david smith


David Smith’s preoccupations with human and animal form had less to do with a romanticized yearning for a pre-industrial past or, as some critics have suggested, opportunistic cultural grave robbing, than they had to do with an abiding interest in the transformative aspects of technology. In Gary K. Wolfe’s book, “The Known and the Unknown, The Iconography of Science Fiction,” an analytical and theoretical study of the recurring icons that appear throughout the science fiction genre, he states that “Technology not only creates new environments for humanity, it also creates new images of humanity itself, which tend to mediate between the natural environment of mankind and the artificial ones it has created, between the past and the future, and between the known and the unknown.” Smith was interested in the ambiguity of form and the ambiguity inherent in the materials he used. He dwelt upon the fact that steel could be used to make agrarian tools and destructive weapons; it had the potential to manifest a wide spectrum of psychological impulses.

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