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Skawennati's TimeTraveller™: Deconstructing the colonial matrix in virtual reality

Treva Michelle Pullen

Abstract


This article examines the decolonizing imperatives of the nine- episode machinima film series TimeTraveller™ (2008–2013) by the Mohawk artist, writer and curator Skawennati. TimeTraveller™ assesses the (re)presentation of Indigenous pasts and futures. Using avatar characters, Skawennati delinks (Mignolo, 2011) from colonial, Western and imperialistic narratives and the hegemonic structures of a Eurocentric worldview. Avatar bodies act as a catalyst in order to break down the contemporary, political episteme of classification and create spaces for fluid identities-in-politics (Mignolo, 2011)—virtual bodies that reflect the layering of subjective personal experiences which may be multiple and changing. In asserting her Indigenous presence in cyberspace, Skawennati’s work lies in between new media art production and decolonial gesture, provoking a rereading of bodies and identities in order to reimagine and reassert denied and silenced Indigenous voices in virtual reality.

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Print ISSN 1177-1801 Online ISSN 1174-1740