Skawennati makes art that addresses history, the future, and change from her perspective as an urban Mohawk woman and as a cyberpunk avatar. Her early adoption of cyberspace as both a location and a medium for her practice has led to groundbreaking projects such as CyberPowWow and the Skins workshops on Aboriginal Storytelling and Digital Media. She is best known for her machinimas—movies made in virtual environments—but also produces still images and sculpture.
Her works have been presented in Lithuania, Italy, Germany, New Zealand, Hawaiʻi, the United Kingdom, China and across North America in major exhibitions such as “Now? Now!” at the Biennale of the Americas; and “Looking Forward (L’Avenir)” at the Montreal Biennale, and are included in both public and private collections including the National Bank of Canada, Global Affairs Canada and the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art.
Born in Kahnawà:ke Mohawk Territory, Skawennati is Kanien'kehá:ka of the turtle clan. She holds a BFA from Concordia University in Montreal, where she resides. She is Co-Director, with Jason Edward Lewis, of Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC), a research network of artists, academics and technologists investigating, creating and critiquing Indigenous virtual environments. In 2015, AbTeC launched IIF, the Initiative for Indigenous Futures; Skawennati is its Partnership Coordinator.