Seeds of a Future World: Science and Technology in the Digital Art of Elizabeth LaPensée


  • Kristina Baudemann Europa-Universität Flensburg



science, technology, biskaabiiyang, Indigenous futurisms, science fiction, visual art, Native American art, sovereignty, decolonization, future


This article examines how the decolonial practice of digital artist Elizabeth LaPensée deals with colonial representations of science and technology. In colonial images, the ideological prejudice that Indigenous people belong in the past and are incapable of a future of higher sciences manifests itself in a pervasive visual language. The colonial imagery that pitches developed versus primitive technology is frequently reproduced in contemporary representations. Creating art that takes into account her Anishinaabe and Métis worldviews, LaPensée challenges these racist notions and dismantles the colonial structures at their roots. This article reads LaPensée’s digital works alongside the artist’s own comments as depictions of Indigenous scientific literacies that do not rely on colonial symbolism. By telling stories about sustainable futures with a recurrent imagery, LaPensée offers viewers a representational, anti-colonial language with which these futures can be imagined.

Author Biography

Kristina Baudemann, Europa-Universität Flensburg

Kristina Baudemann is an instructor and Ph.D. student at the Europa-Universität Flensburg in Flensburg, Germany. She has contributed to the Extrapolation“ special issue on Indigenous Futurism“ as well as to The Fictions of Stephen Graham Jones: A Critical Companion“. In 2014, she was a Fulbright fellow at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. Her dissertation explores representations of futures and futurity in contemporary North American Indigenous arts and literatures.




How to Cite

Baudemann, Kristina. “Seeds of a Future World: Science and Technology in the Digital Art of Elizabeth LaPensée”. Current Objectives of Postgraduate American Studies, vol. 18, no. 1, July 2017, doi:10.5283/copas.272.