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Issue # 1

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Indians in Cyberspace
by Mike MacDonald

Who is
by Cheryl L'Hirondelle

First Nations in Cyberspace
by Mike Patterson

Editorial Addendum:

Drumbeats to Drumbytes: Globalizing Networked Aboriginal Art

by Ahasiw Maskegon-Iskwew

This essay was originally published in Transference, Tradition, Technology: Native New Media Exploring Visual and Digital Culture (Banff: Walter Phillips Gallery, Art Gallery of Hamilton and Indigenous Media Arts Group, 2005). Printable PDF


The struggle for networked Indigenous artists is the same as that for Indigenous peoples in a general sense: to negotiate the survival of the animasphere, to teach its values and to reverse the international drive toward mass suicidal ecologic destruction. Indigenous artists who delve deeply into their own cultures and, by necessity, the relationships they have with and against other cultures are often also social justice activists, compelled to use their communications skills to reveal what their explorations have laid bare about these cultural relationships. The notion of “microenvironments with global span” is well-suited to describe the activism of Indigenous artists.

Table of Contents

Drumbeats to Drumbytes: The Emergence of Networked Indigenous Art Practice

Everywhere, words are mixing. Words and lyrics and dialogue are mixing up in a soup that could trigger a chain reaction. Maybe acts of God are just the right combination of media junk thrown out into the air. The wrong words collide and call up an earthquake. The way rain dances called storms, the right combination of words might call down tornadoes. Too many advertising jingles co-mingling could be behind global warming. Too many television reruns bouncing around might cause hurricanes. Cancer. AIDS.[1]

Unbearable Whiteness: Globalized (Neo)Colonial Monoculture and the Silences of Poverty and Exploitation

The non-Aboriginal Canadian arts community continues an insecure insistence on self-referentiality that generally revolves around a comparative competition for higher standing on the world stage (read first-world Euro-American). In this competition, dominant Canadian culture can admit little or no influence from Aboriginal contemporary and pre-contact histories, for fear of being tainted by their own imposed images of Aboriginal inferiority and invalidity, or of having this delusional propensity exposed. For the most part though, this is not a consciously chosen failure of critical awareness, because few critical and historical resources are available to enable non-Aboriginal people understand its scope and mechanics-a systemic (and again often unconscious) neo-colonial strategy of non-Aboriginal cultural and educational institutions.

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