Homepage :: About :: Timeline

Origins - 1994

Language of Intercession




Drumbeats to Drumbytes Timeline


The Aboriginal Film and Video Arts Alliance in partnership with the Banff Centre for the Arts hosted a think-tank of Aboriginal media artists and culture workers including Alanis Obomsawin, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Loretta Todd and Cheryl L’Hirondelle Waynohtęw to discuss electronic networks for Aboriginal media arts collaboration and production. The group named their work Drumbeats to Drumbytes. Buffy Sainte-Marie had already been post-producing her music between her home in Hawaii and producers in the UK across the slow connections they had at the time. As an intern, Ahasiw Maskegon-Iskwew assisted in coordinating the gathering and prepared the report. Download the report in PDF. or a slightly edited version in HTML
and Buffy's article about the gathering and the concepts is at


Maskegon-Iskwew produced and was artistic director for a collaboration project to create an online Aboriginal art space isi-pîkiskwęwin-ayapihkęsîsak (Speaking the Language of Spiders) at the Banff Centre for the Arts. Collaborators included Cheryl L’Hirondelle Waynohtęw and Elvina Piapot.


Maskegon-Iskwew received the CanWest Global Fellowship from the Banff Centre for the Arts and used it to bring together a group of Aboriginal media artists and culture workers during the Bridges collaboration symposium at the Banff Centre to discuss the relevance of the original report in light of developments over the past decade. Alumni of the first Drumbeats to Drumbytes group that attended the 2002 gathering include Cheryl L’Hirondelle Waynohtęw. The group determined that the findings are still sound and provide a map for future development.


Maskegon-iskwew received permission from Marrie Mumford, Head of the Aboriginal Arts Department at the Banff Centre to use the name and began development of an online network Drumbytes.org. Maskegon-Iskwew researched platforms for a prototype and investigated Plone.


Drumbytes.org premiered as an online community in the group exhibition Language of Intercession curated by Steve Loft for the Art Gallery of Hamilton.

With Drum Beats to Drum Bytes, Ahasiw Maskegon-Iskwew uses new technologies to support, strengthen and enrich Native cultural communities by establishing a nation-wide computer-based multimedia telecommunications network for Aboriginal and Indigenous artists working in digital media. This network allows artists to discuss such issues as establishing cultural protocols in creating new media works or using Indigenous cultural material.
- Steve Loft, 2003. See full article.


Maskegon-Iskwew is working with Elvina Piapot to create a new prototype of Drumbytes.org to take advantage of developments in content management technology, evolutions in online community culture, and server availability for premiere in the tour of Language of Intercession beginning in Montreal at OBORO in February 2005.