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Media Cosmologies: an intergenerational conversation on art, technology, and transmission with Cheryl L’Hirondelle and Callum Beckford

The Agnes Etherington Art Centre
36 University Avenue
Kingston ON K7L 3N6


Image credit: Cheryl L’Hirondelle, vancouversonglines.ca, 2008. Website.

VML and the Digital Born Artworks Restoration project present:
Media Cosmologies: an intergenerational conversation on art, technology, and transmission with Cheryl L’Hirondelle and Callum Beckford

Since the mid-1990s when world wide web first swung into public view, the net art works of Cheryl L’Hirondelle (Cree/Halfbreed; German/Polish) have explored and articulated the radical possibilities of nêhiyawin (Cree worldview) within the emergent, evolving landscape of digital culture. Among Turtle Island’s earliest adopters of the web as an artistic medium and most cogent theorists of its significance as a space of cultural self-determination and survivance, L’Hirondelle has created and co-created a body of artworks and texts that are crucial not only to understanding the full histories of media art and the internet, but also to imagine their futures –– Isi-pîkiskwêwin-Ayapihkêsîsak / Speaking the Language of Spiders, with Ahasiw Maskegon-Iskwew (1996), Dene/Cree ElderSpeak: Tales of the Heart and Spirit with Ahasiw Maskegon-Iskwew (1998), treatycard (2004), Horizon Zero 17: TELL (2004), and wêpinâsowina (2005), among others.

This public program celebrates the ongoing restoration of one of these projects, vancouversonglines.ca (2008). Alongside talks by artists Cheryl L’Hirdondelle and Callum Beckford, and facilitated by Sebastian De Line, Associate Curator, Care and Relations at Agnes, vancouversonglines.ca is presented in a legacy environment on computer terminals in Agnes’s Atrium, giving the public access to this work for the first time in years.

This event is free and open to all; no registration is needed.


Cheryl L’Hirondelle (Cree/Halfbreed; German/Polish) is an interdisciplinary artist, singer/songwriter and critical thinker whose family roots are from Papaschase First Nation / amiskwaciy wāskahikan (Edmonton) and Kikino Metis Settlement, AB. Her work investigates and articulates a dynamism of nēhiyawin (Cree worldview) in contemporary time-place incorporating Indigenous language(s), music, audio, video, VR, sewn objects, the olfactory, and audience/user participation to create immersive environments towards radical inclusion and decolonisation. As a songwriter, L’Hirondelle’s focus is on both sharing nēhiyawēwin (Cree language) and Indigenous and contemporary song-forms and personal narrative songwriting as methodologies toward survivance. Cheryl has exhibited and performed nationally and internationally.

She is the recent recipient the 2021 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Art. In addition, she was awarded two imagineNATIVE New Media Awards (2005 & 2006), and two Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards (2006 & 2007). She is currently a PhD candidate with SMARTlab / University College Dublin, in Ireland. www.cheryllhirondelle.com

Callum Beckford is an emerging Cree/Metis and Jamaican/German BIPOC interdisciplinary media artist and musician. Callum’s artistic practice explores media as both the medium and the apparatus in the creation of art. His work incorporates, installation, video art & sound art, building audio and video synthesizers and live performance. As a music producer and musician Callum is currently releasing his third album entitled LO-FI OP (under the name <3). This upcoming release is an exploration of the creation of pop art and music with an experimental approach, recording live instruments, incorporating samples juxtaposed with a mixture of natural and digital sounds. The album is a gritty and sad pop album with accompanying experimental music videos. Callum graduated from the Alberta University of the Arts in 2020 with a degree in Media Arts and a Software Development diploma from Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) in 2022. He is currently co-owner of Variable Oscillations, a company that designs, builds, and sells electronic music instruments.

This is a partnered event supported by Wicked Ideas, an initiative at Queen’s University and the Vulnerable Media Lab, with additional support from the Office of the VP Research, the Department of Film and Media, the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Indigenous Initiatives, and Archive/Counter-Archive.