Photographers: Alexa Elk Looks Back, Anna Peneaux, Caitlyn Billie, CaSandra Sharpfish, Consuela Fish, Duane Sharpfish, Eilee Long Crow, Elizabeth Moore, Hailey Fisher, Hannah Fisher, Jachin Moore, Jesse Moore, Peyton Young, Tristan Sharpfish, Unique Fool Bull

Teaching Artists: Robin Dahlberg and Josee Schryer
Exhibition designer: Adegboyega Adefope
Consultant Scholar: Suzanne Kite

Artist Statement

Media Art Xploration, in partnership with 5 Corners Collective and the Boys and Girls Club of Rosebud, presents a photo series by the Lakota youth of South Dakota. With the landscape of South Dakota as the backdrop, these images, the result of years of collaboration, shine a light on Indigenous framework that places one eye on scientific and commercial advancements (the project used AI-powered photographic editing software to expand upon and amplify the original data) and the other on Indigenous concepts of kinship.

Kinship is the unifying and animating force that is at the very center of existence. All aspects of daily life operate in accordance with its logic. According to the Lakota, many inanimate entities, including the rocks and minerals used to construct computer hardware, are imbued with the niyá (breath) and šiču (spirit) necessary to form relationships, make decisions, exercise agency, lead towards progress and hence join a kinship circle.

Indigenous scholars advance an ethical framework for artificial intelligence (AI) based upon traditional indigenous cosmological concepts. Suzanne Kite, Lakota artist and scholar, advocates that indigenous communities embrace AI systems, develop meaningful relationships with them and welcome them into their kinship circles. Once a part of those circles, AI systems owe a reciprocal duty of respect to every other member of the circle – a duty that will require the systems to place the good of the whole above the economic and political interests of the few.

MAXlive 2021: The Neuroverse is made possible by the support of Science Sandbox, an initiative of the Simons Foundation, 1014 – A space for Ideas, and WeWork.