Codetalkers Of The Digital Divide
(Or Why We Didn't Become "Roadkill On The Information Superhighway")
Artists in the exhibition: Alanis Obomsawin, Buffy Sainte Marie, Melanie Printup Hope, Ahasiw Maskegon Iskwew, Mike MacDonald, Jimmie Durham, Jackson 2Bears, Jennifer Wemigwans, Isuma.
This insightful project is the brain-child of Cheryl L'Hirondelle, who articulates the point of departure as follows:
As we move as quickly as bytes of information, catapulted through time and space and by the imperative of our continued survival, it is important to hit the pause button, reflect on our history and pay homage to the agency and ingenuity of Indigenous pathfinders.
Codetalkers of the Digital Divide highlights a range of media, web projects and digital artwork that reinforce and pay homage to the eloquence and adaptability of these particular Aboriginal artists, and of all Indigenous languages and worldviews. By virtue of this ingenuity, we can all be modern day code talkers bridging and championing the chasm that, at one point in recent history, was thought by some to be an unconquerable digital divide.
The exhibition is a timely contextualization of what Aboriginal New Media practices were, pre-Internet, and to what they have become in the current web 2.0 paradigm and how this technology has been used to continue to tell Indigenous stories, old and new.
Codetalkers was originally commissioned by imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, an international Toronto-based festival for their 10th anniversary and is the first of three exhibitions curated by former Saskatchewan-based award winning new media artist and singer/songwriter Cheryl L'Hirondelle.