The indigenous multimedia artist Tipi is Oji-Cree lives in a remote community in Northern Canada. Her work, inspired by her roots, has served as a creative outlet. She was drawn to TV sci-fi shows as a kid. Sci-fi served as her refuge — an alternative universe that she longed to be in, in order to escape the traumatic living situation of her upbringing in foster families. 

As she learned about the history of the Canadian government and the native communities via the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, she became more of an activist and channeled those feelings into her art. The trauma she has lived through, and the struggle of her ancestors are the fuel that keeps her creating.

She started creating the tipi-fi images as a part of Indigenous Futurism — a way to show the traditional mixed with her love of sci-fi. She uses a variety of AI text-to-art generation tools to create the images, but a lot of time and manipulation goes into them. The color palette is a reference to wherever she is connecting that piece to. So if there are neon/cyber punk colors, it is a connection to her friends in Japan. Or if she is connecting with her friends in India/Pakistan, she is using more pinks, blues and greens.

Tipi is also a lens-based artist, and a lover of natural light. She has been in the film world for quite some time, and is interested in how AI will influence and change the film world, and more specifically, animation. But that is still in development, so time will tell how this plays out. Most people don’t realize how time consuming it is to create AI generated imagery that doesn’t look super AI. Each person will have a different outcome based on the prompts that get fed into the program. For some strange reason, when she first started composing her tipi-fi series, the AI created the scenes with 3 teepees, even though she never mentioned the number 3.
She created the syllabics for her images, which is the colonial version of ojibwe that the French colonizers created to communicate with the native people. “It’s  a whole other tie into the the indigenous impact,” she said. “And the other thing that I thought about was that if we tie that in, we are one step closer to my part about indigenous healing and my refuge. And I really do believe that the syllabics looked like they were made for the slides of spaceships on Mars. “So that’s a bit more. It ties that in. But even before I was doing tipi-fi, I’ve always put Cree syllabics on the blockchain. That’s really important to me” Her favorite artists are Christi Belacourt and Andy Warhol. She wants to do a film composite with 1957 World Fair footage. But her tipi-fi series has most of her attention for the moment.

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