Panel Discussion and Performance | Raven Chacon, Laura Ortman and Suzanne Kite

September 29th, 2018 – 6pm
Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art | 1, 460 Portage Ave | Winnipeg MB | Canada

As part of Plug In ICA’s Respondent Series for the exhibition, Days of Reading: beyond this state of affairs, we present a conversation between, artist and composer Raven Chacon, and experimental musician’s Laura Ortman and Suzanne Kite.

Raven Chacon’s participation in Days of Reading: beyond this state of affairs begins with a new book project and sound piece that will comprise twelve musical scores dedicated to twelve contemporary Indigenous women “working in the field of contemporary music performance or composition,“ alongside essays and performance notes.

This work in progress is in dedication to the life of Zitkála-Šá, an early 20th century Yankton Dakota woman who was a prolific writer, musician, and activist. Zitkála-Šá’s life is interpreted through music, and, in dialogue with collaborators Suzanne Kite and Laura Ortman, in an abstract form that subordinates language and clarity, never prescribing itself as one view that is presented as an authentic biography.

The public discuss will focus of Chacon’s research and the collaborative participation of Suzanne Kite and Laura Ortman. Kite and Ortman will perform on Plug In ICA’s rooftop shortly following the conversation and as part of Days of Reading’s opening reception.

Laura Ortman is well-known for her experimental musical and artistic practice that incorporates a wide range of instruments and genres. Ortman is from the White Mountain Apache and is currently based in Brooklyn. She continually collaborates with artists, filmmakers, dancers and musicians from New York, New Mexico, Italy and Canada. She has performed, recorded and toured with New York bands Stars Like Fleas and The Dust Dive. She has been awarded artist residencies at the Rauschenberg Residency in Captiva, Florida, the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and at Issue Project Room in Brooklyn, New York. In 2008, she founded the Coast Orchestra, an all-Native American orchestral ensemble performing the 1914 original score live accompaniment to photographer Edward Curtis’s film “In the Land of the Head Hunters” to sold-out audiences at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Ortman released her third solo album My Soul Remainer in 2016 recorded and co-produced by Martin Bisi. This si her third performance as part of Plug In’s programs since 2016.

Suzanne Kite is a PhD candidate at Concordia Univeristy with a BFA in music composition from CalArts and MFA from Bard College. She is an Oglala Lakota multi-disciplinary artist who is conducting fieldwork in South Dakota’s Oglala community where she has family ties. Her specific interests are centered on contemporary Lakota mythologies and diasporic Indigenous epistemologies. She investigates the multiplicity of mythologies existing constantly in the contemporary storytelling of the Lakota through research-creation and interactive multimedia performances. She co-runs the experimental electronic label, Unheard Records. Last year Kite became the research assistant at the Initiative for Indigenous Futures in Montreal.

Raven Chacon hails from the Navajo Nation in Arizona. He is a composer and installation-artist. Chacon’s work has been featured at the Whitney Biennial (2017); the 18th Bienniale of Sydney and other venues across North America. Chacon holds an MFA in Music Composition from CalArts and currently resides in Alberqueue, New Mexico. He was a member of the Indigenous arts collective, Postcommodity, and has produced numerous solo works that have been exhibited across north America and Europe. His discography includes At the Point Where Rivers Crossed, We Drew Our Knives released by Anarchymoon Records in 2010, and in 2015 with Postcommodity, he released We Lost Half the Forest and the Rest Will Burn this Summer with PCP/Sssk. He was awarded the Berlin Prize in Spring of 2018.

We would like to acknowledge Video Pool Media Arts Centre as co-producers of For Zitkála-Šá by Raven Chacon, which is a work in progress.

Associated Programming

* Friday, September 28, 7pm | Public Conversation with Sameer Farooq, Jeanne Randolph and Jared Stanley

* Saturday, September 29 | open hours 7pm to 1am

7-11pm | Opening Reception and Nuit Blanche
6pm | Public Conversation with Raven Chacon, Laura Ortman and Suzanne Kite

8pm | Performances by Laura Ortman and Suzanne Kite

* Thursday, November 1, 7pm | Artist Talk Ken Lum

Presented by the School of Art, University of Manitoba & Plug In Institute of Contemporary, and hosted by the Winnipeg Art Gallery in Eckhardt Hall, 300 Memorial Boulevard, Winnipeg


Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art recognizes we are on Treaty One Territory, the traditional territories of the Anishinaabe, Métis, Cree, Dakota and Oji-Cree Nations.

Plug In ICA extends our gratitude to all the artists who are participating in Days of Reading: beyond this state of affairs, with thanks to the numerous galleries who have facilitated works in the exhibition with special acknowledgement to Daniel Faria Gallery for production assistance of Shannon Bool’s All Saints Bench. We would like to acknowledge Video Pool Media Arts Centre as co-producers of For Zitkála-Šá by Raven Chacon, which is a work in progress.  Thank the Winnipeg Art Gallery and 1C03 Gallery for the loan of works from their collections in support of Jeanne Randolph’s work. We give special thanks to Mike Nesbitt for loaning us a work from his private collection: Do I Know You by Theaster Gates. We also acknowledge with appreciation the School of Art at the University of Manitoba and the Winnipeg Art Gallery for collaborating to bring Ken Lum to Winnipeg for a lecture and seminar. We extend gratitude to Alpha Masonry and Fabris & Watts for providing Shannon Bool a place to work.

In general and as always, we thank the artists we work with, our generous donors, valued members and dedicated volunteers. With special thanks to our Director’s Circle. You make a difference!

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council. We could not operate without their continued financial investment and lobbying efforts.

Plug In ICA relies on community support to remain free and accessible to all. Enable us to continue presenting excellent programs! Please consider becoming a member of Plug In ICA and a donor at or by contacting Angela Forget, Operations Coordinator:

Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, Unit 1, 460 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, Canada R3C 0E8

Related exhibit:
Days of Reading: beyond this state of affairs