Indigenous Futurisms in VR

Blueberry Pie under the Martian Sky (2017)

November 14, 2019 - November 15, 2019, Daily, 4:00pm - 5:00pm

Exhibition Hours: Thu, Nov 14, 4-9pm; Fri, Nov 15, 12-5pm

VR hub at the Media, Arts, Data, and Design Center

1st floor, Crerar Library, 5730 S Ellis Ave

In 2017, as many Canadians were celebrating the nation’s 150th birthday, several Indigenous VR artists were looking 150 more years into the future. Opposing racist representational conventions that relegate Indigenous life to the past tense, these four virtual reality artworks center Indigenous peoples in the radical futures they envision. Postcommodity’s Each Branch Determined imagines a technologized landscape reclaimed by Indigenous and Xicano pueblos in New Mexico; Scott Benesiinaabandan’s Blueberry Pie Under a Martian Sky actualizes the Anishinaabe prophecy that a child will return to the stars through a wormhole woven by Spider Woman; Danis Goulet’s The Hunt conjures a postapocalyptic future in which a fleet of robotic orbs threaten Mohawk sovereignty; and Kent Monkman’s Honour Dance reinterprets a two-spirit ritual that challenged colonial gender norms centuries ago. Pushing the boundaries of VR in new directions, these artists draw on Indigenous futurisms to create worlds against and beyond the colonial present. Curated by Sasha Crawford-Holland (CMS) as part of the Graduate Student Curatorial Program.

(2017, 22 min., 360-degree VR) 

The University of Chicago is located on the traditional territories of the Council of Three Firesthe Odawa, Ojibwe, and Potawatomi nations. Despite centuries of ongoing colonial violence, tens of thousands of Indigenous people continue to call Chicago home.

Co-sponsored by the Film Studies Center, the Hack Arts Lab, the Department of Cinema & Media Studies, the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture, the Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture, and the Nicholson Center for British Studies.