CyberPowWow

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Cyber PowWow is an Aboriginally determined online gallery with digital artworks and a library of texts. It was conceived in 1996 and was live online from 1997 to 2004 in four main iterations. Cyber PowWow was part webspace and part chatroom, and all artwork displayed on the website was created specifically for Cyber PowWow. The website was hosted in Time Warner’s “The Palace,” a popular and influential chat room of the late 1990s and early 2000s[1].

First Cyper PowWow exhibition[edit]

For the first Cyber PowWow event Six aboriginal artists and writers were invited to create work for the first Cyber PowWow event. The exhibition was launched with a simultaneous, distributed chat event. Participating artists, writers, and the wider public were invited to log on to the Palace to engage artists and visitors in discussions about the artwork. Skawennati Tricia Fragnito, one of the developers of Cyber PowWow, and Jason Lewis state that, “the event was successful in terms of the Aboriginal art and issues it brought into a public venue” but that “critical dialogue was often interrupted by ‘non-participants’ drifting in from other chat rooms.[2]

Cyber PowWow 2[edit]

Cyber PowWow 2 signaled the launch of a separate Palace unique to Cyber PowWow. Eight Aboriginal artists and writers customized the chat space with imagery, scripts, and a variety of Indian avatars. Artists presented their work and answered questions about it from an enthusiastic audience composed largely of people from the Canadian contemporary art community. The participants included Ahasiw Maskegon-Iskwew, Sheryl Kootenhayoo, who contributed a Quicktime virtual reality piece, and Lori Blondeau,[3] who created and led a virtual round dance.[4]

CPW 2K: Cyber PowWow Goes Global[edit]

The third incarnation of Cyber PowWow included not only Canadian and American artists, but, for the first time, Australian artists as well as non-Native artists. The Aboriginal participants were joined by Mare Burgess, a white feminist researcher who studies Indian warrior women, and Sheila Urbanoski, a white artists who grew up in a town bordering a reserve. Skawennati Tricia Fragnito remarked in her curatorial essay: “Now that we have marked our territory, built a Palace and furnished it, it is time to invite in our neighbours: digital artists in the non-Native world. These friends, collaborators, and kindred spirits can talk about the very topic that we are engendering: Aboriginal meets non-Aboriginal.”[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gaertner, David (2016-04-15). "Indigenous in Cyberspace: CyberPowWow,God's Lake Narrows, and the Contours of Online Indigenous Territory". American Indian Culture and Research Journal. 39 (4): 55–78. doi:10.17953/aicrj.39.4.gaertner. 
  2. ^ a b Fragnito, Skawennati Tricia. "Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace". 
  3. ^ "Gallery: CyberPowWow2". CyberPowWow. Retrieved 23 August 2017. 
  4. ^ Gaertner, David (2016-04-15). "Indigenous in Cyberspace: CyberPowWow,God's Lake Narrows, and the Contours of Online Indigenous Territory". American Indian Culture and Research Journal. 39 (4): 55–78. doi:10.17953/aicrj.39.4.gaertner. 

Proulx, Mikhel. "CyberPowWow: Digital Natives and the First Wave of Online Publication,” Journal of Canadian Art History, Vol. XXXVI:1, Concordia University (Fall 2016).

External links[edit]