Indigenous New Media Arts: Narrative Threads and Future Imaginaries




This article seeks both to communicate a sense of the vibrancy and diversity of Indigenous new media artworks and projects, and to “frame” them within the context of the particular transnational networks of friendship and support into which they are born and in which they circulate. It is my contention that Indigenous new media arts have particularly flourished across the parts of the “Anglo-world” (Belich) that are the result of the early waves of British settler colonialism, most notably in countries such as Canada, Australia, Aotearoa/New Zealand, and the United States. The article explores the conditions that make such global Indigenous networks across the British (post)colonial settler world possible, before moving on to study in more detail works by Hymhenteqhous Mizhekay Odayin/Turtle Heart, Skawennati, Ruben Anton Komangapik, Lisa Reihana, William Ray Wilson, and Lily Hibberd and Curtis Taylor, amongst others. It concludes with an analysis of the exhibition of Indigenous new media art in formal gallery spaces. It asks who the works are for and what kinds of audiences they reach in such spaces, exploring Indigenous artists’ hopes for how entering such formal spaces of the “artworld” might effect their decolonisation. Such optimism notwithstanding, it also cautions against the dangers of co-optation by the “artworld” that restrict the circulation of artworks, and makes recommendations for ways to ensure that they continue to be accessible to the communities from which they stem.

Author Biography

Thea Pitman, University of Leeds

Senior Lecturer in Latin American Studies, Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, School of Languages, Cultures and Societies.

I work at the intersection of Latin American cultural studies and digital culture studies, with a particular interest in indigenous appropriations of new media in the region.




How to Cite

Pitman, T. (2019). Indigenous New Media Arts: Narrative Threads and Future Imaginaries. Transmotion, 5(1), 184–206.