Third Annual Symposium on the Future Imaginary: KC Adams, Dr. Stephen Borys, Siku Allooloo and Joar Nango!

KC Adams is a Winnipeg-based artist who graduated from Concordia University with a B.F.A in studio arts. She has had several solo exhibitions, group exhibitions and was included in the PHOTOQUAI: Biennale des images du monde in Paris, France. She has participated in residencies at the Banff Centre, the Confederation Art Centre in Charlottetown, the National Museum of the American Indian and the Parramatta Arts Gallery in Australia. Adams has received several grants and awards from Winnipeg Arts Council, Manitoba Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts. Her work is in many permanent collections Nationally and Internationally. Twenty pieces from the Cyborg Hybrid series are in the permanent collection of the National Art Gallery in Ottawa and from her installation BirchBarkLtd, four trees are in the collection of the Canadian Consulate of Australia, NSW. Recently, she was the set designer for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Going Home Star: Truth and Reconciliation. She completed a public art sculpture for the United Way of Winnipeg called Community. She has an ongoing public art campaign called Perception that was on display all over Winnipeg, MB and Lethbridge, AB. She recently won the Winnipeg Arts Council’s Making A Mark Award and Aboriginal Circle of Educator’s Trailblazing Award.

Dr. Stephen Borys is the Director & CEO of the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG), Canada’s oldest civic art gallery and one of the country’s largest. Under his leadership over the last nine years, the WAG has expanded and strengthened its role and profile in the community, as well as in the cultural and museum landscape in Canada and abroad. Dr. Borys has enabled significant growth in the Gallery’s overall operations, permanent collections, international exhibitions and partnership programs, capital and endowment development, and member and visitor engagement. At the core of his directorship is the goal of advancing a meaningful dialogue with the public, creating in both physical and virtual spaces, a welcoming forum where art and artmaking is at the forefront with audiences and stakeholders.

Siku Allooloo is an Inuit/Haitian Taino writer, activist, and community builder from Denendeh (Northwest Territories). She has a BA in Anthropology and Indigenous Studies from the University of Victoria, and a diverse background in Indigenous land-based education, youth work, solidarity building, and community-based research. Most recently she has been a program coordinator, facilitator and co-instructor at Dechinta Center for Research and Learning, working closely with elders and educators to deliver land-based skills and build strength in community. Her advocacy work through writing and speaking centers on issues of climate change, environmental protection, ending gender violence and decolonial politics. Siku is also an emerging creative nonfiction writer and poet, and she recently had a brief stint as a performance artist at Nuit Blanche in Toronto, 2017. Her work has been featured in The New Quarterly, The Malahat Review, Briarpatch, The Guardian, and Truthout, among others.

Joar Nango is an architect with a degree from NTNU in Norway, and a practicing artist. He works with place-specific installations and self-made publications, which explore the boundary between architecture, design and visual art. Thematically speaking, his work relates to questions of indigenous identity, often through investigating the oppositions and contradictions in contemporary architecture. Recently, he has worked on the theme The Modern Sámi Space through, amongst other things, a self-published zine series entitled Sámi Huksendáidda: the Fanzine, design project Sámi Shelters and the mixtape/clothing project Land & Language. He is also a founding member of the architecture collective FFB, which works with temporary installations in public space. Currently, he lives and works in Tromsø, Norway. Nango’s work has also been exhibited internationally in Ukraine, The US, Canada Finland, China, Russia, Colombia and Bolivia amongst other places. In 2017 he exhibited in Documenta14, Kassel and Athens.

Third Annual Symposium on the Future Imaginary: Dr. Carla Taunton, Megan Tamati-Quennell, Dr. Serena Keshavjee, and Keith Munro!

Dr. Carla Taunton an Associate Professor in the Division of Art History and Critical Studies at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University (NSCAD) and an Adjunct Associate Professor in the department of Cultural Studies at Queen’s University as well as in the Graduate Studies Department at Dalhousie University. Taunton’s areas of expertise include Indigenous arts and methodologies, Indigenous history of performance, contemporary Canadian art, museum and curatorial studies, as well as theories of decolonization, anti-colonialism and settler responsibility. Through this work she investigates current approaches towards the writing of Indigenous-specific art histories, recent Indigenous and settler research/arts collaborations, and strategies of creative-based interventions that challenge colonial narratives, national/ist institutions and settler imagination. Her recent collaborative research projects include: The Kanata Indigenous Performance, New and Digital Media Art Project (2013-16); Arts East (2014-5); This is What I Wish You Knew: Urban Aboriginal Artists (2015-ongoing) and Theories and Methodologies for Indigenous Arts in North America (2014-ongoing).

Megan has specialist interests in the work of the post war (1945) first generation Māori artists, Mana wahine; Māori women artists of the 1970s and 1980s, the ‘Māori Internationals’; the artists who developed with the advent of biculturalism, a postmodern construct peculiar to New Zealand and global Indigenous art with particular focus on modern and contemporary Indigenous art in Australia, Canada and the United States. Iwi affiliation: Te Ātiawa, Ngāi Tahu

Serena Keshavjee’s work focusses on the intersection of art and science in visual culture. She is especially interested in religiosity that presents itself as scientifically based, including Spiritualism, Theosophy and Transformism, popular in the early 20th century. In 2009 she edited a special issue of Canadian Art Review (RACAR) on Science, Symbolism and Fin-de-Siècle Visual Culture. She is the recipient of Social Sciences and Humanities Council Grant to study evolutionary theory and art. In 2015 Keshavee co edited, with Fae Brauer, Picturing Evolution and Extinction: Regeneration and Degeneration in Modern Visual Culture with Cambridge Scholars Press.

Keith Munro is Curator, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Australia. He is a descendent of the Kamilaroi (Gomeroi/ Gamilaroi/Gamilaraay) people of north-western New South Wales and south-western Queensland, Australia. A selection of his curatorial projects include Ripple Effect: Boomalli Founding Members(2012), Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Cooperative 25th anniversary exhibition, and for the MCA Being Tiwi, (2015– 2017, co-curated with Senior Curator Natasha Bullock), the international touring Ricky Maynard: Portrait of a Distant Land(2008–2010), Bardayal ‘Lofty’ Nadjamerrek AO (2010) and In the Balance: Art for a Changing World (2010).

 

Third Annual Symposium on the Future Imaginary: France Trépanier, Sébastien Aubin, Lenard Monkman and Kevin Settee!

France Trépanier is a visual artist, curator and researcher of Kanien’kéha:ka and French ancestry. Her practice is informed by strategies of collaboration. Her artistic and curatorial work has been presented in many venues in Canada and in Europe. France is co-leading Primary Colours/Couleurs primaires, a 3-year initiative which seeks to place Indigenous art practices at the centre of the Canadian art system. She is the Aboriginal Curator at Open Space Arts Society in Victoria BC, where she is co-curating, with Michelle Jacques and Doug Jarvis, the exhibition Deconstructing Comfort. France was the co-recipient of the 2012 Audain Aboriginal Curatorial Fellowship by the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. France co-authored with Chris Creighton-Kelly Understanding Aboriginal Art in Canada Today: a Knowledge and Literature Review for the Canada Council for the Arts. Her essays and articles have been published in numerous journals and magazines.

Sébastien Aubin is currently working as the Indigenous Designer in Residence, at the School of Art, at the University of Manitoba. Through this program, he is producing a body of creative work and research that extends our understanding of design and graphic form. He has worked for some of the most prestigious graphic design studios in Canada and maintains a career as a freelance graphic artist. Sébastien has designed publications for numerous artists, organizations, and art galleries in Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba, including the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, Terrance Houle, KC Adams, the Carleton University Art Gallery, the Thunder Bay Art Gallery, and the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba. He is a founding members of the ITWÉ Collective, which is dedicated to researching, creating, producing, and educating audiences about Indigenous digital culture. He is also part of the AM Collective, which creates works that revolve around the imagination, sparking dialogue on subjects that relate to everyday life and emotions. Sébastien Aubin is a proud member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation in Manitoba.

Representatives of Red Rising Magazine. Lenard Monkman is Anishinaabe from Lake Manitoba First Nation, Treaty 2 territory. He is currently employed as an Associate Producer for CBC Indigenous. Kevin Settee has facilitated community development programs at the University of Winnipeg and Wii Chiiwaakanak Learning centre.

Third Annual Symposium on the Future Imaginary: Dr. Duke Redbird, Mary Courchene, Niki Little and Candice Hopkins!

Duke Redbird is a visionary, intellectual, poet, spoken word performer, painter, broadcaster, filmmaker and orator, Redbird brought his breadth of culture knowledge, political activism and artistic practice and beyond, bringing an Indigenous approach to art education that was rooted in his pioneering work with Tom Peltier at the Manitou Arts Foundation in Northern Ontario in 1973.

He began his career as an actor and poet at the height of the civil rights movement in the 1960s and quickly became socially active on behalf of Aboriginal and Métis human rights. He served as Vice-President of the Native Council of Canada from 1974 to 1976, and President of the Ontario Métis and Non-status Indian Association from 1980 to 1983. In addition to his public service, Redbird works as a multifaceted artist, practising across a number of disciplines including literature, painting, theatre, cinema and most recently rap poetry. A well-known broadcaster and television personality, he is in demand as a public speaker in university, community college and elementary school settings.

Redbird received his Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from York University in 1978, and he is a PhD candidate in Sociology at York University. His Master’s thesis “We are Métis” was published in 1978 and continues to be a seminal text on the history and political aspirations of the Métis to this day. As a poet, essayist and screenwriter, Redbird has published and performed poetry readings, theatrical productions, video and film, both locally and internationally. His poem I am a Canadian was the inspiration for a multimedia musical production of his poetic work at a performance before Queen Elizabeth II. In 1985, Redbird represented Canada at the Valmiki World Poetry Festival in India, reading the opening address. He has written and directed many dramatic films and documentaries. In 1993, Redbird was presented the Silver Hugo Award at the Chicago Film Festival for a drama he produced for TVOntario. For 15 years, from 1994 to 2009, he was the familiar face of Aboriginal Toronto as the Arts & Entertainment reporter for CityTV. In the summer of 2012, Redbird moved to his property on Bark Lake, near Madawaska, Ontario, to begin work on the development of a “food forest” and a Centre for Compassionate Living. His interests in sustainable, just and conscientious human evolution continue to inspire and guide students and faculty at Universities, public schools and beyond.

Mary Courchene is a residential school survivor. Born and raised on the Sagkeeng First Nation and moved away in 1971 attaining degrees in Arts and Education from the University of Brandon and the University of Manitoba. Mary’s career journey is extensive, including teaching in elementary and high schools, working as a school counselor and later as a school administrator. She was also an Assistant Superintendent within the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs (INAC). During her years as the first Principal of Children of The Earth High School (the first urban Aboriginal high school), she was active in serving the urban community on various boards. She also was a founding member of Manitoba First Nation Education Resource Centre (MFNERC).

In 2000 Mary Courchene accepted the position of Dean of Aboriginal Education at Red River College which she held until retirement. The Aboriginal Circle of Educators recently awarded her with the Innovator Trailblazer Educators Award. Mary received a YMCA/YWCA Woman of the Year award and was the Aboriginal Community Educator of the Year in 2001. As well, Mary has been nominated twice for the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards. She is an honored grandmother of the Keep the Fires Burning, and was awarded with a sacred shawl with community recognition in 2008. Most recently, Mary received the Canadian Teachers’ Federation 2014 Outstanding Aboriginal Educator Award. For the past 8 years, Mary has held the position of Elder in Residence for the Seven Oaks School Division. Mary’s gift is her ability to share her vast experience of over 40 years in the field of public education and working with numerous First Nations communities. She is a visionary and amazing elder who inspires all people she crosses paths with.

Niki Little | Wabiska Maengun is a mother, softball coach, artist/observer, arts administrator and a founding member of The Ephemerals (random order). She is of Cree/English descent from Kistiganwacheeng, Garden Hill FN. Her interests lay in artistic and curatorial strategies that investigate cultural consumerism, gender politics, Indigeneity, cultural Diaspora with slightest hint of ambivalence. Little is a Committee member of the Public Arts Committee, Winnipeg Arts Council and a member of the Manitobah Mukluks Storyboot School Inc. Board of Directors. Currently, she is the Director of the National Indigenous Media Arts Alliance (national). From August 2015 to January 2016, Little was the Indigenous Curator in Residence, a partnership between by aceartinc and the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective, launching the group exhibition enendaman | anminigook (intention | worth).

Candice is a curator, writer, and researcher who predominantly explores areas of history, art, and indigeneity, and their intersections. Hopkins is a curator for documenta 14 and has held curatorial positions at prestigious institutions including the Walter Phillips Gallery, Western Front Society, the National Gallery of Canada, and The Institute of American Indian Arts Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Elisa Harkins at the Indigenous Futures Cluster

Our new public-event branch, “Indigenous Futures Cluster Presents” invited Elisa Harkins (Cherokee/Muscogee), composer and artist, to speak at Concordia on October 27th. She received her BA from Columbia College Chicago and her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. Her work uses music, sculpture and the body in the concept of “Performing Life”.

Her style of music combines traditional Cherokee music scores and electronic/dance music. She started with two animated music videos she had made called The Ham Dance and Buffalo. The videos are bright, colourful and fun. The Ham Dance is an animation of a yeti and a polar bear hanging out and having fun dancing. The Buffalo animation is a loose telling of the origin of the Blackfoot Indian “Buffalo Dance”.

Buffalo from Elisa Harkins on Vimeo.

A large portion of her performance, entitled “Wampum”, was also shown. Dressed in beautiful Cherokee powwow regalia, Harkins dances and sings in English and Cherokee. She dances barefoot as futuristic music plays, creating a mesmerizing show.

Following this she presented a video called Plains Indian Sign Language where she signed the story of a friend’s death. The video is powerful in its simplicity and introduced the concept of hunter’s sign language to many of those in attendance.

The Plains Indian Sign Language from Elisa Harkins on Vimeo.

Harkins also shared music she had made for portions of Skawennati’s newest machinima project, The Peacemaker Returns”. Nightcore, dance and electronic music styles mixed with Indigenous rhythms to create themes for characters and scenes. Her work is a little strange and very interesting; take the time to watch her videos and performances to see for yourself one of the many forms Indigenous art can take.

Third Annual Symposium on the Future Imaginary: Introducing Jarita Greyeyes, Michelle Lavallee, and Karl Chitham

Jarita Greyeyes is nēhiyaw from the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation and the Red Pheasant Cree Nation, both located in Treaty Six territory. A graduate of the University of Winnipeg, and the University of Victoria’s Master of Arts in Indigenous Governance Program Jarita is currently the Director, Community Learning & Engagement for UWinnipeg.

 

 

Michelle LaVallee is the Curator at the MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina. Since 2007, her curatorial work has explored the colonial relations that have shaped historical and contemporary culture through exhibitions including: Moving Forward, Never Forgetting (2015); 13 Coyotes: Edward Poitras (2012); and Blow Your House In: Vernon Ah Kee (2009). Recently, she organized the historical and nationally touring exhibition 7: Professional Native Indian Artists Inc. (2013, touring through to 2016) and award winning book contextualizing their influential role in contemporary Canadian art history. She has been a chosen participant for a number of Canadian Aboriginal Curators Delegations sent to Australia, New Zealand and Venice, and her curatorial work has been recognized by three Saskatchewan Book Awards and the City of Regina Mayor’s Arts and Business Awards.

Karl Chitham holds a real-time conversation with artist Kereama Taepa about his work, time and the Māori tradition of innovation. Using social media platforms to cross time zones and geographical space the pair will explore some of the incongruities and divergences manifest in the coming together of indigenous concepts and contemporary global culture. With a practice that is deeply invested in technological advancement and the evolution of traditional knowledge, Taepa posits a future that rejects notions of linearity and fundamentalism in favour of something that threatens to upset the balance.

Third Annual Symposium on the Future Imaginary: Asinnajaq (Isabella Weetaluktuk), Jamie Isaac, Heather Campbell!

15 sleeps until the Symposium 🙂 We’re getting very excited to see all 300 of you in Winnipeg! This week, we’re introducing three more of our Symposium guests, Asinnajaq, Jamie Isaac, and Heather Campbell.

Asinnajaq, also known as Isabella Weetaluktuk, is a filmmaker and artist whose work is fuelled by respect for human rights, a desire to explore her Inuit heritage, and a sense of wonder at what she calls “the abundant beauty of the world.” The daughter of filmmaker Jobie Weetaluktuk and university professor Carol Rowan, she was a teenager when she assisted her father on the set of Timuti (2012), a film he made in Inukjuak, the home of their extended family. She later studied cinema at NSCAD University in Halifax, and her short film Upinnaqusittik (Lucky) (2016) premiered at iNuit blanche in St. John’s, Newfoundland, the first ever circumpolar arts festival. Three Thousand (2017), her first film with the National Film Board embeds historic footage of Inuit selected from the NFB’s archive into a 14-minute original animation.

Jaimie Isaac is a Winnipeg-based interdisciplinary curator and artist, member of Sagkeeng in Treaty 1 territory. Isaac holds a degree in Art History and a Masters of Arts from the University of British Columbia. Some recent exhibitions include Vernon Ah Kee: cantchant, Boarder X, We Are On Treaty Land, and Quiyuktchigaewin; Making Good for the Winnipeg Art Gallery, she co-founded of The Ephemerals Collective, collaborated on official denial (trade value in progress), contributed to The Land We Are Now: Writers and Artists Unsettle the Politics of Reconciliation book and the Public 54: Indigenous Art: New Media and the Digital magazine and was co-faculty for the Wood Land School at Plug In Institute.

Heather Campbell is originally from Rigolet, Nunatsiavut (Northern Labrador) and has a B.F.A from Sir Wilfred Grenfell College School of Fine Art, Memorial University of Newfoundland. She was Curatorial Assistant at the Inuit Art Centre of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada for a number of years, and was on the board of directors of Gallery 101 artist run centre. Heather’s artwork was most recently shown in the group exhibition SakKijâjuk at The Rooms in St. John’s, NL and can be found in the collections of the Department of Indigenous Affairs, Carleton University, City of Ottawa, Algonquin College, and various private collections.

Third Annual Symposium on the Future Imaginary: Elizabeth LaPensée, Owisokon Lahache, and Rilla Khaled!

19 sleeps until the symposium!! This week we’re introducing three cool humans, Elizabeth LaPensée, Ph.D., Owisokon Lahache, and Dr. Rilla Khaled. See you soon!

Elizabeth LaPensée, Ph.D. expresses herself through writing, design, and art in games, comics, transmedia, and animation. She is Anishinaabe, Métis, and Irish, living near the Great Lakes as an Assistant Professor of Media & Information and Writing, Rhetoric & American Cultures at Michigan State University. She designed and created art for Thunderbird Strike (2017), a side-scrolling lightning-searing, talon-tearing attack on oil operations, as well as Honour Water (2016), an Anishinaabe singing game for healing the water.

 

Owisokon Lahache from the Kahnawake Mohawk First Nations reserve outside of Montreal Quebec. She is grateful to have been honored and entrusted with teaching her community’s teenage children for more than 31 years. She is an artist, a teacher, an Elder, a Grandmother and knowledgeable about Iroquoian history, ceremony, and community life. She has been creating art since she was a child and at 11 years old, she participated in a two-day live drawing event at the Indian Pavilion at Expo ’67 – this event was the beginning of her love of creating art and today she is exploring new pathways dreaming about the future and exploring new medias.

Dr. Rilla Khaled is an Associate Professor at the Department of Design and Computation Arts at Concordia University in Canada. Her research and practice has centered on the design of learning and persuasive games, interactions between games and culture, and practices involved in emerging forms of game design. Two of her current projects include the FRQSC-funded Speculative Play and Reflective Game Design, both of which concern design perspectives that embrace ambiguous subjects, foreground play, empower the perspectives of players and participants, and draw on experimental games and new media art.


 

Third Annual Symposium on the Future Imaginary: Jason Edward Lewis and Karaema Taepa

Only four weeks until Winnipeg! ~Oh my Creator~ We’re so excited to see you all!

This week we’re introducing Professor Jason Edward Lewis and Karaema Taepa!


Jason Edward Lewis is a digital media poet, artist, and software designer developing research/creation projects that explore computation as a creative and cultural material. Lewis’ work has been featured at Ars Electronica, Elektra, and Urban Screens, among other venues, and has been recognized with the inaugural Robert Coover Award for Best Work of Electronic Literature, a Prix Ars Electronica Honorable Mention, several imagineNATIVE New Media awards and five solo exhibitions. He writes about mobile media, video game design, machinima and experimental pedagogy with Indigenous communities. Lewis is a Trudeau Fellow, and Research Chair in Computational Media and the Indigenous Future Imaginary as well as Professor of Computation Arts at Concordia University, Montreal. Born and raised in northern California, he is Cherokee, Hawaiian and Samoan.

Kereama Taepa studied for his Bachelor of Maori Visual Arts at Massey University in Palmerston North, and continued on to gain his Masters degree. Taepa’s involvement in the arts have been broad and varied including bronze technician at the Dibble Arts Foundry and participating in various national Maori arts symposiums, workshops and hui.

Taepa taught art within the Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi Art and Visual Culture Degree for four years until 2008 and has been teaching within Toi Oho Mai’s Bachelor of Creative Technologies since 2009.

He has exhibited his art nationally and internationally, and has works in collections across New Zealand and abroad. He was recently contracted to create sculptures for the Four Plinths Sculpture Project in Wellington, 2016 and a public sculpture in New Plymouth, 2015. His first major commissions saw him design the screens for the new toilets on the Waipa side of the Whakarewarewa forest in 2014 and the shrouds surrounding the Redwoods toilets in Rotorua 2013. He is a Supreme Award winner of the Molly Morpeth 2D Art Award in 2008, and picked up the Manawatu Potter’s Society Award’s open award in 2002.

Introducing Kristina Baudemann, IIF Visiting Researcher

Hi! My name is Kristina Baudemann and I am an instructor, research assistant and Ph.D. student in the department for English and American Studies at the Europa-Universitaet Flensburg in Germany. I am a visiting researcher at IIF/AbTeC/Obx Labs for two weeks, where I will gather material for my chapter on Indigenous narratives in cyberspace.

My dissertation is entitled “Indigenous North American Futures: Representation and the Future Imaginary in Native American, First Nations and Métis Speculative Arts and Literatures.” In this project, I consider manifestations of futurity, future thinking and future dreaming in Indigenous works across different media (speculative fiction, visual art and painting, and new media works). I have also published on Indigenous futurisms, utopia and science fiction in international scholarly books and journals.

I graduated from the University of Wuerzburg in Germany in 2012. In 2014, I was a Fulbright fellow in the American Indian Studies Institute at the University of Arizona in Tucson. In 2017, my dissertation project was awarded the 2017 Juergen-Saße-Award for research in Aboriginal studies by the Association for Canadian Studies in German-speaking Countries (GKS).

My research interests include North American Indigenous arts and literatures, Indigenous futurisms, science fiction and speculative fiction, utopian studies, postcolonial studies, postmodern culture, as well as post-structuralist studies.

In my free time, I binge-watch TV shows and volunteer in different projects with refugee children. In 2013, I served as a board member for the Stadtjugendwerk der AWO in Wuerzburg, a non-governmental youth organization.

I am happy and grateful to be here atIIF/AbTeC/Obx Labs. I hope to learn as much as I can about its infrastructure and creative processes in the short time I am here, and am happy to share my own knowledge and help wherever I can.