An important purpose of my arts practice is to present a theoretical addition to the topic of indigenous knowledge systems – to contribute to indigenous cultural self-determination through practice and pedagogy – and to exhibit/perform indigenous art works with the capacity to engage social, cultural, political, economic, and geographic systems. My intentions are expressed through co-intentional cross-cultural collaborations with indigenous community members, artists, and scholars. Together, our purpose is to consider the development of media theories and practices based upon indigenous ways of being, knowing, and aesthetics. In the age of high-speed networks, we believe these indigenous media theories and practices lead to new ceremonies, requiring old and new media, for the purposes of continued indigenous cultural emergence. Our self-determined indigenous media is also a critique and decentering of western ideologies of technology that currently define the status quo.

My art and scholarship function to complicate, extend, and add to discourse regarding old and new media innovations by indigenous peoples. I am interested in Xicano Rasquache and Native American Adaptive Reuse traditions as innovation spaces. These indigenous traditions are characterized as the appropriation, adaptive reuse, recycling, hacking, salvaging, circuit-bending, and systems modifications of pervasive foreign technologies and literacies. In this vision of indigenous technological sovereignty, these practices are tactically positioned by indigenous peoples for the creation of semiotic vehicles, implements, and spaces that mediate indigenous discourses and position metaphors by means of aesthetics, literacies, and utility. Using an informal learning approach, my collaborators and I often use Xicano Rasquache, and Native American Appropriation and Adaptive Reuse frameworks to perform cultural work in varying public spheres.

Photo Above: Resolana Ayoyote Rattle - Ceremonial rattle that supports dialogues with oratory that are augmented with image and sound.

My perspectives derive from my indigenous Northern New Mexican cultural background, scholarship in indigenous knowledge systems, and my arts and technology practice. My “tecno-artistic” way of being derives from my Northern New Mexican Mestizo heritage, and the responsibilities I have towards my community and the communities that I work for. Through my work, I collaborate as a member of groups to achieve meaningful designs and applications of indigenous media within local communities and the contemporary art world. My collaborators and I create and use our indigenous media through the exercise of cultural and rhetorical sovereignty, and cross-cultural partnerships based on co-intentionality and reciprocity. One of our goals is to cultivate the emergence of new indigenous knowledge that help contribute toward the creation/control of meaning and the practice of culture (indigenous re-imagined ceremony) by indigenous peoples through media.

- Cristóbal Martínez / Christopher Martinez