ARTIST BIOGRAPHY & ARTIST STATEMENT
Oki, my name is Joey Big Snake (He/him/they/them). I am a Blackfoot First Nation artist from Siksika Nation, which is situated on Treaty 7 land and Blackfoot Confederacy territory. I am Calgary based but work within both Siksika and the city. I am a third-year student at AUARTS majoring in Media Arts + Digital Technology (Time Based).
I work with Siksika Board of Education in their STEAM program in sharing new technologies with indigenous youth. I have had works exhibited at the Esker Foundation (TIPI_LOOPS.dreamwaves) and Telus Spark Center (Morningstar [VENUS RISEN]).
At the moment, I am working with Blackfoot astronomer Rob Cardinal and fellow artist Brendon Many Bears with Telus Spark on the Blackfoot Skies Project.
As an Indigenous artist, understanding Blackfoot culture is key to my work. My culture consists of ideas such as urban Indigenous existence, oral histories/storytelling, Indigenous mental health, ways of knowing and much more. As Indigenous peoples, it feels often that our outreach is overlooked. Art is one of ways we I feel like we can create visibility and tell a story, not only for a public audience, but for the audience back home as well.
Along with Blackfoot culture, my work is also informed by personal experiences. Getting into the minds of Indigenous thinkers/artists such as Thomas King, Rebecca Belmore, and Brian Jungen has shaped the way I think about myself and my message: I aim to portray genuine Indigenous expression in my each of my works, challenging viewers to think differently on how we see/think/feel about Indigenous bodies, identities, and ways of seeing.
Digital mediums are my tools in creating art. My works are constantly on-going and evolving, rather than abandoning a project when it's finished, I like to build on the works. Like layers of paint on top of each other. Whether audio, projection, 3d printing, or video, I use the digital medium as the bridge to make my works a reality and push my message as best I could.