David Gail Smith

Creative Computation






David is a visual artist currently based in Dallas, Texas. He began writing code as a teen on a TI-99/4a and later an Apple //c until leaving home for college in the late 80s. Fast-forward three decades. After retiring in 2014 from 21-year military career, which included a graduate degree in Aeronautical Science, he now pursues a professional art practice. Endeavoring to rediscover that same “energy of wonder” that he possessed as a young man before the his time in military aviation, he completed degrees in 2017 – a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art and a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Computation. Originally from Erie, Pennsylvania, he moved across the U.S. several times while growing up and served nearly half of his military career overseas. His world-travels, exposure to many cultures, and unusual life experiences have given him a unique perspective.

His eclectic work experiments across media and involves emotional introspection, reflection on experiences, and shared influence on others in the world and vice versa. He is on an eternal quest for themes that bind people, blend cultures, and celebrate humanity in pursuit of what is universal and simply put – beautiful and interesting. As an artist he seek to defy stereotypes, transcend divisive and useless social and political assumptions, and connect with anyone he meets in search of common ground. With one foot in the world of painting and one world in the world of computers, he strives to combine art with technology, the traditional with the cutting-edge, and the ancient with the futuristic. As such, his work explores the space between fine art and computer coding, in search of an art that is the hybrid of historical tradition and future technology.

The concept of “post-computational” is a cornerstone of his work, in that his computational art practice is informed by his material practice, and vice versa. He conducts an art practice in the physical world that runs in parallel to his computational work in the virtual world. He use all sorts of art tools, materials, and processes in my creative exploration. And later, he will create virtual projects inspired by those works. And after creating a virtual piece, is often inspired to revisit the original work and processes once again. Both worlds are paths that lead to creative discovery and each feeds the other. The previous description and the term post-computational, coined by my colleague and mentor, Ira Greenberg, are actually defining characteristics of his art practice in general, where he seeks to combine the cutting edge with the traditional. This ideology opens a space for to explore the expanse of art history and allows for endless pursuit of new means of expression while still providing the rich benefits of a material art practice. It also creates a symbiosis of the two worlds in the exploration of creating something new and unique, which is often times a therapeutic and meditational process.


2017 Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art, Southern Methodist University
2016 Bachelor of Arts in Creative Computation, Southern Methodist University
2008 Master of Aeronautical Science w/ Human Factors and Aviation Education, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
1992 Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Studies w/ Computer Science, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University