The Was is a sample-based video for now, about the time before now. Part experimental film, part music video and concept album, The Was is the collaborative meeting of Australian sample artists Soda_Jerk and The Avalanches.
Sam Smith currently lives and works in London. Solo projects include Whitechapel, London (upcoming); The Telfer Gallery for Glasgow International (2016); Centro de Artes Visuais, Coimbra, Portugal; Screen Space, Melbourne; Australian Centre for Moving Image, Melbourne (all 2015); KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; and the Artists’ Film Biennial at Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (both 2014). His latest project was the two person collaborative exhibition ‘¬⊙×’ with Andrea Zucchini at Assembly Point, London. He participated in ‘Ways of Looking’, Gallery of Contemporary Art, E-WERK, Freiburg (2016); ‘Your Time Is Not My Time’, De Appel Arts Centre, Amsterdam; ‘this place is really nowhere’ at Jupiter Woods, London; Framework 6: parallelisms, insitu, Berlin; and ‘How far is here’, MAGO, Norway (all 2015).
Formed in Sydney in 2002, Soda_Jerk is a 2-person art collective that works with sampled material. Taking the form of videos, cut-up texts and lecture performances, their archival practice is at the interzone of documentary and speculative fiction. Soda_Jerk are based in New York where their work was recently shown in a dedicated program at Anthology Film Archives. They have collaborated with Sam Smith, VNS Matrix, and The Avalanches, and are part of the collective that run Brooklyn microcinema Spectacle Theater.
Soda_Jerk and Sam Smith have worked together on various videos, such as The Was (2016), Astro Black: A History of Hip Hop (Episode 1) (2008) and Hollywood Burn (2006).