Winter Count is a union of artists cultivating awareness, respect, honor and protection for land and water, for all the living things that have lived here, and for all the living things to come.
WE ARE IN CRISIS
A gratitude film created by WINTER COUNT in offering to the water protectors, the land and the water. 2016 #NODAPL #waterislife #mniwiconi
Please share far and wide: https://vimeo.com/187762675
We Are in Crisis embraces the noninstrumental value expressed in the Lakota phrase and NoDAPL rallying cry "Mni Wiconi" (Water Is Life). Lanniko L. Lee of the Oceti Sakowin collective, Oak Lake Writers' Society, describes rivers as arteries, "life-giving and healing forces coursing through Unci Maka, Grandmother earth." They are "part of a larger expression of our relationship to everything that is." In the video, water is offered as a powerful medium for reembodiment and reconnection. The invitation to "see" a song that "rolls out through hilltops and valleys / along river basins and shorelines" doubles as a challenge to the primacy of military-industrial vision that delivers the same landforms as property and target. -Art In America
NOTHING IS NATURAL
For Nothing is Natural, indigenous activist collective R.I.S.E.: Radical Indigenous Survivance and Empowerment joined with two other collectives, Winter Count and Postcommodity, to create a performative art exhibition organized by Demian DinéYazhi’ (R.I.S.E.), Ginger Dunnill (Winter Count), and participating artists, with curator Stephanie Snyder ’91, director and curator of Reed’s Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery. The exhibition was on view for one day—August 11, 2017—and was part of Converge 45, a newly established city-wide arts happening in Portland, Oregon. Nothing is Natural’s call-and-response concept underscored the significance of convergence, amplifying the artists’ responses to: social and environmental injustice; migration/ movement/evolution; sanctuary; indigenous survivance; trust; and the resilience of culture despite forced relocation and resource extraction. -Reed Magazine
"The outdoor installation, created by art collective Winter Count, titled “Nothing is Natural,” is an incredibly poignant work, redressing the notion of violence against the natural world, violence against women, and violence against Indigenous bodies." -Erin Joyce, Hyperallergic
In Transition Is The Most Honest
In Transition Is The Most Honest is based within the realm of CauseLines. CauseLines is a multi-disciplinary interactive and investigative approach to geography by art collective Winter Count. This work engages a historic technology of music composition used by people of the Northern Plains. This is a practice of studying horizon-lines from which to create melody and tone repertoire. It is a process of resonating the landscape. Binding geography to culture. Singing the song-lines of belonging. We reference this pedagogy through a confluence of newer technological platforms. We’re creating scores from imagery of drone aerial footage that we have generated during times of resistance in places under threat of extractive industries. Places of Cause. This imagery follows natural and human influenced landscapes; river-lines, tree-lines, road-lines, pipe-lines. These are the CauseLines from which we score. The intention of these scores is to invite processes of belonging, clarity of place. Not creating meaning but finding the meaning that already exists. The scores are to be interpreted as song, as dance, as story. It is from the complexity of interpretation, subjectivity of improvisation, that we begin dialogue around how we establish our practice of place. 2017
"This spring I taught a course on the art history of the environmental movement. The semester began right after Trump issued the final permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline, so I wanted to introduce a work that would immediately put the relationship between colonialism, capitalism, and climate change into my students’ minds. Winter Count’s first video, We Are in Crisis, did that in a really interesting way. Like CauseLines, it features appropriated drone footage. Drones are a military-industrial technology designed to surveil, target, and kill usually non-white bodies. So what does it mean to take that footage and recontextualize it? As you saw today, the makers added songs and stories. For me, that clarifies something that all these videos do. They critique colonization and the devastation it causes to land and people, but they also suggest that there has to be something more. They ask how we can reinvest, creatively and critically, in alternative ways of being. They ask how we can inhabit a world that is shaped by colonization but is not reducible to it." -Jessica Horton in Conversation with Maria Hupfield and Jason Lujan for Art in America, Without Us There Is No You. Artists Space. New York City, NY. October 12, 2017
About Winter Count:
We are a growing collective of multi-disciplinary artists, working in film, performance, installation, sculpture, storytelling and sound composition. Our work engages with land and water under current threat by extractive industry. We bring together our minds as artists to cultivate gratitude and respect for water, land, and the interdependence of all things living in this world. Our work is ongoing, for everyone, and is accessible to the public through online platforms, museum and gallery exhibitions, screenings and public performances.
'Today we see natural cycles of life disrupted by the extraction and transportation of what we have come to call resources from the land.
The Nations of all living things are being destroyed in this pursuit.
We acknowledge that the need to protect water and land is increasing in every part of the world.
As human beings we are responsible to the ancestors and descendants of all living things for how we live.
So we bring together our minds as artists to cultivate gratitude and respect for water, land, and the interdependence of all things living in this world.
Through our work we bind together our diverse ancestry and cultures, to honor and protect water and land.
As artists we tell stories, stories learned from each other, from land, water and all our relatives.
We are listening, we are watching, we are holding up reflectors, waving flags, singing the horizon and telling the story of how we are now.
As artists we are making visions and asking how we can be, what we can make for our children, and our grandchildren’s children.' - WINTER COUNT