“To take into care what is precious and sacred to indigenous people and facilitate the passing of

indigenous knowledge and cultural values from one generation to another”.

Emerging Indigenous Voices:  A New Generation of Artists

©2010 Kua`aina Associates, Inc.

Faculty Artist . . . Dylan  A. T. Miner, PhD

Dylan Miner was born in rural Michigan and spends his times migrating between the three main North American nation-states: Canada, México, and the United States. He is an Assistant Professor of Transcultural Studies at Michigan State University, where he also holds appointments in American Indian and Chicano/Latino studies. An artist, theorist, and historian, Miner is interested in using art as a mode of anti-colonial and anti-capitalist resistance. His research and teaching center on the cultural expressions of Indigenous and working-class struggle, while his art functions as an anti-colonial narrative device. An Indigenous studies scholar, Miner has published articles in Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, Third Text, CR: The New Centennial Review (forthcoming), contributed numerous encyclopedia entries, and has written for Indigenous and Latina/o community newspapers. He is particularly interested in the intersections of critical theory and contemporary Indigenous visual practice. He is Michif (Métis) and active in the Just Seeds Collective. He lives in Three Fires Territory with his partner and two daughters. As a faculty artist for the project, Dylan will be teaching silk screening and lecturing on Indigenous Art History and Survey of Political Art & Social Justice.

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ARTIST STATEMENT: In a never-ending world of late-capitalist consumption, where mass-produced commodities and highly designed products are naturalized, the creation of hand-made objects becomes an overt act of resistance. By using the language of anti-capitalist activism and Indigenous visuality, I make intentionally unrefined objects that, if nothing else, challenge the ambiguity of the elite visual artworld by operating within a tradition of political didacticism. Through the production of relief prints, I evoke the tangibility of the printed form in an attempt to narrativize a particular anti-colonial and anti-capitalist desire. As a printmaker, I have become a storyteller whose images narrate stories in a uniquely visual fashion based in an anti-authoritarian tradition.

Printing onto found materials, such as re-used grocery sacks, a material that is becoming increasingly rare with the abundant utilization of plastic bags, I see my artmaking practice as the embodiment of my own radical politics. The printed image and the materials that I work with remain a quotidian expression of the day-to-day realities in which I find myself. While society has moved toward a consumer-based model, the print becomes a small (yet productive) expression against the alienation I feel. My objects mark my existence and declare that I am alive. Just like ancestral petroglyphs and cave paintings, these small printed acts make similar marks on the worlds.

As Métis martyr Louis Riel so powerfully articulates:

‘My people will sleep for 100 years, and when they awake, it will be the artists who give them back their spirit.’

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