The Roots of Meaning: A Symposium on Lisa Jackson’s Transmissions

Sept. 20th, 2019
10 am -5 pm

World Art Centre, Simon Fraser University, Woodwards.

Curated by SFU Faculty Karrmen Crey and Kate Hennessy

On Sept. 20th, 2019, Simon Fraser University held a symposium in honour of the world premiere of Lisa Jackson’s Transmissions at the Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre at Simon Fraser University, Woodwards. Lisa Jackson is a multi-award winning Anishinaabe filmmaker and artist.  Transmissions is a three-part, immersive multimedia installation that extends her investigation into the connections between land, language, and people, most recently with her award winning virtual reality work Biidaaban: First Light.

This symposium began with a tour of Transmissions. Following the installation experience, participants moved to the SFU Woodwards World Art Centre for a day of cross-disciplinary knowledge sharing and conversation around Transmissions’ expression of Indigenous Futurism and the Anthropocene, immersive installation, language ecologies, and the politics of reconciliation. We were honoured to be joined by symposium presenters Grace Dillon (Anishinaabe); Candis Callison (Tahltan); June Scudeler (Métis); Clifford Atleo (Tsimshian (Kitsumkalum/Kitselas) and Nuu-chah-nulth (Ahousaht); Marianne Nicholson (Musgamakw Dzawada’enuxw First Nations/ Kwakwaka’wakw);  Eldon Yellowhorn (Piikani); and, Vanessa Campbell (Musqueam).

The day culminates with a keynote conversation between artist Lisa Jackson and SFU Professor Karrmen Crey (Stó:lō). The symposium presentations were video recorded for public and pedagogical access in the future as a part of the Transmissions archive (coming soon).

From Lisa Jackson’s Transmissions. Jay Tseng 2019.

Lisa Jackson in conversation with Karrmen Crey. Photo Jay Tseng 2019.

David Gaertner, Candis Callison, Clifford Atleo, Grace Dillon, and June Scudeler. Photo Jay Tseng 2019.

Marianne Nicolson, Larry Grant, Vanessa Campbell, and Eldon Yellowhorn. Photo Jay Tseng 2019.

Larry Grant. Photo Jay Tseng 2019.

Kate Hennessy. Photo Jay Tseng 2019.

Exhibition poster. Photo Jay Tseng 2019.

Photos of symposium by the Jay Tseng 2019. 

Transmissions Symposium Schedule, Sept. 20th 2019
Time Event
10 AM – 11 AM Tours of Transmissions
11 AM  Opening Remarks and Welcome (coffee provided)
11:15 – 12:30 Conversation 1: Indigenous Language Ecologies
12:30 – 1:30 Lunch Break
1:30 – 3:00 Conversation 2: Indigenous Futurisms and the Anthropocene
3:00- 3:30 Coffee Break (provided)
3:30 – 5:00
Conversation 3: Lisa Jackson in conversation with  Karrmen Crey; Q & A.

 

Panel Descriptions
Conversation 1: Indigenous Language Ecologies

In this moderated conversation, panelists are invited to respond to Transmissions through the lens of their own experience with Indigenous languages. Transmissions aims to manifest the fundamental reality that decolonial support of Indigenous language learning requires multiple disciplinary perspectives and broader understanding of the complex ecologies––cultural, geographical, political, historical, familial––in which Indigenous languages thrived in the past and in which they can thrive in the future. How can works like Transmissions begin to present this understanding––the roots of meaning––in the world? 

Presenters: Marianne Nicholson (Musgamakw Dzawada’enuxw First Nations/ Kwakwaka’wakw);  Eldon Yellowhorn (Piikani); Vanessa Campbell (Musqueam).

Conversation 2: Indigenous Futurisms and the Anthropocene

In this moderated conversation, speakers are invited to respond to Transmissions as an expression of Indigenous Futurism, a term coined by Dr. Grace Dillon. As a three-part installation, Transmissions evokes urban, natural, and speculative landscapes, human and non-human relationships, and the dynamic persistence of Indigenous languages and world views into the future. In the context of the Anthropocene, colonial extractivism, environmental degradation and catastrophic climate change, how do Indigenous Futurist works like Transmissions articulate a decolonial way forward?

Presenters: Grace Dillon (Anishinaabe); Candis Callison (Tahltan); June Scudeler (Métis); Clifford Atleo (Tsimshian (Kitsumkalum/Kitselas) and Nuu-chah-nulth (Ahousaht).

Conversation 3: Lisa Jackson in conversation with Dr. Karrmen Crey

In this keynote conversation, artist Lisa Jackson joins SFU Professor Karrmen Crey (Stó:lō) to reflect on the earlier sessions and the creative process and intentions behind Transmissions.

Featured image © Lisa Jackson, 2019. Transmissions.