Cauleen Smith (born 1967) is a filmmaker whose work reflects upon the everyday possibilities of the black imagination. Smith's 2008 video project, The Fullness of Time, repurposes the languages of physicists and astronomers to decode the rage, grief, elation, and hope that surround the contemporary reality of New Orleans. The Solar Flare Arkestral Marching Band, Smith’s most recent project, is being produced as part of an artist-in-residence at threewalls Gallery, Chicago. The first component of this project includes five marching band flash mob street performances inspired by Sun Ra’s Arkestra; the end result will be a larger video, audio, and writing project.
Smith’s films have been featured in group exhibitions at the Houston Contemporary Art Museum; the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin; and the New Museum, New York. Beginning in 1994, she wrote, directed, and produced her first narrative feature film, Drylongso (1998), which was selected for the American Spectrum of Sundance Film Festival, and won best feature film at both the Urbanworld Film Festival and the Los Angeles Pan-African Film Festival. As Acting Associate Professor at the University of California, San Diego in the Department of Visual Arts, Smith formed the Year & Change Artist Residency in which she uses her academic appointment to explore notions of institutional transparency, collegiality, and creative social exchange. Smith earned an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles.