How have new technologies influenced your artistic practice and sense of place...

How have new technologies influenced your artistic practice and sense of place in the world?



[Matthew wrote: Hello folks, I am so sorry I missed the chat. I shall edit- as penance.]

Amy: Great photo. I’m jealous you always have the first and great photos!

Laakkuluk: ha ha – I couldn’t resist the opportunity to ham it up

Amy: Was gong to take a photo of my iphone with my ipad!

Laakkuluk: Or a picture of you checking your iphone while cooking supper?

Amy: Checking my iphone [while] making supper is only normal! Texting my daughter to see if she’s coming home to eat with us!

Laakkuluk: Isn’t that sort of answering the question at hand though?

Amy: Yes, our sense of place in the world, or in our family. About Art? I wonder if technology is used too much in live theatre now. Sometimes it just gets on my nerves… Sometimes I love it though. But it seems like cheating to be putting a lot of film in live theatre!

Laakkuluk: I know what you mean. It can either be really beautiful and appropriate or far too gimmicky. Where’s our main man on the west coast?

Amy: HMMMM, Matthew Where are you!!!! (echo echo) I haven’t seen any emails from him.

Laakkuluk: No – he hasn’t responded at all. Wonder if he’s under the weather, or travelling.

[Matthew’s note: No, I was in a government office.]

Laakkuluk: We’re having a “summit” on the spoken word this weekend

Amy: Ah, yes, the poets are arriving. Exciting. Will they all be using their ipads and laptops…technologies…word processors.

Laakkuluk: Definitely the young ones. We’re going to be learning about looping pedals over the weekend. The elders will just be using their incredible intellects to tell their stories! Most of my work starts off as a poetry exercise.

Amy: Wish I could be there for that. I just sent Matthew an email to see if he’s coming.

[Editor’s note: I am not coming.]

Amy House as Ida RumboltAmy: Oh, that’s an interesting way to start a project. Like you articulate it in words, poetry.

Laakkuluk: Yes – that’s usually what happens – words and poetry come first

Amy: I would love to come there. I would love to be out on the skidoos and the food. YUM! Is that how most artists there work? Start with poetry? Hand written or on a computer?

Laakkuluk: I think that’s something we’re going to explore this weekend. I use both. My dad used to talk about hunters he was friends with that couldn’t start their day without composing a poem.

Amy: Yes I know some writers who find a better connection when they handwrite. Oh that is amazing. How beautiful.

Laakkuluk: What romantics, eh?

Laakkuluk: How do you start your projects?

Amy: How do I start? An idea, a character first usually. I find the character then write in her/his voice. But I do it on computer. When I try to write artistically by hand I get very messy and big. So it is more productive on the computer. But to create the character after it is written, I like to be on my feet or in a chair depending on what the character is doing and be oral, speak out loud, find the voice, etc.

Laakkuluk: Like a personality who then starts a story?

Amy: Yes a personality who tells their story somehow.

Laakkuluk: There’s a need to move around to develop characters isn’t there, and then settle down in a chair to get their story out.

Amy: I wrote a piece, an old lady and realized a long time after I created her voice and her accent that I was channelling my grandmother! Amazing

Laakkuluk: Wow – did you feel connected to her after you realized that?

Amy: Connected? It was a revelation really. The character’s name is Ida, and her husband’s name is Gus. Much later I realized my aunt and uncle are Gus and Ida. Things come from the subconscious obviously! From our own real stories, roots, without even trying. I am sure that is true for your art, yes?

Laakkuluk: We move in cycles of recognition and repetition and the art is in making it your own

Amy: Explain.

Laakkuluk: A little while ago, my mother gave me a picture of me at the age of six or so, wearing a Greenlandic national costume and we put it next to a picture of my own daughter wearing the same outfit. The pattern of sameness and difference between the two of us was so touching. We recognize ourselves in the past and in the future and we do it over again, but in our own manner.

Amy: The grandmother I emulate was an actor in her own right in her time. In concerts!

Laakkuluk: It seems like technology and increasing technology use doesn’t really change this pattern of recognition.

Amy: Not yet. What about the next generation I wonder.

Laakkuluk: Did you hear the CBC piece on how all the screen time we get is rewiring kids’ brains?

Amy: I did not catch it all, but yes, I have been hearing that buzz around me. I always have CBC on somewhere! So, do you think your children’s art will be highly influenced by technology?

Laakkuluk: I’m sure my children will use technology in ways I never imagined.

Amy: How about your art? Do you use technology to create it?

Laakkuluk: I definitely do not use as much technology as my collaborators, but I suppose that’s why we collaborate – I add something and they add something.

Amy: I love to collaborate when making art. I like to work like that. Collectively. I like to feed off others, and vice versa, I like to think!

Laakkuluk: it’s the best way of making art – collaborating!

Amy: My daughter says our generation have no problem solving skills because when something goes wrong with the computer we back away and yell and jump up and down!

Laakkuluk: I remember thinking the same with my dad and the VCR and the “oven that emits radiation” as he called it.

Amy: A friend of mine in Stephenville, she’s French, she called it the miracle wave!

Laakkuluk: ha ha – good one!We do not have one collaborator named Matthew, whatsoever it seems.

Amy: I KNOW! What’s up with that/him, I wonder. I hope he is ok.

[Matthew’s note: I’m fine.]

Laakkuluk: Has he emailed us back at all?

Amy: But for you, dance, partners are so wonderful.

Laakkuluk: Yes – definitely!

Amy: No. no word from Matthew. Strange. Now I’m worried

[Matthew’s note: Ah, thanks.]

Amy: Talk about how you create dance with partners. Do you ever use technology there?

Laakkuluk: We use sound effects to make soundscapes and music

Amy: Soundscapes from computers or from live sounds?

Laakkuluk: We also use lighting and projections to make the scenes

Amy: Yes, I can see that

Laakkuluk: Mostly live sounds it seems over the years but we’ve worked with recorded sound too. When you start playing around with live throat singing – with reverb and alterations it can get very spooky and surreal.

Amy: Yes. I would love to see that. Experience it. I have seen throat singers move me to tears. I have also seen some who do not. Sorry to say!

Laakkuluk: The good ones are so lovely

Amy: Do you think we talked about technology, our art and how it has influenced our sense of place?

Laakkuluk: Yes – I think we really did touch on the subject. I like how we talked about how our brains and art-making use names and characters from our families and pasts to make sense in the present.

[Matthew’s note: Oops. I think I cut some of that.]

Amy: Yeah. It ultimately comes from the heart and psyche!

Laakkuluk: And that we seem to collaborate in this process of repetition and recognition to use technology to emphasize the heart and psyche.

Photo on 2014-02-27 for chat
A poem from Matthew



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About the Authors

I am an advocate for the deep human need for all people, but especially post-colonial indigenous people to express themselves at a level of creative excellence. A mother, student, writer and performer based in Iqaluit, Nunavut. I live in a household that speaks Greenlandic, Inuktitut and English. My work includes uaajeerneq – Greenlandic mask dancing, music, drum-dancing, storytelling and acting. Hunting, camping and eating wild foods are all activities that figure largely in my family.
Amy House’s theatre career spans forty years. I know - she does not look that old! A comedienne, writer, actor, arts advocate, and Artistic Animateur of RCA Theatre Company in St. John’s, Amy has created several one-woman shows including: The Seven Faces of Amy with Maxim Mazumdar, ’Tis Not Human, To Be What You Want To Be, and Scratch and Pull.
Los Angeles native, Dana Dugan is an artist, acrobat, performer, pedagogue, academic, and mother based in Montreal. She was a founding member, programmer, and producer for the Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree at Concordia University under scholarship researching the circus body