UWinnipeg’s Dr. Julie Nagam co-leads and is one of 10 established Indigenous media scholars and artists virtually presenting at the inaugural Indigenous Digital Delegation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Nagam co-leads with Kat Cizek at Co-Creation Studio at MIT Open Documentary Lab and Kerry Swanson at the Indigenous Screen Office.
The delegation will share their current media and research works-in-progress with over 50 MIT scientists, staff, fellows and students from November 3 – 13, 2020.
“This is an incredible opportunity for Indigenous scholars and creators to connect with folks working in our field of digital and new media, as our decolonial tools will allow for deep connections through practice and critical thinking transforming the field and the MIT campus,” said co-leads Nagam and Swanson. “The knowledge with which we will return to our home environments and institutions will greatly impact our work moving forward into the future.”
Throughout the week of workshops, lab visits, and pairings, delegates will be matched with relevant labs and researchers across the university to brainstorm their current works, including significant art gallery and site-specific installations, a Sundance-backed documentary film, major research projects such as Indigenous Protocol-based Artificial Intelligence, and Indigenous-led emergent media laboratories and education programs.
“The energy and enthusiasm across MIT for this gathering has been unparalleled,” said Cizek, delegation event designer and Artistic Director at Co-Creation Studio at MIT Open Documentary Lab. “There’s huge interest in learning from Indigenous scholars and artists, and together transforming understandings and practices of science, arts, and technologies.”
MIT labs participating include Spoken Language Systems Group, Space Enabled Lab, CoLab, Game Lab, Media Lab’s Opera of the Future and Fluid Interfaces, and the CAST Visiting Artists Program, among others.
The Delegation is organized by the Indigenous Screen Office (Canada) and is hosted by the Co-Creation Studio at MIT Open Documentary Lab (Principal Investigator: William Uricchio, Lab Director: Sarah Wolozin), with support from Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, Canada Council for the Arts, MacArthur Foundation, and Mozilla Foundation.
Nagam is also this year’s inaugural artistic director of Toronto’s Nuit Blanche. An Associate Professor in the Department of Art History at UWinnipeg, her scholarship, curatorial, and artistic practice have been featured nationally and internationally. She is also the director of the Aabijijiwan New Media Lab, co-director of the Kishaadigeh Collaborative Research Centre, and collective member of GLAM, which works on curatorial activism, Indigenous methodologies, public art, digital technologies, and engagement with place.