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Justin Havens (author)
Emily Carr University of Art and Design Graduate studies (Degree granting institution)
Indigenous knowledgeArt, Modern--21st centuryPlastics as art materialFive NationsWeaving
WeavingIndigeneityWampumHaudenosauneePlasticsRepurposedIndigenous ways of knowingRegalia
This thesis and accompanying projects utilize and experiment with Indigenous methods for education and art making framed by the theory of self-conscious traditionalism. My studio work uses the strategies and techniques of contemporary art making as a process for reconnecting and reclaiming Indigenous practice for the purposed of presenting within cultural spaces. The Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy) have a centuries-old way of intercultural communication called wampum that stands at the intersection of oral and written communication. Conventional wampum are shell beads woven into belts or strings also called wampum, which use mnemonic design to stand in place of written documents. In my practice I abstract theories associated with wampum tradition and extrapolate their uses to a contemporary art platform for presentation and dissemination of works to my audience. In this paper, I document my creative process and trace the methodologies that inform my practice, referencing art mediums and signifiers rooted in traditional practices of production. I use found and reclaimed elements from commercial consumerist landscapes as raw materials which after processing result in a product I label Rollback Rawhide. By working in this way the finished projects become expressions of ancestral heritage through design, form and the process of production. Like wampum belts the retelling/presentation of the works attempt to operate in context-specific encounters aiming to deliver specific information to the viewer. Whether it is in the gallery, classroom, public space or a cultural gathering the projects attempt to operate as communicators and even educators facilitating the kind of experiences that I believe are necessary moving forward.
Personal, noncommercial use of this item is permitted.