AbTeC Gallery

AbTeC Gallery

AbTeC Gallery is an Indigenously determined virtual exhibition space for contemporary art, located on AbTeC Island in Second Life. We are committed to showcasing the work of Indigenous artists. We also believe in the generative power of bringing Indigenous art into conversation with contemporary art in general, so we may also include art by non-Indigenous creators.

Exhibitions

If you are interested in having a guided tour of the current exhibition, please contact coordinator@obxlabs.net to discuss possibilities.


AbTeC Island

See here for details on how to get to AbTeC Island. 
Activating AbTeC Island is our weekly time when several of us will be in-world to greet visitors, show you around, help you to customize your avatar, or even teach you how to build a snowman! Invite a friend! Visit us on Fridays from 12:30 PM – 2:30 PM EST.


History

In 2003, AbTeC bought an island in the massively multi-player online world, Second Life. We had been exploring the place for months already, and were realizing that to do what we wanted—teach courses in experimental digital storytelling, produce machinimas, and offer a safe on-line community space—real Indians had to use real money and buy ourselves some virtual land. 

A few years later, having established AbTeC Island as our headquarters and studio in cyberspace, we built a gallery as a set for the TimeTraveller™ machinima series created by Skawennati. The story takes place, for the most part, in the year 2121 and it imagines that, by then, Montreal’s Musée de beaux-arts would have a gallery dedicated to early 21st century Indigenous art, indicating the significance of the present era’s renaissance of Native art and culture. To populate the gallery set, Skawennati turned to her community of fabulous Indigenous artists, asking them for works that would fit into the particular aesthetic of Second Life, which includes bright colours, strong graphic elements, and a certain cleanness found in digital spaces. Call it cyberealism.

Thanks to her colleagues’ generous response, the set was installed with an extraordinary collection of images, sculptures, and video. The resulting exhibition became an important focal point in the TimeTraveller™ story. But it was never treated like a “real” exhibition until the COVID-19 pandemic forced art galleries to close.  As exhibitions, festivals and other events began to go online, we at AbTeC realized that, thanks to more than two decades of experience creating online spaces, we were ready for this.


Exhibitions

August 19 – present 2021

Kablusiak
Margaret Nazon
Riel Stevenson Burke
Robyn McLeod
Siku Allooloo
Casey Koyczan
Cody Fennel

Curated by Melaw Nakehk’o for Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre. Co-produced by AbTeC 

Indigenous Futures: Rooted and Ascending, curated by Melaw Nakehk’o, founding member of Dene Nahjo, is a mixed-reality exhibition, taking place simultaneously at Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife, NWT, (the first show of contemporary Indigenous art in the NWT!) and at AbTeC Gallery online. Exhibiting artists include Kablusiak, Margaret Nazon, Riel Stevenson Burke, Robyn McLeod, Siku Allooloo, Casey Koyczan, and Cody Fennel.

The virtual exhibition includes transmediated versions of the works in the physical gallery and offers a parallel avenue of access to the pieces. The artists in Rooted and Ascending engage with Indigenous Futurism, a social and cultural movement that celebrates the power of imagination, technology, and self-determination. They cast visions that describe, often through the lens of science fiction and cosmology, their own utopian ideals. Each artist, whether using technology or traditional techniques, explores what is possible. If colonial oppression did not exist, what would the future look like?

Artworks

  • Garfield sitting in an iglu (Inspired by Agnes Topiak’s “Sleeping Family,” 1970) – 2021 – Kablusiak
  • Garfields and Pooky (Inspired by Germaine Arnaktauyok’s “Innua” 2007) – 2021 – Kablusiak
  • An Inuk riding Garfield (Inspired by Pudlo Pudlat’s “Vision of Two Worlds,” 1983) – 2021 – Kablusiak
  • The Light Echo – 2012 – Margaret Nazon
  • Milky Way Spiral Galaxy – 2014 – Margaret Nazon
  • Milky Way Starry Night – 2017 – Margaret Nazon
  • Stuck in Bechoko – 2021 – Riel Stevenson Burke
  • Ash Visor – 2020 – Robyn McLeod
  • Digital Photo Collage Series – 2020 – Robyn McLeod
    • Chill – 2020 – Robyn McLeod
    • Woman Fishing in the Cosmos – 2020 – Robyn McLeod
    • Fixing Moosehide – 2020 – Robyn McLeod
    • Looking Down – 2020 – Robyn McLeod
    • Woman in the Milkyway – 2020 – Robyn McLeod
    • Futuristic Hide Tanner – 2020 – Robyn McLeod
    • Pink Everythaang – 2020 – Robyn McLeod
  • Sapajuji (Protector) – 2021 – Siku Allooloo
  • STARPATH – 2021 – Siku Allooloo
  • Future Sweetgrass – 2021 – Casey Koyczan
  • Untitled – 2015 – Cody Fennel
Vernissage
  • Indigenous Futures: Rooted and Ascending vernissage. 19 August 2021. Machinimagraph credit: Camelia Layachi.
Exhibition
  • Indigenous Futures: Rooted and Ascending [installation view]. 2021. Machinimagraph credit: Anastasia Erickson.

August 19 – present 2021

Curated by Davis Heslep for Western Arctic Moving Pictures
Co-produced by AbTeC

Visit a virtual version of Roaring Rapids Hall, a roundhouse community centre in Fort Smith, NWT, to house the exhibition Trails and Overflow, curated by Davis Heslep, Programming Director at Western Arctic Moving Pictures (WAMP). A transmediated board game, photos, and a video comprise the works gathered in this show, reflecting ongoing work done at WAMP to bring digital media skills to local youth. Come take a ride on a skidoo!

Trails and Overflow features a board game designed by two youth from Fort Smith, Ryan Shaefer and Eyzaah Bouza.  Artist Cody Fennel designed and illustrated the game board.

Cody Fennell is the artist who designed the board. The Game was Designed by two youth, Ryan Shaefer and Eyzaah Bouza from Ft. Smith.

Vernissage
  • Trails and Overflow vernissage. 19 August 2021. Machinimagraph credit: Camelia Layachi.
Exhibition
  • Trails and Overflow [installation view]. 2021. Machinimagraph credit: Shirley Ceravolo.

January 28 – April 30, 2021

Curated by Sage Paul and Lisa Myers for Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto Co-produced by AbTeC

Featuring Works by:

  • Angel Aubichon
  • Caroline Monnet
  • Mad Aunty (Joi T. Arcand)
  • Leanna Marshall
  • Jaad Kuujus (Meghann O’Brien)
  • Pacific Sisters
  • Olivia Whetung

A Thread That Never Breaks was inspired by the words of artist Meghann O’Brien, who described her woven textiles and baskets as threads that connect to ancestral knowledge. The exhibition visualizes the literal threads in garments as a metaphor for the strong connections between generations.

Originally scheduled to open in Toronto in Spring 2020, the exhibition had to adapt to the dramatic change to our lived realities as a result of the pandemic. Transmediation is the term for bringing an artwork from one medium to another. The artists transmediated their physical threads into pixels, polygons and lines of code for this virtual exhibition, each doing so slightly differently.

Artworks

  • Tapa Papa – 2018 – Pacific Sisters
  • PS2069 (Pacific Sisters in the Future 2069) – 2018 – Pacific Sisters
    • Kaitiaki with a K – 2018 – Pacific Sisters
    • Tapu Tinana – 2018 – Pacific Sisters
    • 21st Sentry Cyber Sister – 2018 – Pacific Sisters
    • Anti-Nuclear Mururoa – 2018 – Pacific Sisters
    • Anti-Nuclear Mururoa – 2018 – Pacific Sisters
    • Suga Buga Fuga – 2018 – Pacific Sisters
  • The Woman Chief – Justice for MMIW – 2019 – Angel Aubichon
  • The Matriarch Speaks – 2017 – Angel Aubichon
  • Bead Soup – 2021 – Olivia Whetung
  • 35 – 2015 – Olivia Whetung
  • by a thread – 2004 – Joi T. Arcand (Mad Aunty)
  • Treaty #9 – 2016 – Leanna Marshall
  • Sky Blanket – 2014 – Jaad Kuujus (Meghann O’Brien)
  • Everyone Says I Look Like My Mother – 2020 – Jaad Kuujus (Meghann O’Brien)
  • Wrapped in the Cloud – 2018 – Jaad Kuujus (Meghann O’Brien)
  • Vade Mecum – 2020 – Caroline Monnet
  • Nexus – 2020 – Caroline Monnet
Vernissage

See the full Flickr album here.

  • A Thread That Never Breaks vernissage. 28 January 2021. Machinimagraph credit: Maize Longboat.
Exhibition

See the full Flickr album here.

  • Pacific Sisters. Tapa Papa. 2018. In A Thread That Never Breaks, 28 January - 20 July 2021. Machinimagraph credit: Anastasia Erickson.

25 September – 15 January 2021

Produced by AbTeC

Featuring Works by:

  • Alice Costello
  • Angelina Montour
  • Washakiontha Bush
  • Justin Briand
  • Pietrina Michalopoulos
  • Audrey Brunette
  • Dayna Halperin
  • Trilce Diaz
  • Tyra McGregor
  • Ainsley Goodleaf
  • Maize Longboat
  • Kahentawaks Tiewishaw
  • Audrey Brunette

For AbTeC Gallery’s second exhibition, we presented portraits that were created right here on AbTeC Island by a group of youth aged 14-22 from both Kahnawá:ke and Tiohtiá:ke/Montreal, as well as the workshop facilitators.

The images were the outcome of POP Montreal’s sixth annual collaboration with non-profit organization, LOVE (Leave Out Violence) Québec. POP invited AbTeC Co-Director Skawennati to work with the group and she, in turn, enlisted AbTeC team members Maize Longboat and Kahentawaks Tiewishaw to help deliver the Skins 7th Gen Character Design Workshop, a workshop that guides participants in imagining an Indigenous future. The youth were asked to imagine, sketch and develop one of their great-great-great-great-great grandchildren.

Over the course of one week in July 2019, the participants met up each morning at Concordia University. They started with good ol’ pencil and paper, and from there were guided into the 3D environment where they transmediated their 2D drawings into their very own avatars. In-world, they learned how to customize clothing, create mini-sets and capture pictures (called “machinimagraphs”). They were then taught how to use Photoshop to turn their portraits into these works of art.

The portraits were printed and hung in a real-life exhibition during the Pop Montreal festival. We thought it would be exciting and very fitting to put them into our virtual gallery. Complementary to the portraits, 3D elements and accessories from each machinimagraph are on display.

The title of the exhibition came directly from the workshop participants who requested it be translated into Kanien’kéha. Nia:wen to Kahnawa:ke community members, including Trina Stacey, for your help.

LOVE Quebec is a local non-profit dedicated to reducing violence in the lives of youth across Montreal. Special thanks to Joe Allen, Co-Executive Director.

Artworks

  • Sam – 2019 – Audrey Brunette
  • Plant Queen – 2019 – Alice Costello
  • Skye – 2019 – Dayne Halperin
  • Druid – 2019 – Trilce Diaz “Tichi”
  • Goddess – 2019 – Pietrina Michalopoulos “Rina”
  • She Who Knows – 2019 – Tyra McGregor
  • Hunter – 2019 – Ainsley Goodleaf “Toasty”
  • Angel – 2019 – Aissatou Balde “Aicha”
  • Watsi’tsatehiaròn:tha” / “She Makes the Flowers Grow – 2019 – Jayden Montour “Teio”
  • Safe Environment Explorer – 2019 – Justin Briand
  • Cardinal – 2019 – Washakiontha Bush “Budza”
  • Elf – 2019 – Angelina Montour
  • Scout – 2019 – Kahentawaks Tiewishaw
  • Sun Cyborg – 2019 – Maize Longboat

See the full Flickr album here.

Vernissage

See the full Flickr album here.

  • Skátne Tión:nis | Many Faces, One Mind vernissage. 25 September 2020. Machinimagraph credit: AbTeC.
Exhibition

See the full Flickr album here.

  • Skátne Tión:nis | Many Faces, One Mind [installation view]. 25 September 2020 - 15 January 2021. Machinimagraph credit: Longboat.

01 May to 04 September 2020

Curated by Skawennati
Produced by AbTeC

Featuring Works by:

  • Sonny Assu
  • Rebecca Belmore
  • Richard Bell
  • Scott Benesiinaabandan
  • Hannah Claus
  • David Garneau
  • Maria Hupfield
  • Jason Edward Lewis
  • Peter Morin
  • Nadia Myre
  • Skawennati

Reformatted is the inaugural exhibition of AbTeC Gallery, a once fictional space that has been repurposed for a new, pandemic reality. The artworks in it, never intended for Second Life, had to be imported, uploaded and sometimes digitally coaxed and cajoled to make it possible to show them in this particular virtual world. They are reformatted versions of their original selves—like all of us now, seeking new ways of being and speaking with each other, trying new ways to be together apart.

Artworks

  • Not to Confuse Politeness with Agreement – 2013 – David Garneau
  • Meditations on Red – 2013 – Nadia Myre
  • Life on a Mission – 2009 – Richard Bell
  • Memory Sticks – 2012 – Maria Hupfield
  • Cloudscape – Year? – Hannah Claus
  • Five-Row Wampum – 2017 – Skawennati
  • Empowerment Wampum – 2017 – Skawennati
  • Intergalactic Empowerment Wampum – 2017 – Skawennati
  • Blood Memories No. 2 – Year? – Scott Benesiinaabandan
  • Ceremony Experiments – Year? – Peter Morin
  • Mii Omaa Ayaad – Year? – Scott Benesiinaabandan
  • The Great Migration – Year? – Jason Edward Lewis
  • Phonology – 2010 – Sonny Assu
  • I AM WORTH MORE THAN ONE MILLION DOLLARS TO MY PEOPLE – 2010 – Rebecca Belmore
  • Musée du futur (TimeTraveller™) Sign – 2017 – Digital Image designed by Nancy Townsend and Valerie Bourdon (Obx Labs?)
Vernissage

See the full Flickr album here.

  • Reformatted vernissage. 01 May 2020. Machinimagraph credit: Kahentawaks Tiewishaw.
Exhibition

See the full Flickr album here.

  • Reformatted [installation view]. 01 May to 04 September 2020. Machinimagraph credit: Skawennati.

Team

Artistic Director: Skawennati
Producer: Nancy Elizabeth Townsend
Gallery Coordinator, Curatorial Assistant: Anastasia Erickson
Graphic Design: Unna Regino
Technical Assistants: Kahentawaks Tiewishaw, Shirley Ceravolo

Executive Producer: Jason Edward Lewis

Produced By:

Produced At: