Skawennati Fragnito, recipient of the 2011 Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship, is recognized as a pioneering New Media artist. Her art, addressing history, the future, and change, has been widely exhibited across Canada, the United States, and Australia. Please visit www.skawennati.com to learn more.

Creating Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace

Abstract: Skawennati Fragnito, in collaboration with Jason Edward Lewis, will present their work as Co-Directors of Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC), a network of artists and academics who are investigating and creating Aboriginal virtual environments. Having found a lack of Indigenous self-representation in websites, video games, apps, online worlds, and other areas of cyberspace, we decided to tackle the problem using several strategies. The first was to generate images of Indians in the future, as there are so few. Historic photographs of Native people are easy to find; but pictures of us as a thriving segment of a technologically savvy society are much harder to come by. TimeTraveller™ is an art project that features a nine-part machinima series which tells the story of Hunter, an angry young Mohawk man who lives in 2121. Second, we wanted to empower Aboriginal youth to become producers, not just consumers, of digital media. The Skins workshops teach young people how to translate a traditional story into a video game. By introducing them to valuable skills in game design, art direction, 3D modeling and animation, and computer programming, we hope to see more Aboriginal people helping to shape cyberspace.