Alex Smith

2020 PEW FELLOW
Updated
5 Feb 2021

alex-smith-2020-02-web.jpg

Pew Fellow Alex Smith, (s)untitled series. Photo courtesy of the artist.

alex-smith-2020-05-web.jpg

Pew Fellow Alex Smith, (s)untitled series. Photo courtesy of the artist.

alex-smith-2020-03-web.jpg

Pew Fellow Alex Smith, (s)untitled series. Photo courtesy of the artist.

“My work is a vessel for the spiritual, political, and psychosocial ushering of queer Black people into a future informed by our cultural needs and shaped by our dreams and imagination.”

Alex Smith is a speculative fiction writer, collage artist, and vocalist, keyboardist, and lyricist in avant-garde punk bands Rainbow Crimes and Solarized. He draws from influences like science fiction, Dadaism, and comic art, bending their conventions to frame the creativity, survival, and hopefulness of queer and Black people. He curates two recurring series: a queer sci-fi reading series titled Laser Life, which he also founded, and what Smith describes as a “retro-futurist electro mash-up art-jam,” Chrome City. “I want space to create worlds,” Smith notes, “within the minds of people searching for reflection of themselves, and in the practical world as well; active spaces embodied, emboldened and empowered by a cyberpunk retelling of our past, stitched together with whatever resources are available to grant us—queer Black people—access to the future.” Smith has lectured and held workshops on the practical application of Afrofuturism and sci-fi and fantasy tropes in art at Moogfest, Moore College of Art & Design, the Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University, Vox Populi, and Swarthmore College.