Repercussions: Indigenous New Media Art and Resurgent Civic Space

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Jacobson-Konefall, Jessica
Indigenous Contemporary Art , New Media , Artist-Run Centre , Resurgence , Blood Memory , Indigenist Materialism , Art Archives
This dissertation investigates Indigenous new media artworks shown at Urban Shaman: Contemporary Aboriginal Art Gallery, located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. I argue that Urban Shaman is an institution of Indigenous resurgence and translocal citizenship in Winnipeg. The new media artworks I examine operate as authoritative civic spaces by drawing upon Indigenous aesthetic traditions and new media technologies. The first chapter centers on new media artworks by artists Scott Benesiinaabandan (Anishinaabe) and Rosalie Favell (Métis), conveying Winnipeg’s histories through their artistic renditions of personal and public archives that frame Winnipeg’s city spaces. The chapter locates these works in conversation with artists Terril Calder (Métis) and Terrance Houle (Blood) whose new media artworks reframe and restage civic archives in Toronto and Calgary. The next chapter considers how new media artworks at Urban Shaman by Jude Norris, Nadia Myre, Jordan Bennett, and Terril Calder enact what I am calling Indigenous civic ecology, relating human and non-human elements of the city through Cree, Anishinaabe, Mi'kmaq and Métis genealogies. The final chapter discusses how new media artworks by Jason Baerg (Cree/ Métis), Rebecca Belmore (Anishinaabe), and Scott Benesiinaabandan (Anishinaabe) advance a lexicon of aesthetic values, particularly “travelling traditional knowledge” and “blood memory,” in response to globalization. This dissertation illustrates how new media artworks shown at Urban Shaman embody critical Indigenous methodologies in relationships of ongoing praxis. Ultimately, it demonstrates that Indigenous new media art functions as, and through, practices of translocal Indigenous citizenship, rearticulating urban civic ecology, and resurging, maintaining, and developing Indigenous epistemology and values in Winnipeg.  
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