Learn how artists from England are working with Blackfoot elders to provide access to historical Blackfoot objects in British museum collections.
Drop in to the Hess Gallery 1 – 4 pm, Sept 10 – 12, 2019.
Join us in the Innovation Zone in the new Science and Academic building, Sept 13, 2019 12 – 4 pm and Sept 14, 2019, 10 am – 4 pm.
3D Photography demonstrations and workshops are part of Concepts That Bite Through Time, a new research project that aims to provide access to extraordinarily detailed 3D models of non-sacred historical Blackfoot objects held in British museums. Inspired by the late Frank Weasel Head’s insight that these objects are Blackfoot curriculum, this project leverages digital tools, art-based public engagement, and hyperlocal network technologies to improve the access to the stories and knowledge connected with these historical objects. Visiting artists from England – Louisa Minkin, Ian Dawson, and Tom Allison – will lead the demonstrations.
The project is supported by an Exploration Grant from the Government of Canada’s New Frontiers in Research Fund.
Concepts That Bite Through Time aims to: create and disseminate highly detailed digital models of historical Blackfoot objects in British museum collections; provide access to the knowledge and skills embedded in those objects through virtual interfaces and live events; explore issues around access, tangibility, materiality, and value as they relate to physical objects and virtual experiences of those objects; advance efforts to decolonize online spaces and virtual worlds and promote knowledge sharing in both analytical and creative technologies; build connections between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and perspectives; and to support call to action #67 from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission by creating best practices for art galleries and museums.
Our research approach was founded with direction from Blackfoot Elders and has on-going direction from these elders. In July 2019, the Canadian team traveled to England with 7 elders representing all 4 tribes in the Blackfoot Confederacy to visit objects in British museums and work with partner artists in Britain to create images of the objects. Over the next 2 years, we will produce web-based prototypes featuring the digital models of the objects, using spatial web technologies to re-unite the objects with their associated knowledge and culture. We will disseminate the objects on the Blackfoot Digital Library, through localized wireless networks in areas without Internet access, and through exhibitions, workshops, and events to engage people with the knowledge held by the objects and the digital tools and techniques for re-narrating them.