artworks represent a game ethos of a bygone time, reverting to the tactile and grounded in face-to-face interaction.”

Hammer Museum presents Game Room: Visitors
invited to engage with analog, multi-player games
artdaily.org

“…viewers will see artworks inspired by strategy and cunning and planning and luck, all of the things that go into a good game. Artist Eddo Stern will take on digital fare — that’s rather popular these days, we hear — while Samara Smith has a “place-related game” that features Westwood. Again, we say it: cool.”

A Museum’s New “Game Room”:The Art of the Game–
Cards to Digital and Beyond–Is Examined
nbclosangeles.com

“Samara Smith’s Chain Reaction (Westwood) (2012) is a particularly relevant example of how games in public space, also known as “big urban games,” are contemporary adaptations of the dérive model. Chain Reaction’s players do not move to any set destination, and there is no clear win condition. Instead players navigate the city based on their observations of independent businesses or the lack thereof. While it can be easy to overlook these factors during an everyday commute, the game trains players to heighten personal awareness of their surroundings by challenging them to find particular socioeconomic clues. Participants document their observations, charting these indicators over time and collecting artifacts and images. Smith likens the process of developing player self-consciousness to performance, and she cites Boal’s thesis that “theater—or theatricality—is the capacity, this human property which allows man to observe himself in action,” thereby adding theoretical or ideological meaning to physical observations.”

The Aesthetics of Play, by Sarah Brin
(Game Room Poster), Hammer Museum


Chain Reaction (Manhattan), 2006

“…what Baudrillard theorizes and what Samara Smith’s piece assumes is that a physical and mental experience will have a different or “greater” impact than a strictly mental one.”

The Tactical/Interactive: Disturbance and Documentary
as Informed by Theories of Third & Fourth Cinema,
by Helen Gilbert, Jehn Howard and Stefan Schuch

“Samara Smith’s Chain Reaction (2006) is a locative game that serves to sensitise players to the vanishing independent nature of commercial enterprises in New York City.”

Locating Play and Politics: Real World Games & Activism by Mary Flanagan

“A fun and participatory way to explore and map urban spaces, this game’s type of investigative rules set holds interesting potential for community-based documentary projects.”

Critical Play: Radical Game Design, by Mary Flanagan


Anyplace, Brooklyn, 2007

“[P]art art project, part history lesson and part contemporary social criticism..”

The Brooklyn Paper

“Downtown Brooklyn has lately been embattled in a private vs. public real estate war… Samara Smith responded to this battle, compiling two years of documentary sound recording, interviews, and research to create Anyplace, Brooklyn, an audio walking tour that critically examines this struggle, while providing guided observations on the visually changing downtown landscape… get a more personalized lowdown on the eminent domain and re-organizing of city streets around Fulton Mall.”

WFMU’s Beware of the Blog

“Excellent way to pick up some valuable perspective on an important part of Brooklyn about to undergo a lot of development.”

The Gowanus Lounge

“A free audio-guided walking tour of the history and near future of Downtown Brooklyn.”

Brownstoner

“Anyplace Brooklyn, an hour-long audio tour through downtown Brooklyn filled with candid interviews from locals who are losing their homes to eminent domain to folks who remember what life was like pre-Metro Tech. It will replace that vague notion of yours about what Brooklyn is becoming with something concrete.”

Brooklyn Based

“Metrotech is a section of Brooklyn that I never really thought to photograph before. I have to admit that there was nothing to catch my eye in its featureless corporate landscape. But that’s exactly what caught the eye of documentarian Samara Smith, the creator of the Anyplace Brooklyn Walking Tour. As a part of the 2007 Conflux Festival, Smith has created a soundscape exploration of the many transformations that have remade this corner of old Brooklyn into a gleaming and sterile facade of the future. The focus of this walking tour, in her own words, is “to explore critical issues raised by the city’s development plans for this area including: public space, democracy, eminent domain, freedom of expression, and privatization.” She accomplishes this with an engaging manner and simply worded approach. Smith compressed two years worth of research into a 60 minute walking tour, allowing one to walk in her steps, listening to interviews with area residents and activists, and seeing this space in a whole new way.”

Citynoise

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