Initiative For Indigenous Futures

an Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace production

Scott Benesiinaabandan

Psychic Histories and Blood Memories

Thanks to a Canada Council New Media Residency grant, Scott Benesiinaabandan was able to spend a year developing new skills as well as a new body of work.

“This residency opened up incredibly diverse new areas of technologies and possibilities for my future work. The research and investigation into new media has critically impacted the concepts I deal with in ways I couldn’t have expected. I’ve begun thinking of how technologies can help explore and actually provide conceptual access points, becoming active agents of investigation instead of the more passive role it generally assumes in my work. The use of programming as an integral way to build new technologies that bear resemblance to cameras, video cameras, and the like, but are tailored to the task and concept at hand, has been a revelation and has shifted my outlook considerably on what is photography and how it can be used. I made a significant conceptual shift from what I understood to be ‘photography’ to what I now consider ‘digital image-capture’.”

“Beyond this, this residency has allowed me to meet and form professional artistic relationships both in Concordia/Hexagram/Obx Labs but also into the wider Montreal arts-community. These connections will certainly carry on and impact my work in the future.”

Highlighted Residency Activities

– Learning 3d modelling and how to use the rapid prototyping 3d printer.

– projection surface mock ups were developed and produced with the 3D printer

– learned and extensively used the laser printer in the creation of projection panels.

– research, mock-up and experiments into projection-mapping technologies and techniques using VPT (VideoProjectionTools) a 3D mapping program.

– Began learning and using Processing as a way to better understand the limits and possibilities of the computational aspect of this project.

– travelled to Winnipeg for cultural teachings and attendance at pow wow.

– research into audio installation and manipulation techniques.

– audioscapes were produced that aligned with the project ideas around psychic histories.From the research conducted, audio manipulation techniques were developed and deployed for the work “Blood Histories”.The audio/technical engagement followed the same ideas of time/history as the visual components, namely multiple overlaid tracks, time-stretching and frequency isolation and looping.

– research into possible ways to use the audio waves as variable triggers for the video components.Time was spent in Processing to understand what might be possible in terms of mapping sounds to scales and then using this as a model for visual manipulation.

– began using Arduino and similar tech: Raspberry Pi, sensors, explored current programs and projects in the arduino community as a base for the project’s technological base.

– worked with Wylde Co. in developing advanced technologies including the new (then) technologies raspberry-pi. held bi-weekly meetings with Wlyde Co on the development and the progress of the technologies used in the project. ( this part was a lot slower than anticipated as the programmers and tech specialist had to themselves learn and create this new tech)

– worked with Wlyd Co. to develop a fully realized interactive/generative video/audio verison of Blood Memories via Processing that was the basis of a solo exhibition at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in June.

– presented to symposia (Pictures by Indians at Ryerson University and Transmission at Concordia) about the project.

Psychic Histories/Blood Memories:
Blood Memories
(RMIT-Project Space, Melbourne):