June 10—June 23, 2019
Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square is flooded. Its infrastructure has merged with the local fauna; mature trees grow through cracks in the sidewalks and vines cover south-facing walls. People commute via canoe and grow vegetables on skyscraper roofs. Urban life is thriving.
Biidaaban: First Light is an interactive virtual reality experience that allows users to move through familiar spaces overgrown by vegetation while being immersed in the original languages of Tkaronto. Indigenous languages embody complex worldviews that shape peoples’ relationships with each other and the world around us. In conjunction with Mark Dion’s The Life of a Dead Tree—an exhibition that draws attention to our role in caring for Ontario’s ecosystems—Biidaaban: First Light offers a perspective rooted in Indigenous futurism, asking users to reconsider their relationship to the land, their place in history, and their role in a possible future. Through gaze-based interactions, users engage with the written text of the Wendat, Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) and Anishinaabe (Ojibway) and gain insight into the complex thought systems of this land and how we exist in the world.
Lisa Jackson (Anishinaabe) is one of Canada’s most celebrated contemporary artists working in film and virtual reality. For Biidaaban: First Light, Jackson joined forces with 3D artist Mathew Borrett to create a future for Canada’s largest urban centre from an Indigenous female perspective.
This program is presented in partnership with the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective (ACC/CCA), and supported by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB).
Biidaaban: First Light is available on a first come, first served basis. Please note that there may be wait times. No advanced sign-up is required.
Lisa Jackson and Mathew Borrett in Conversation
June 12, 7pm