Greetings from Skyworld
Thursday, November 19, 7pm EST
This project is part of Immaterial Architecture (online), a series of new projects for the screen-space commissioned by the Art Museum at the University of Toronto and curated by Yan Wu.
Greetings from Skyworld, Skawennati’s new work for the Art Museum, takes place on the same planet as She Falls For Ages, her 2017 sci-fi retelling of the Haudenosaunee creation story. According to oral tradition, Skyworld is the origin place of the human race. It is usually depicted as a pre-contact Iroquoia, where people lived in wooden longhouses, wore animal skins, and used clay pots.
Skawennati imagines Skyworld as an ancient, technically-advanced planet; a peaceful world where skin colour doesn’t matter. In the creation story, Skyworld is headed for doom when a brave woman, in the hope of saving their kind, journeys through a portal and lands on Earth.
In Greetings from Skyworld, however, the planet somehow survived, and its inhabitants—our ancestors—have been looking for us ever since. This is the message they are broadcasting to us.
Skawennati makes art that addresses history, the future, and change from her perspective as an urban Kanien’kehá:ka woman and as a cyberpunk avatar. Her work has been widely presented in both group exhibitions and solo shows and is included in public and private collections, such as the National Gallery of Canada and the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. She won the 2019 Salt Spring National Art Prize Jurors’ Choice Award and a 2020 Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow. She’s represented by ELLEPHANT.
Born in Kahnawà:ke Mohawk Territory, Skawennati holds a BFA from Concordia University in Montreal, where she resides. She is Co-Director of Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC), a research-creation network of artists and academics who investigate and create Indigenous virtual environments. Their projects include the Skins workshops on Aboriginal Storytelling and Digital Media as well as the Initiative for Indigenous Futures (IIF).
We gratefully acknowledge operating support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council with additional project support from the Ontario Arts Council Culturally Diverse Projects grant. Produced with the support of Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace. Music by Wolf Saga.