Consulate General of Canada and City of Dallas Partner to Launch Augmented Reality Sculpture Series in Recognition of Native American Heritage Month

Consulate General of Canada and City of Dallas Partner to Launch Augmented Reality Sculpture Series in Recognition of Native American Heritage Month

Digital Art Honors Traditional Indigenous Symbols and North Texas Role as Indigenous Thoroughfare

Ha Įlè is a virtual installation of augmented reality sculptures that honor traditional Indigenous symbols of North America and draw inspiration from the Indigenous cave paintings and petroglyphs found in the Pecos valley of Texas. Made possible through a partnership between the Consulate General of Canada and the City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture, the immersive digital art is accessible for free at partner locations including the Dallas Museum of Art, AT&T Discovery District, West End Square Park, and Carpenter Park from Nov. 1 – early January 2023.

The public can experience the artwork by scanning a QR code (anchor) that will seamlessly transport them to an interface where they can view and engage with the augmented reality sculpture directly through their smartphone camera. The art can be further explored as the user physically moves around the anchor. Users can take interactive photos and video with art to enjoy and share.

The digital art was produced through a cross-border collaboration between local Dallas artist, Eric Wagliardo, and Dene First Nations artist, Casey Koyczan, who hails from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada. Throughout the creative process, both artists brought unique perspectives on how to honor the Indigenous peoples of North America using augmented reality as their medium. All three sculptures feature an interactive hummingbird, which is a symbol of love, beauty, and joy in the eyes of many Indigenous populations. Two of the sculptures display native rock elements that are adorned with AI generated petroglyphs that take inspiration from cave paintings and petroglyphs found in the Pecos valley, which were active between 1700 BC to 600 AD.

Ha Įlè means “future and past tense” in the Tlicho language. This Dene language title honors one of the artists, Casey Koyczan, who is of Dene descent, and underscores the cross-border nature of the project. Dene or Dine (the Athabaskan languages) is a widely distributed group of Native languages spoken by associated peoples in Alberta, BritishColumbia, Manitoba, Nunavut, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Alaska, parts of Oregon, Northern California, and the American Southwest and parts of Northern Mexico.

Ha Įlè launched on November 1, 2022 in honor of the start of Native American Heritage Month in the United States. The project partners and artists hope that by interacting with Ha Įlè, the public will be compelled to reflect on the unique histories, cultures, languages, and traditions that Indigenous people bring to communities across the United States and Canada.

About the Partners 

The Consulate General of Canada in Dallas has been proudly operating in downtown Dallas for more than 50 years, overseeing Canada-US bilateral relations in the states of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. By way of its diplomatic network abroad, the Government of Canada has been active in promoting Indigenous arts as a vehicle for the maintenance and transmission of culture, reaching new audiences and educating others about Indigenous heritage.

The City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture’s Public Art Program manages the commission and acquisition of new public art as well as the conservation and maintenance of the existing City of Dallas art collection. Works of public art, many created by local and regional artists, enliven parks, libraries, fire stations, recreation centers, and many more public locations in Dallas. The Public Art Program works to make Dallas a vibrant place in which to live and work, and a great place to visit.

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