We have developed our own critics, our own critical frameworks, our own antecedents, our own canon […] we have not been preoccupied with getting “added on” or “brought in” to the narrative, to the canon, to the theory. This is in itself an exercise in imagining an alternative, Indigenous, future. It has allowed us to centre our practice in the cultural discourse and practices that generate it and create a distinct future where we are not dependent on the gatekeepers to open the gates—not required, even, to storm those gates, or go around them. It has allowed us to create a distinct future in which we strike out on our own, into new territory. — Jason Edward Lewis (2014, p. 44)
Sensory Entanglements: New Cross Cultural and Cross Creation and Evaluation of Multi-Sensorial Experiences (2014-2021)
Sensory Entanglements: Decolonizing the Senses
This virtual exhibit stems from a research-creation project that has been exploring how senses, human and more than human, participate in cultural world-making through an intercultural laboratory since 2014. Learning about each other’s practices and ontologies through meetings and workshops, readings and research-led discussions, we have run all sorts of interferences in our respective modes of doing and thinking, being and making.
In the last two years, collaborative teams led by Indigenous artists have drawn from emerging technologies to create three immersive sensory environments, in which research on the senses can be experienced by the senses. These uniquely embodied means for sensorial encounters and intercultural knowledge sharing bring culture and heritage into sharp relief within the realm of contemporary art, refuting outmoded paradigms that lock culture into ‘once was’ models of tradition where Indigenous life worlds and cosmologies are invariably rendered distant and past.
This research-creation project is funded by an Insight Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada) awarded to “Sensory Entanglements: New Cross Cultural and Cross-Creation and Evaluation of Multi-Sensorial Experience” (2014-2021).