May 16, 2023
VIDEO: Skawennati on Indigenous Futurism and World-Building
This presentation was recorded on April 19 in conjunction with the exhibition MESSAGE FROM OUR PLANET: DIGITAL ART FROM THE THOMA COLLECTION and is available via the Weisman’s YouTube channel.
Video production: Line Break Media
In this artist talk, internationally renowned multimedia artist SKAWENNATI, discusses the intersection of her practice and Indigenous Futurism, specifically as found in her world-building work TimeTraveller™, which was on view as part of the exhibition MESSAGE FROM OUR PLANET: DIGITAL ART FROM THE THOMA COLLECTION.
TimeTraveller™ features nine “machinima” episodes—a hybrid of “machine” and “cinema,” referring to a way of producing movies with virtual environments, such as Second Life, an online platform for world-building. TimeTraveller™ follows Hunter, a young Mohawk man in 22nd-century Montreal who is struggling to find his place in a techno-consumerist society. Hunter uses virtual reality glasses that ostensibly transport him backward through time to experience how Indigenous people have been treated, triumphed, and transformed across centuries. Through her work, Skawennati investigates concepts of time and self, offering a postcolonial rereading of the history of the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island.
The related exhibition, Message from Our Planet, was curated by JASON FOUMBERG, Curator of Digital Art for the Carl and Marilynn Thoma Foundation