Ohutkan / Wachacha Wiwihanble (Dreaming Roots / Blooms)
Kite is an Oglála Lakȟóta performance artist, visual artist, and composer concerned with contemporary Lakȟóta ontologies through research-creation, computational media, and performanceArtist Bio
This artwork lives and breathes while Kite sleeps on a hill in South Dakota. Working with tech collaborators, the artist will develop a unique artificial intelligence system to converse through dreams with the computer using geometric designs often seen in beadwork. The designs will be recreated via stones (Inyans) and prairie flowers in a land-art sculpture, stone and plant sculptures that can leave the hill and be exhibited elsewhere, and an experimental documentary made in conversation with the AI. In traditional Lakȟóta art-making, some quillwork designs tell stories, like a language made of designs. Before creating the design, some artists first see the design in a vision or dream, be it the waking dream or the sleeping dream; they are not separated.
Kite will train a simple computer system to associate Lakȟóta-style designs to Lakȟóta words. Kite will conduct interviews with Lakȟóta designers, linguists, and elders about designs they know and love. Kite will be in collaboration with her elders and technologists to build a wearable computer to send EEG-collected brain data as the method of generating new designs. This is an experimental artistic system where the artist can explore if it is possible to dream alongside a computer system: can dreams enter and can the computer respond? The final artwork will be dreamed and built near the artist’s future burial plot, down the road from her grandfather’s birthplace, close by her uncle’s garden.
Kite is an Oglála Lakȟóta performance artist, visual artist, and composer raised in Southern California, with a BFA from CalArts in music composition and an MFA from Bard College’s Milton Avery Graduate School. Kite’s scholarship and practice investigate contemporary Lakȟóta ontologies through research-creation, computational media, and performance. Recently, Kite has been developing a body interface for movement performances, carbon fiber sculptures, immersive video and sound installations, as well as co-running the experimental electronic imprint Unheard Records. Kite has also published in several journals and magazines, including The Journal of Design and Science (MIT Press), where the award-winning article “Making Kin with the Machines,” coauthored with Jason Lewis, Noelani Arista, and Archer Pechawis, was featured. Kite was a 2019 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar, a 2020 Tulsa Artist Fellow, a 2020 Sundance Institute New Frontier Story Lab Fellow, a 2020 “100 Women in AI Ethics,” and a 2021 Common Field Fellow. Kite is a 2022–23 Creative Time Open Call artist for the Black and Indigenous Dreaming Workshops with Alisha B. Wormsley.
Photo by Rita Taylor.