Material Connections in Skawennati’s Digital Worlds


This paper will examine the possibilities of Indigenous internet community by placing the work of Mohawk media artist Skawennati Tricia Fragnito in the framework of the cyberpunk genre, which imagines the ways in which human people interact with machine and digital spaces, and how those connections change both individuals and societies. By comparing Imagining Indians in the 25th Century and TimeTravellerTM with Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, which Skawennati references in both texts, I will show how Skawennati Indigenizes understandings of the supposedly “new world” of cyberspace. Overcoming the biases embedded in technology can create maps and pathways through which Indigenous artists and activists can change human social systems, creating new avenues for community engagement.

This article “Material Connections in Skawennati’s Digital Worlds” originally appeared in Indigenous Literature and the Arts of Comunity. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 230-231 (Autumn/Winter 2016): 216-232.

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