ᒫᒥᑐᓀᔨᐦᒋᑲᓂᐦᑳᐣ ᓂᒦᑭᓯᐢᑕᐦᐃᑫᐏᐣ ᐁᑿ ᓂᒥᑐᓀᔨᐦᒋᑲᐣ / mâmitoneyihcikanihkân nimîkisistahikêwin ekwa nimitonêyihcikan

my reflections of beading with a computer


  • Jon Corbett University of British Columbia - Okanagan




Four Generations is a digital media installation I coded that computationally generates portraits of my Indigenous lineage using 3D generated beads. Initially exhibited in my Master of Fine Art exhibition at the University of British Columbia in the summer of 2015, this work was then curated for the Transformer: Native Art in Light and Sound exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in New York City from November 2017 through January 2019. The work now resides in the collection of the Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) Indigenous Art Centre.

My original intent for Four Generations was to create a dialogue between my nehiyaw (Cree) Métis ancestry, my Indigenous art practice (beadwork), and computational media. However, it has since become a work reviewed by others to explore deeper understandings of digital representations of Indigenous culture, heritage, and identity, and peripherally as an example for critical discussions about language revitalization, Indigenous data sovereignty and computer code studies.

This paper reflects on my artwork Four Generations (2015), examining its contributions to Indigenous artistic production and digital translations of Indigenous cultural praxis, including language, medicine, and ceremony, and its impacts on computer programming and computing philosophies. I explore how this work has shaped Indigenous media art through contemplations of public discussions and critiques and express how these discussions have (re)shaped my identity as an Indigenous artist and computer programmer.




How to Cite

Corbett, J. (2024). ᒫᒥᑐᓀᔨᐦᒋᑲᓂᐦᑳᐣ ᓂᒦᑭᓯᐢᑕᐦᐃᑫᐏᐣ ᐁᑿ ᓂᒥᑐᓀᔨᐦᒋᑲᐣ / mâmitoneyihcikanihkân nimîkisistahikêwin ekwa nimitonêyihcikan: my reflections of beading with a computer. Transmotion, 9(1&2), 86–109. https://doi.org/10.22024/UniKent/03/tm.1138