Constellation of Oracles
Curated by Diasporic Futurisms (Vanessa Godden & Adrienne Matheuszik)
Constellation of Oracles is a virtual exhibition that features artworks by Alyssa Bistonath, Rah Eleh,Victoria Kamila, and Quentin VerCetty. The program explores digital collage, multi-channel video, and digital animation through multiple futurist lenses. Constellation of Oracles brings together a broad range of influences—from internet and digital culture to sci-fi and fantasy aesthetics—to envision and build alternate realities and worlds that generatively speak to one another through mythologies of the body, space, and culture. Each artwork represents a constellation of possibilities wherein the artist becomes an oracle for collective futures.
This exhibition was presented as part of Vector Festival 2021.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Alyssa Bistonath is a photographer and filmmaker whose work focuses on themes of memory and belonging. The daughter of Guyanese immigrants, Bistonath endeavours to look at modes of representation by investigating nostalgia, exploring evidence, and interrupting the archive. Her work includes “Why We Fight” (2016) where she invited the Guyanese diaspora to write letters to a personified Guyana. The film won Best Canadian Short at the Regent Park Film Festival. Most recently, she was featured in the Art Gallery of Ontario’s “Art in the Spotlight” and Canadian Art online for her series “Isolation Photographs.”
Rah Eleh is a video, net and performance artist. Her multimedia and multi-character work investigates how race, gender, and nationalism are performed and experienced through various technologies in language, and across culture, time, and space. Rah's work has been exhibited extensively internationally at spaces including Williams College Museum of Art, Miami Art Basel, Kunsthaus Graz Museum (Austria), and Onassis Cultural Center (Athens, Greece). She has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Chalmers Arts Fellowship, SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship, Studio Das Weisse Haus and the Artslant Georgia Fee Residency.
Victoria Kamila is a Toronto-based digital artist. Her work explores visual modes of storytelling, investigating themes of fantasy, escapism, and spirituality. A curiosity for new worlds informs each layer of every visual, creating new realities to lose yourself in. Having grown up in rural Alberta, her art takes inspiration from the nature of the countryside, reimagined into new visualizations of paradise or futuristic sci-fi, alien worlds. Victoria is also a founding member of Hot Pot Community, an independent creative studio fostering a community of Asian creatives in Toronto.
Creator of the 2020 Joshua Glover Memorial, Toronto's first monument of a person of African descent, Quentin VerCetty is an award-winning multidisciplinary griot (storyteller), artivist, educator, Afrofuturist a-r-tographer and an ever-growing interstellar tree.While completing his 2021 Master’s in Art Education from Concordia University, he has coined the terms 'Sankofanology' and 'rastafuturism' and co-edited Canada’s first art book on Afrofuturism entitled "Cosmic Underground Northside: An Incantation of Black Canadian Speculative Discourse and Innerstandings". VerCetty's has exhibited his art in countries around the world with a focus on representation and inclusion of Blackness and African diasporic cultures. Through all the work he does, he hopes to activate ancestral connections, engage minds, inspire hearts, and help to make the world a better place not only for today but for many tomorrows to come.
ABOUT THE CURATORS
Adrienne Matheuszik is an interdisciplinary artist based in Toronto, Ontario, currently exploring ideas of representation, identity and subjectivity through working with digital mediums such as augmented reality, video, sculpture and interactive installation. She has an MFA from OCAD University from the Interdisciplinary Masters of Art Media and Design Graduate program (2019), and a BFA from University of Ottawa with a specialization in New Media Art (2014).
Vanessa Godden is a queer Indo-Trinidadian and Euro-Canadian artist and academic based in Toronto, Canada. Vanessa has a PhD from the Victorian College of the Arts (2020), supported through the Melbourne International Research Scholarship and Melbourne International Fee Remission Scholarship. They received their MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (2014) and BFA from the University of Houston (2012). Their artistic practice uses performative gestures to explore how personal histories of sexual assault, cultural heritage, and the body in relation to geographic space can be conveyed through material engagements with the body.
ABOUT VECTOR FESTIVAL
Vector Festival is a participatory and community-oriented initiative dedicated to showcasing digital games and creative media practices. Presenting works across a dynamic range of exhibitions, screenings, performances, lectures, and workshops, Vector acts as a critical bridge between emergent digital platforms and new media art practice. The festival was founded in 2013 as the “Vector Game Art & New Media Festival” by an independent group of artists and curators: Skot Deeming, Clint Enns, kris kim, and Katie Micak, who were later joined by Diana Poulsen and Martin Zeilinger.