Stephen Smyth is a VCS graduate currently residing in Palm Springs, CA. Along with fellow alum Eleanor LeBeau, Stephen is the co-founder and editor of Naked Circus, an online journal of Visual Culture that premiers February 14, 2012. Stephen and Eleanor’s collaboration springs from a shared social imperative to liberate the discourse on Visual Culture from the exclusive purview of the Academy in order to engage multiple publics.
Stephen holds degrees in architecture and Visual and Critical Studies, both from CCA. Stephen has worked as a freelance design consultant for several prominent Bay Area firms including Peter Pfau Architects, Gensler, SOM, as well as for designers Gary Hutton, Ted Boerner, and Robert Noble, among others.
Stephen’s scholarly work focuses on American mythologies, emphasizing the roles of visual spectacle and escapist fantasies in shaping our shared identities. His master’s thesis, Economy of Dreams, explored the intersections between UFO folklore, Nationalism, Frontierism, and Commerce. He is currently developing a project on the History of the Las Vegas Strip and the Myth of Capitalism.
Stephen is a member of the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts, the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, and the Architecture and Design Counsel of the Palm Springs Art Museum.