COASTLINE: Introduction and development of artificial intelligence (AI) and Non-Fungible Tokens for Indigenous visual artists and moving image-makers

In 2022, the Harbour Collective developed, Coastline, a series of workshops and labs for Indigenous artists working in 2D, 3D visual art, digital art, moving image, or audio forms.

Our first series is called, Coastline: an introduction to AI learning as an art tool and NFT production.

The LAB consists of two two-hour online sessions in May and June; and onsite in Ottawa, Ontario, from August 2nd to 9th, 2022. The online workshop series include an introduction to and history of artificial intelligence and NFTs, along with the history of NFTs. While onsite in Ottawa, participants will use tools to create their own NFT artworks.

Two Facilitators were selected to develop the online and onsite workshop working with Harbour Collective’s Artistic Director, Jason Bearg.

A Call for Artists was made in March 2022 with six artists were selected on March 30th, 2022.

Each artist will be granted $2000 to participate in the online learning and the onsite experience.

Selected participants will be provided with travel, accommodations, and a daily per diem while in Ottawa, Ontario.

Participants will also engage in a feedback session for the project.

The Coastline series should allow the artist to gain the knowledge and skills to:

  • Engage in the technology
  • review the history of artificial intelligence and its uses in art and art creations,
  • produce their own NFT artworks

Holly Aubichon

Holly Aubichon comes from a mixed heritage of Métis, and Cree on her paternal side and Ukrainian, Irish and Scottish on her maternal side (Ogrodnick). Born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan, her Indigenous relations come from Green Lake, SK and Lestock, SK. Aubichon’s practice is laboriously reliant on retracing familial memories and connections. She uses painting as a way to foster personal healing. As an extension of her practice, she has begun a traditional Indigenous tattoo mentorship to acknowledge the memories that bodies hold, support the healing, grieving and the revival of traditional tattoo practices. She has recently graduated from the University of Regina in the Spring of 2021 with a Bachelors of Fine Arts, minoring in Indigenous Art History. Aubichon is the 2021 BMO 1st Art! Regional winner for Saskatchewan.

Naomi Condo

Naomi Condo is a Mik’maw writer and director from Gesgapegiag First Nation. In 2018, Condo participated in a Master Class in The Director of Photography with Michel LaVeaux and attended the RIDM’s Talent Lab (Recontres International du Documentaire de Montreal).  As a 2020 panelist on IM4, Immersed Matriachs 4Lab, she discussed VR and its place within indigenous storytelling.  The webseries was a part of Vancouver’s International Film Festival and aired on September 29th, at 10 PST. In 2021, she was a participant in the Meech Lake Lab hosted by Harbour Collective from Winnipeg, Manitoba. That same year, she discussed the film I am L’nu, 2021 as an Artist Guest Speaker for Indigenous Day.

Dayna Danger

Dayna Danger (they/them) is a Two-Spirit, Indigiqueer, Métis-Saulteaux-Polish visual artist. Danger was raised in Miiskwaagamiwiziibiing, Treaty 1 territory, or so-called Winnipeg. They are currently based in Tiohtiá:ke/Mōniyāng or so-called Montreal. Through utilizing the processes of photography, sculpture, performance and video, Danger creates works and environments that question the line between empowerment and objectification by claiming the space. Ongoing works exploring BDSM and beaded leather fetish masks negotiate the complicated dynamics of sexuality, gender, and power in a consensual and feminist manner. Their focus remains on Indigenous and Métis visual and erotic sovereignty. In 2021, they began a doctorate at Concordia University that focuses on hide-tanning stories and bush skills, culture camps, passed on from their Saulteaux great-grandmother, Madeline McLeod (Campbell).

Quinn Hopkins

Quinn Hopkins (b. 1998) is inspired by new, innovative technologies, connecting them with the land and his roots as an Anishinaabe person. He utilizes techniques such as 3D modelling, digital drawing, editing, creative coding and machine learning; Hopkins collaborates with the computer to research, design and create his artworks. His interests are focused on developing new ways to visualize the spirit of the land to reveal the many truths about humanity’s relationship with the land. He is not afraid to experiment with new tools and mediums, which has led him to create augmented reality art, virtual reality art and non-fungible token art in the past year; that attracted national attention from the media. Hopkins has appeared on CBC The National and Breakfast Television, as well as been featured in an article on CBC Indigenous. As a student at OCAD University, Hopkins is young and enthusiastic about his art’s ability to inspire action. He is using his resources to build a more equitable space for Indigenous artists in NFT spaces, advocating for Indigenous sovereignty and decolonization.

Chanelle Lajoie

Chanelle Lajoie is a Queer Red River Métis Futurist and guest on Tiohti:áke Territory studying at McGill Law. Moving-image invites balance in their life by honouring and engaging with the communities to which they belong. Their ties to community are best witnessed in recent projects Métis Femme Bodies (2019) and Lavender Menace (2020). Chanelle completed MAWA’s Foundation Mentorship Program (2020-21) preparing them for moving- image projects Grand Mother Tongue, with Toronto Queer Film Festival’s DIY Lab Mentorship Program (2020-21) and Bison Hunt, with ImagineNATIVE’s Doc Salon Fellowship as part of the European Film Market (2021). They attended Harbour Collective’s Meech Lake Residency (August 2021), completing moving-image project Land (Ab)Use. They are looking forward to finalizing Snap Chat Thirza Cuthand as part of Image + Nation Story Lab Mentorship and presenting If Not HereThen Where with Toronto Queer Film Festival’s Queer Futurism Symposium this spring.

Claude Latour 1961

Claude Latour 1961, is a band member of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation, Maniwaki, Quebec. He has a Diploma of Fine Arts Degree from the CEGEP De L’Outaouais’s Heritage College, Hull, PQ (1996) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON (2001). 

As an educator, Claude has worked and taught with the Public and Catholic School Boards in Ottawa, the Ottawa Art Gallery OffGrid Program , the Spring Break Programs at the National Gallery of Canada in photography and silkscreening, as well as Algonquin College in the Media Design Program ( Creative Thinking). 

In 2003 he curated an art exhibit on Victoria Island situated between Quebec and Ontario on the Kitchi Zibi (Grand/Big River, Algonkin Territory, known today as the Ottawa River) featuring 11 artists from his community of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg celebrating not the creation of the reserve itself, but more importantly, 150 years of memory and survival. Presently, Claude is working on a project entitled, The Yellow House Series made up of Indian ink drawings having started in 2013 and due for completion in late 2020. He currently resides both on the west coast and in his home town in Ottawa, Ontario.


Jason Bearg – Artistic Director

Jason Baerg is a registered member of the Métis Nation of Ontario. He is currently the Assistant Professor in Indigenous Practices in Contemporary Painting and Media Art at OCAD University. Dedicated to community development, he founded and incorporated the Métis Artist Collective and has served as volunteer Chair for such organizations as the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective and the National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition. Creatively, as a visual artist, he pushes new boundaries in digital interventions in drawing, painting and new media installation. Recent international solo exhibitions include the Illuminato Festival in Toronto, Canada, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia and the Digital Dome at the Institute of the American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Dave Krouse : Non-Fungible Tokens

David Krouse is an Indigenous computational artist living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. David specializes in adapting various digital computing technologies to operational and artistic practices. For the past 16 years, David has been active in the arts community assisting galleries and artists display their respective works on websites and other mediums. These projects include Urban Shaman Gallery’s a Virtual Museum of Canada Exhibition, MacKenzie Art Gallery’s Bob Boyer Retrospective, a Virtual Museum of Canada Exhibition, and Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art’s Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years virtual exhibition.

As an artist, David has created a number of computer generated artwork and media that have been featured at the Urban Shaman Gallery, Winnipeg Indigenous Film Festival, Struts Gallery, and The Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative’s Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival.

David is currently working with stereoscopic VR180 VR360 Filmmaking, which can be accessed on his website,

Ryan Kelln : Artificial Intellengence

Ryan is a software artist based in Toronto. His work focuses on digital economics, open source software and art, and machine learning. For over twenty years he has been asking, “Who decides what and how things get made? Who gets to make them? And who has access to what has been made?” In the last decade the economic and cultural implications of machine intelligence have become more central to his research and work. He integrated these new AI tools into his own art, which included multiple music concerts where AI was used to generate audio and visuals. He has also worked in collaboration with other artists to integrate machine learning tools into their practice. These experiences have left him with a profound feeling that we are witnessing the tools we build transition from existence to being.


This tab features resources on Non-Fungible Tokens and Artificial Intelligence

Gallery of Works

This area will feature works and representations from the artists participating in this LAB Series.

©2024 Harbour Collective Inc.


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