Biography

Jackson 2bears is a Kanien’kehaka (Mohawk) multimedia artist currently based in Victoria B.C. Canada. 2bears' has exhibited his multimedia works in solo and group exhibitions across Canada, most recently at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (Victoria B.C), ImagineNative Film + Media Arts Festival (Toronto O.N.), Video In Video Out (Vancouver B.C.), and at the Visual Eyez Festival (Edmonton A.B.) He has also been exhibited internationally in media arts festivals and group exhibitions, most recently at Digital Art Weeks (Zurich, Switzerland). He has also released several recordings and live performances on CD and DVD in both solo and collaborative contexts. 2bears is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Victoria. (photo by http://lechampiondumonde.com)

Artist Statement

My current works focus on the aesthetics of Indigenous identity in contemporary times, and I envision my practice as a form of cultural critique in which I explore alternative ways to engage with the question of Native spirituality in our modern, technological society.

My artworks typically take the form of new media/ interactive installations or multimedia performances where I work primarily with video and audio media as a means to reflect on issues of: racism, colonialism, discrimination, Indigenous subjectivity and Native stereotypes. My conceptual interests lay in identifying points of convergence between contemporary technocultural studies, and Indigenous teachings, the aim of which is to reconceive of a means by which we can understand contemporary Indigenous subjectivity in the context of our technological culture by identifying alternative means of engagement and resistance.

My performance work is primarily inspired by electronic music and dj/vj culture, and uses the form of the remix as a tool for cultural critique. Often emerging as a playful take on popular Native stereotypes, these Live Cinema/Scratch Video remixes function as mixed-media interventions against extirpative and discriminatory representations of First Nations culture. In this way, these multimedia collages are for me a means of discovering a self-reflexive path of engagement with my own Native heritage by way of remixing and reappropriating Indigenous identity for myself.

Similarly, my installation/ interactive works explore popular mis-representations of First Nations culture and seeks to address notions of cultural belonging for Indigenous people growing up in urban environments outside traditional communities. These new media works incorporate digital images as well as video and sound, and serve as a creative means to resist the destructive cultural caricatures that obstruct the possibilities for an authentic Indigenous identity in contemporary culture.

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