Christopher Swift

MFA Candidate at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Fall 2021.

Thesis Advisor: Silas Munro
3rd Semester advisor: Ziddi Msangi
2nd Semester advisor: David Peacock
1st Semester advisor: Natalia Ilyin

I am a full-time practicing graphic designer working in higher-ed for the past eight years. I have taught graphic design in Canada and the US for the past decade. I recently taught courses on letterpress printing and color (focusing on Risograph printing) at Rhode Island School of Design.

My main interest as a graphic designer is an exploration of the collaborative creative networks we work within. These networks can be large and complex but are often overlooked or ignored by designers who may not recognize the collaborative network in which they find themselves. My research and creative work seek to highlight these networks and to consider the impact of seeing ourselves as one among many in a collaboration of agential objects. This work has primarily been in a code-based space, most recently focusing on machine learning and artificial intelligence.

My latest project is titled Speculative Anthropology of the Unknown and Maybe. The project explores creating with machine learning models to imagine a new collaborative design process that decenters the graphic designer as the primary maker. The works explore the relationships between objects in a creative network (human and non-human), ways of knowing, nostalgia, and is an attempt to work through the very human impulse to try to — or assume you can — control the non-humans we work alongside and with.

Special thanks to Jess, Holden and Lettie for making this fun.