Ne:Kahwistará:ken Kanónhsa’kówa í:se Onkwehonwe

2022–24 Ida Ely Rubin Artist in Residence

Installation view, Ne:Kahwistará:ken Kanónhsa’kówa í:se Onkwehonwe at 2RO MEDIA Festival in Ohsweken in October 2023. Image courtesy of Jackson 2bears Leween.
Installation view, Ne:Kahwistará:ken Kanónhsa’kówa í:se Onkwehonwe at 2RO MEDIA Festival in Ohsweken in October 2023. Image courtesy of Jackson 2bears Leween.
Jackson 2bears Leween, Live! Biennale Performance Art Festival, Vancouver, BC, 2017. Courtesy of the artist.

Addressing questions of identity, the body, heritage, ancestry, and technology from an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspective


The Co-Creation Studio at MIT Open Documentary Lab and Kanien’kehà:ka multimedia artist Jackson 2bears, also known as Tékeniyáhsen Ohkwá:ri, continue their work together on his new artistic project Ne:Kahwistará:ken Kanónhsa’kówa í:se Onkwehonwe.

Working in community in his home territory of Six Nations of the Grand River, 2bears is creating a site-specific large-scale multimedia artwork, created in the spirit and image of a Haudenosaunee longhouse, as a communal virtual experience. 2bears is using his residency with Co-Creation Studio and CAST to explore creating a XR space without headsets.

“The longhouse is an enduring symbol of the strength of our Rotinonshonni (Iroquois Confederacy), as it signifies a way of living together as a League of Nations under the Great Law of Peace—the Kayanereh’kowa. Our enduring sense of community is mirrored in the longhouse structure; it is emblematic of our diverse creative and cultural practices, which are connected back to our traditional teachings as much as they are today animated by contemporary technologies and production techniques,” says 2bears.


Past Events

Public Presentation of Ne:Kahwistará:ken Kanónhsa’kówa í:se Onkwehonwe
February 12, 2024 / 6:00pm
MIT Bartos Theater
Wiesner Building E15, lower level
20 Ames Street, Cambridge, MA

2022-24 Ida Ely Rubin Artist in Residence at MIT Jackson 2bears, a Kanien’kehà:ka artist and scholar, presented a lecture about Ne:Kahwistará:ken Kanónhsa’kówa í:se Onkwehonwe: a groundbreaking communal installation created in collaboration with 2RO MEDIA and produced at Thru the RedDoor in Six Nations of the Grand River. This panoramic experience, which premiered at the 2RO MEDIA Festival, offers a vibrant reimagining of the Haudenosaunee Creation Story, immersing the audience in an audio-visual narrative.

Co-Creation Studio Indigenous Immersive Incubator
April 26 and 27, 2023
MIT Open Documentary Lab

An historic delegation of 10 Indigenous artists and advisors gathered to share their work with each other and with the MIT community. The theme of the ISO Indigenous Incubator at MIT gathering was “Indigenous Knowledge and Immersive Technologies.”

Led by the Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) of Canada and hosted by the Co-Creation Studio at MIT Open Documentary Lab, the group incubated their own immersive media projects, toured various MIT labs, and met with Indigenous leaders from MIT and across the territory over four days.

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Jackson 2bears, also known as Tékeniyáhsen Ohkwá:ri, is a Kanien’kehà:ka (Mohawk) multimedia installation/performance artist and cultural theorist from Six Nations of the Grand River and Tyendinaga. Since 1999, he has exhibited his work across Canada and internationally in public galleries, museums, artist-run centers, festivals, and group exhibitions. 2bears is an active researcher of digital media with a focus on embodied interaction, live audio/visual performance, and immersive multimedia installation. His recent works focus on how the changing impacts of technology have a profound effect on contemporary politics, culture, and society—particularly with regard to First Nations communities.

Social: Facebook

Katerina Cizek is an Emmy- and Peabody-winning documentarian, author, and producer working with emergent technologies and collective processes. She is the artistic director, co-founder, and executive producer of the Co-Creation Studio at MIT Open Documentary Lab. She co-wrote Collective Wisdom (with Uricchio et al.),launching in fall 2022 with MIT Press. For over a decade, Cizek worked as a documentary director at the National Film Board of Canada, transforming the organization into a world leader of digital storytelling with the projects HIGHRISE and Filmmaker-in-Residence.

Social: Twitter

Gary Joseph, a Mohawk from Six Nations of the Grand River, is a studio owner, creative director and visual storyteller passionate about building community through collaboration and providing the next generation with the confidence and skills to take our place.

Social: Instagram

As director of the MIT Open Documentary Lab, Sarah Wolozin develops and oversees lab projects, operations, and collaborations with leading media organizations, including Sundance Institute, Tribeca Film Institute, IDFA DocLab, and National Film Board of Canada. She is the founder and editorial director of Docubase, an online curated database of the people, projects, and technologies transforming documentary in the digital age. 

Biography: MIT Open Documentary Lab
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MIT Associate Professor of Comparative Media Studies/Writing Vivek Bald is a scholar, writer, and documentary filmmaker whose work focuses on histories of migration and diaspora, particularly from the South Asian subcontinent. He is the author of Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America, and his films include Taxi-vala/Auto-biography (1994) and Mutiny: Asians Storm British Music (2003).

Biography: MIT Comparative Media Studies / Writing 
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Supported with a grant from the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology and hosted by the MIT Open Documentary Lab.