Tuesday, October 27

New Middles: Indigenous Futures and Radical Thinking was a roundtable between designer Chris Cornelius, The Land Institute Founder Wes Jackson, artist/architect Joar Nango, and speculative artist and designer Ash Eliza Smith. A long timeline is central to this conversation, which asks what are lessons, past and future, of this land and indigenous design? How might alternative voices and perspectives in relations to land, agriculture, and ways of making reimagine North American narratives?

Chris Cornelius (Oneida)
studio:indigenous, Milwaukee WI

Wes Jackson
The Land Institute, Salina KS

Joar Nango (Sámi)
FFB, Alta, Finland

Ash Smith
Carson Center of Emerging Media Arts, Lincoln NE

Moderated by Mimi Zeiger
2020–21 Curator, Exhibit Columbus

Chris Cornelius is a citizen of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin and an Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is the founding principal of studio:indigenous, a design practice serving indigenous clients. Cornelius was a collaborating designer with Antoine Predock on the Indian Community School of Milwaukee. Cornelius is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the inaugural J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize from Exhibit Columbus in 2017. Chris has been exhibited widely including the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. During the Spring 2021 semester Cornelius will be the Louis I. Kahn Visiting Assistant Professor of Architectural Design at Yale University.

Wes Jackson, Co-Founder and President Emeritus of The Land Institute, was born in 1936 on a farm near Topeka, Kansas. In 1976 he resigned from California State University, Sacramento, where he had established the Environmental Studies department, and returned to Kansas to found The Land Institute. Dr. Jackson has published numerous articles and books, and the work of The Land Institute has been featured extensively in the press, including The Atlantic Monthly, Audubon, National Geographic, and Time Magazine. For the work of The Land Institute, Jackson has received six honorary doctorates, and Life magazine named Wes Jackson as one of 18 individuals they predict will be among the 100 "important Americans of the 20th century."

Joar Nango is a Sámi and Norwegian architect and visual artist, born in Alta, Norway, currently living in Tromsø, Norway. His varied practices often involve site-specific performances and structural installations, which explore the intersection of architecture and visual art, drawing from both his Sámi heritage and Western culture. Nango is a co-founder of the architecture collective FFB, which creates temporary installations in urban settings. Nango has exhibited his work internationally, and one of his recent projects was European Everything (2017) at Documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel.

Ash Eliza Smith is an artist-researcher who uses storytelling, worldbuilding, and speculative design to shape new realities. With performance as both an object and lens, Smith works across art+science, between fact+fiction, and with human+non-human agents to re-imagine past and future technologies, systems, and rural-urban ecologies. She is an Assistant Professor of Emerging Media Arts at UNL. Her research lab uses story, performance, and speculation to solve problems, re-imagine systems, and build worlds with the current research focus on nature and technology within a rural-urban context.


Joar Nango and Silje Figenschou Thoresen. The Indigenuity Project

Wes Jackson, Consulting the Genius of the Place: An Ecological Approach to a New Agriculture (Counterpoint, 2011)

Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants (Milkweed Editions, 2013)

Octavia E. Butler. The Parable of the Sower (Seven Stories Press, 2017)

Ytasha L. Womack. Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture (Lawrence Hill Books, 2013)

Thursday, October 29

Whose voices shape an equitable future for Columbus? Miller Prize recipient Olalekan Jeyifous joined Whitney Amuchastegui, Executive Director of Su Casa Columbus and Carolina Castoreno-Santana, Executive Director of the American Indian Center of Indiana in a discussion that addressed how collaboration, alternative histories, and multiple narratives might play a role in the design of an inclusive future.

Olalekan Jeyifous
Brooklyn NY

Whitney Amuchastegui
Su Casa Columbus, Columbus IN

Carolina Castoreno-Santana (Lipan Apache)
American Indian Center of Indiana, Indianapolis IN

Moderated by Scott Shoemaker (Miami Tribe of Oklahoma)
Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis IN

Whitney Amuchastegui joined Su Casa in 2018 as Executive Director having spent the last three years working at BCSC in the English Learning Department. There, she participated in the establishment of the Cultural Learning Center, promoting the integration of international families into the community, supporting Latino young talent, and encouraging multi-cultural expression in the schools. She is a strong proponent of human rights and positive youth development in our community. Whitney comes from Canada by way of Chile, Uruguay, and Argentina where she spent eight years. It is also where she met her husband and began her family. Her previous roles have been in the graphic design field, working for Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Economic Development Corporation in New York City and the Turismo Sustentable arm of the Tourism Secretary in Chile. She holds a BFA in Communication Design from Parsons School of Design.

Carolina Castoreno-Santana is the Executive Director of the American Indian Center of Indiana. She is an enrolled member of Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas, and is also of Mescalero Apache and Yaqui descent. Carolina is a writer, activist, student, and mother who is dedicated to social justice, the preservation of Native identity, decolonization efforts, and education for and of Indigenous peoples of the Americas. Her doctoral studies focus on Indigenous communities and academic activism in Latin America. She is dedicated to improving the image and presence of AICI in the community, and has presented on topics surrounding Indigenous identity and rights at NCORE (National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education), the White Privilege Conference, the Indiana Latino Leadership Conference, and other Diversity conferences across the state and country. She is a current member and former board member of the American Indian Movement IN/KY Chapter, where her primary concerns are awareness and action for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Outreach to Indigenous Latino Community, and Native American education.

Dr. Scott Shoemaker is the Eiteljorg Museum’s Thomas G. & Susan C. Hoback Curator of Native American Art, History & Culture. He is a citizen of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma and a direct descendant of Chief Mihtohseenia, one of the Miami leaders who signed the Treaty of St. Mary’s in 1818. Originally from Kokomo, Indiana, Shoemaker has been active in the revitalization of the Miami language and art of ribbonwork for over twenty years.

Often times my work amplifies communities and voices that may not be that visible within the present narrative.

-Olalekan Jeyifous