Activepasstoir9's Weblog

Active Pass to IR9

Active Pass to IR9 is an exhibit of Internet-based representations of Aboriginal communities in Canada, the United States, and Australia. Hennessy and Wilson’s reflexive, video-based curatorial statement of the same name depicts the full length of the Sturdies Bay/ Porlier Pass Road on Galiano Island, British Columbia, from the ferry terminal at the south end to the Penelekut Indian Reserve #9 at the north end. Two fields of scrolling text represent memories and associations that Kate and Richard each have with this physical space and their individual understandings of the place where they both grew up as they move through it together for the first time. Richard reflects on his ongoing search for knowledge of his own culture and family. Kate reflects on her position as a recent settler, and questions her lack of knowledge of her own family history and the Aboriginal history and present of the island.

This video installation is juxtaposed with six contemporary, innovative on-line projects. Like the video Active Pass to IR9, these sites represent real spaces and community relationships at the local level and in new virtual environments. Referencing the 2008 New Forms Festival’s mosaics theme, the exhibit engages basic hypermedia and blogging principles to juxtapose publicly available Canadian and international on-line media with a newly-created video work.

Conversations are generated in the process: Where Active Pass to IR9 raises questions about the way knowledge and understanding can be obscured within and between members of communities, the on-line projects selected for this exhibit suggest that knowledge and understanding might be generated in virtual spaces in ways they cannot be on the ground. At the same time, representations of Indigeneity on-line demand discussion about the capacity of the Internet and digital technologies to share knowledge more widely than ever before, potentially an extension of the colonial project, rather than a technologically mediated solution to real social problems in and between local Aboriginal and Settler communities. Active Pass to IR9, which was generated with digital technology and publicly posted on this exhibit blog, is implicated in this complex web of real and virtual communities and places.

The 2008 New Forms Festival is the installation’s premiere.


Kate Hennessy and Richard Wilson
Galiano Island Elementary, 1981-82

Galiano Island Elementary, 1981-82

Active Pass to IR9 is a curatorial collaboration between Richard Wilson and Kate Hennessy.

Richard is a video and multimedia artist, and a member of Vancouver’s Urban Ink Production Society. He is currently directing and producing a documentary on Aboriginal Hiphop.

Kate is a visual anthropologist and multimedia artist. For her doctoral work in the Department of Anthropology at UBC she is researching the role of digital technologies in repatriating cultural heritage and language to Aboriginal Communities in northeastern British Columbia.

Kate and Richard both grew up together on Galiano Island, in British Columbia, Canada.

Digital Dynamics Across Cultures (2006, USA)
Digital Dynamics Across Cultures

Digital Dynamics Across Cultures

Digital Dynamics Across Cultures, produced by Chris Cooney, Kim Christen, and Allesandro Ceglia introduces viewers to the knowledge and access protocols of the central Australian Aboriginal Warumungu community and countries (places). Place, according to the project home page, “is a significant identifier for Warumungu people as it serves as both a point of relation and a site for knowledge creation”. The site teaches about local Warumungu protocols for knowledge circulation, production, and interaction, deliberately intervening in common expectations that that the Internet should be used to share and distribute, rather than restrict and protect, forms of knowledge.

The Whale Hunt (2007, USA)
August 28, 2008, 1:00 am
Filed under: Online Projects:, The Whale Hunt (2007) | Tags: , ,
The Whale Hunt

The Whale Hunt

The Whale Hunt, created by multimedia artist Jonathan Harris, depicts his trip from Brooklyn, New York, to Barrow Alaska, to photograph an Inupiat Bowhead whale hunt. Images taken every five minutes for nine days are displayed online in multiple visual and functional modes that push the boundaries of digital interface design, programming, and image-based narrative practice. While this site was not produced by the Inupiat community that is the subject of the project, Harris’ subjective, reflexive, interactive, and flexible design of the viewing and storytelling experience aptly reveals the multi-faceted conditions of his experience as the producer of the representations and his interaction with the community as he was allowed to participate in the hunt and distribution of food.

Dane Wajich- Dane-zaa Stories and Songs: Dreamers and the Land (2007, Canada)
Dreamers and the Land

Dane Wajich- Dane-zaa Stories and Songs: Dreamers and the Land

Dane Wajich- Dane-zaa Stories and Songs: Dreamers and the Land was produced and directed by the Doig River First Nation in northeastern British Columbia, Canada, in collaboration with curators Amber Ridington and Kate Hennessy, and a team of Dane-zaa elders and youth, ethnographers, and linguists. It introduces viewers to the history of Dane-zaa Dreamers, and the community’s past and present relationship to the land. The exhibit’s community-directed production process facilitated the articulation of local goals for revitalizing language, recording oral traditions, and traveling to important places in their territory. It also resulted in wide-ranging discussions about what cultural information and knowledge could, and could not, be shared over the Internet, and extensive community participation in determining how they should be represented on-line.

Isuma TV (2007-ongoing, Canada)
August 28, 2008, 12:44 am
Filed under: Isuma TV (2007), Online Projects: | Tags: , ,
Isuma TV

Isuma TV

Isuma TV is an Internet portal for indigenous filmmakers that creates new artistic and cultural communities by bringing virtually filmmakers together and making their work available worldwide. Attentive to the intellectual property rights of filmmakers, the free service allows films to be viewed, but not downloaded. DVDs are available for sale upon request. Created by Igloolik Isuma Productions, the makers of Atanarjuat, the Fast Runner and The Journals of Knud Rasmussen, this site depends on the contributions of indigenous filmmakers to generate the site’s content. It is committed to broadcasting indigenous language media, and sees indigenous audiences in remote communities as their core audience.

UsMob (2005-ongoing, Australia)
August 27, 2008, 6:10 am
Filed under: Online Projects:, UsMob (2005) | Tags: ,



UsMob is a production of the Australian Film Commission and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in association with the Tangentyere Council in Alice Springs, in central Australia. UsMob introduces viewers to Aboriginal teenagers Charlie, Della, Harry, and Jacquita in a seven-part “choose-your-own-adventure”- style series set in their community. Narrative and verité style videos depict the teenage hosts interacting with each other and with members of their community, but they also invite participation from the viewer, enabling the contributions of user-generated video, games, forums, and text-diaries. Signing up to participate in Us Mob can only be done by “applying for a permit” to visit their home, Hidden Valley, a Town Camp of Alice Springs, drawing attention to legacies of colonial administration and the regulation of real– and virtual – spaces.