Created as part of Pechawis’ Media Arts Mini Residency that took place during the month of February.
The following text is taken from Front Magazine, vol. VIII, no. 4, p. 8, March/April 1997:
“This performance investigate the notion of what constitutes ‘traditional’ Native drumming and singing through the use of a hand drum into which I have incorporated trigger pads that activate a digital sampler when struck. Simply put, if I drop a Motorhead sample into a round dance tune, is it still traditional? Cum on, feel the noize, heya heya ho…”
A description of the work on the former Western Front website, a quote from Pechawis, reads, “‘I am not a performance artist in the classic, art-school-graduate sense. I never went to art school, I don’t have an art history/art theory understanding of things. Although we are theorizing about it, my relationship to the work isn’t coming from a theoretical place. It’s asking questions I really want some answers to. I want to de-colonize my soul. … I’ve had native people tell me that the following things are ‘traditional’: heterosexism, patriarchy, the ‘horns and pitchfork’ devil, dark is evil/light is good, you name it. I know I have an idealized notion of pre-contact Indianness, but give me a break! If we (Indians) are going to untangle ourselves from the mess we are in then some hard-assed questions have got to be asked. I am addressing these questions to the Aboriginal community for an internal debate. I’m not interested in non-Native peoples’ thoughts on this matter. It’s an Indian thing. And hopefully that will give us some room to breathe on this, cuz it doesn’t have to be hashed out in a public sphere. It could be said that I’m contradicting myself because I am not presenting this work in a ‘Native only’ space, but I’m not looking for immediate responses. I think the issue of what is ‘traditional’ is going to be a long, long debate.’”