Native Creatives and the Digital Intrusion, with Miranda Belarde-Lewis

Native artists are observing and incorporating digital technologies into their work, as functional components, within immersive virtual or augmented reality simulators, or as a social commentary on the shift in cultural and environmental degradation facilitated by the technological era we are now living through. It feels silly to say this in any context but it usually must be stated explicitly, that Native and Indigenous peoples are no strangers to the intrusions of digital technology. We are immersed in it, participate in its consumption as well as critique it, and create protocols to set boundaries on the tech in our lives. This talk will discuss some of the art Native creatives are making that confronts the digital intrusion that has become as everyday as our air.

Miranda Belarde-Lewis (Zuni/Tlingit) is the Joseph and Jill McKinstry Endowed Faculty Fellow of Native North American Indigenous Knowledge, and an assistant professor at the Information School at the University of Washington. Indigenous knowledge systems are central to her work as she examines the role of social media and the arts in protecting, documenting and perpetuating Native information and knowledge. Her work highlights and celebrates Native artists, their processes, and the exquisite pieces they create. She is an Independent Curator and has worked with tribal, city, state and federal museums to create Native-focused educational programming, publications and art exhibitions. Belarde-Lewis holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Arizona, an M.A. in Museology and Ph.D. in Information Science from the University of Washington.