First American Art Magazine No. 21, Winter 2018/19 - Page 23

Jones, George Clinton, Janelle Monáe, and the film Black Panther. Indigenous Futurisms offer artists and writers a way to heal from the traumas of the past and present. For Dillon, science fiction offers “an equally valid way to renew, recover, and extend First Nations peoples’ voices and traditions.” 4 Many narratives in science fiction postulate a post-apoca- lyptic world offered as fiction, but this is truth for Native communities. Lindsay Nixon, Cree-Métis-Saulteaux curator and editor-at-large for Canadian Art, writes that Indigenous Futurisms can make “a creative space to respond to the dysto- pian now … we are living in a dystopian settler-occupied oligarchy fueled by resource extraction and environmental contamination, completely alternative to our traditional ways of being and knowing.” 5 Indigenous Futurisms include the Native slipstream, “non-linear thinking about space-time” 6 where the past, present, and future coexist. Dillon writes, “Native slipstream thinking, which has been around for millennia, anticipated recent cutting-edge physics, ironically suggesting that Natives have had things right all along.” 7 In visual arts, examples of Indigenous Futurisms date back several decades as Native artists reference characters, locales, and technology from popular science fiction. Mohawk photographer and filmmaker Shelley 4. Grace L. Dillon, Walking with the Clouds: An Anthology of Indigenous Science Fiction, (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2012): 1–2. 5. Quoted in Alexandra Wikler, “Indigenous Futurism: Reimagining ‘Reality’ To Inspire An Indigenous Future,” Exploring Indigenous Knowledge Systems, November 28, 2016, web. 6. Dillon, Walking with the Clouds, 3. 7. Ibid., 4. above, top Skawennati (Mohawk), Jingle Dancers Assembled, 2011, production still from TimeTraveller™, 2008–13, machinima. Image courtesy of the artist. above, bottom Skawennati (Mohawk), Stepping Out, 2008–13, production still from TimeTraveller™, machinima. Image courtesy of the artist. opposite Virgil Ortiz (Cochiti), Tahu | Star Moto, 2013, ceramic, wild spinach, part of the ReVOlution series. WINTER 2018/19 | 21