The 2019 Earthline Tattoo School Participants!

Over the last week IOTA has taken the time to highlight those participating in the 2019 Earthline Tattoo School, Quill Christie-Peters, Louis Esmé, Stacey Fayant and Mila Waseskwan.

Mila Waseskwan

Mila Waseskwan

Mila Waseskwan

The land is everything,for Mila. She is a nîhiyaw iskwîw(Cree Woman) born and raised in the sâkawnîhiyaw(Bush Cree) community ofkîto sâkahikan(Calling Lake, Alberta).

Here, learning nîhiyawculture and ways of knowing and fulfilling her responsibilities,she feels truly humbled. She practices traditional skills such as hide tanning, beadwork, quillwork, as well as contemporary art skills, and is also a jingle dress dancer.She is committed to live her life in the forest, to strengthen and live her relationship and love for our mother the earth. She believes that this is the place, which provides all things needed to physically and spiritually live.

Learning to live nîhiyaw isîhcikîwi(cultural ways connected to mother earth),Mila is helping restore the traditional oskâpîwis (helper) society within her community.Learning about and living more according to the lifeways of the ancestors, Mila’s life focuses on intergenerational resilience, healing and resurgence.

Quill Christie-Peters

Quill Christie-Peters

Quill Christie-Peters

Quill Christie-Peters is an Anishinaabe arts programmer and self-taught visual artist currently residing in Northwestern Ontario.

She currently works as the Director of Education and Training for the aboriginal curatorial collective where she is coordinating the Emerging Curatorial Training Program. She is the creator of the Indigenous Youth Residency Program, an artist residency for Indigenous youth that engages land-based creative practices through Anishinaabe artistic methodologies. She holds a Masters degree in Indigenous Governance on Anishinaabe art-making as a process of falling in love and sits on the board of directors for Native Women in the Arts.

Her written work can be found in GUTS Magazine and Tea N’ Bannock and her visual work can be found at @raunchykwe.

Louis Esmé

Photo: Installation, Hello, Who Is Hosting You Today? 2018, earthenware, underglaze, glaze. Louis Esmé: Maldewin Weskijinu, Gardiner Museum. Photo courtesy of the Gardiner.

Photo: Installation, Hello, Who Is Hosting You Today? 2018, earthenware, underglaze, glaze. Louis Esmé: Maldewin Weskijinu, Gardiner Museum. Photo courtesy of the Gardiner.

Louis Esmé is from the Myshrall Settlement, NB and is a non-status Mi’kmaq, Acadian and Irish person. They were born on Treaty 6 territory and raised mostly on Salish territories.

In 2018, they were artist in residence at the Gardiner Museum and Akin Studios. They curated multiple programs during their exhibition at the Gardiner, in collaboration with Titiesg Wîcinímintôwak // Bluejays Dancing Together artists and performers. With Titiesg, they co-curated Living Legacies: Two-Spirit Stories in 2016/17, including a collaborative exhibition at Whippersnapper Gallery.

Their 1st edition of Indigenous Feminist Cats coloring book was self-published in 2016, with another forthcoming later this year. Published works include illustrations and writing for Transgender Studies Quarterly, Poetry is Dead, Sovereign Erotics, and Redwire Magazine. They graduated from Emily Carr University in 2009, moving to Tkaronto the following year. Louis is involved in many grassroots, artist-run, and academic projects, moving independently between spaces over the past 20 years

Website or on Instagram @megwegwksitqamuk.

Stacey Fayant

Stacey Fayant

Stacey Fayant

Stacey Fayant works in various mediums including wool, fabric, beading and painting. She was born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan and has Métis, Cree, Saulteaux and French roots

She received a Bachelor of Fine Art in Printmaking and Painting and a Bachelor of Art in Women's Studies from the University of Regina, in 2002 and 2004. Stacey currently serves as Chair of the Board for Sâkêwêwak Artist Collective. She is a self-taught milliner and creates other art pieces that are sold locally and internationally. She is currently working on a large scale project that explores identity, history keeping, and how those ideas can create or destroy comfort.

Having utilized body modification as self-therapy Stacey became interested in how personal aesthetics relate to identity and self-valuation. She then became aware of tattooing traditions practiced in North America and she felt a pull to learn more and become involved in helping reinvigorate Indigenous tattooing.

Stacey can be found @staceyfayant.

Earthline Tattoo is Looking for Volunteers


Earthline Tattoo is looking for volunteers to be tattooed by this years Tattoo School participants: Quill Christie-Peters, Louis Esmé, Stacey Fayant and Mila Waseskwan!

The following dates are available: Feb 28th, March 3rd, 7th, 8th & 14th. The Tattoo School takes place in Kjipuktuk (Halifax).

Each artist is learning how to hand poke and skin stitch. Priority will be given to Indigenous peoples.

If you are interested please send an e-mail to with the subject line reading 'your name - tattoo interest'. We will follow up with a few questions so keep checking your inbox.

Deadline: February 18th, 2019.

IOTA and Earthline Tattoo Collective Present:

IOTA is excited to announce its partnership with the Earthline Tattoo Collective in presenting this year's Tattoo School, an opportunity for Indigenous artists to (re)learn their craft.

This important initiative will take place on Mi'kma'ki in Kjipuktuk (Halifax) between February 9th and March 16th, 2019. The Tattoo School is held at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, who will also host a public artist talk.

The Earthline Tattoo Collective in partnership with IOTA will host a tattoo demonstration open to the public and a youth workshop in early March. The public demonstration held at the Museum of Natural History March 9th, will be an opportunity for a broad audience to come together and discuss safe and healthy practices and spaces when teaching traditional Indigenous tattooing.

We would also like to congratulate the 2019 Earthline Tattoo School participants: Quill Christie-Peters, Louis Esmé, Stacey Fayant and Mila Waseskwan and the cultural tattoo practitioners and visual artists that make up Earthline Tattoo Collective, Jordan Bennett (Mi’kmaq, NS), Amberley John [kʌniyewʌna (Bear Clan), ON], Dion Kaszas (Nlaka'pamux, BC), and Amy Malbeuf (Métis, NS). The Tattoo School will also be welcoming tattoo practitioners of international caliber and expertise as guest mentors.

Information about  Earthline Tattoo Collective, their guests and what events are open for local participation will be made available in the coming weeks @IOTAintitute, including an inside look at the Tattoo School as strides are made in reviving an important cultural practice.

Female tattoo artists are Danika Nacaarella (forefront) and Maannii Oakes (background) .

Female tattoo artists are Danika Nacaarella (forefront) and Maannii Oakes (background) .

A Look Back at 2018

There is no doubt that 2018 was a year to remember for IOTA, the most active in its 4-year existence. Taking a look back we remember the experiences we shared with you all that made it amazing;

The final launch of our web art series by Canadian artists Jennifer Chan 'Important Men', Liz Solo 'The Wide Sky' and J.R. Carpenter 'This is a Picture of Wind'. A cinematic dome residency and the world premiere of her immersive experience 'Cyberhive' with Ruth Marsh. Three Jordan Bennett public art commissions, one of which will be presented to the public in 2019 at the Zatzman Sportsplex. A very first Bio Art residency by WhiteFeather Hunter in collaboration with SMU and the Milieux Institute that focused on the soil remediation project 'Prospective Futures:The Aurelia Project'. An artist talk with Earthline Tattoo Collective that discussed the revival of Indigenous tattooing traditions and how it can revive artists’ ancestral traditions. Closing out the year we even released two new e-publications that can be downloaded for free.

As we move forward into 2019, IOTA will bring you more from these returning artists with focused Bio Art events in the form of artist talks, gallery exhibitions, spectacular performances and new installations, including first-time visits by Stelarc, Nina Sellars, Andrew Pelling, and Jennifer Willet.

We are also pleased to greet 2019 with our brand new website which will be coming soon, furthermore, keep your eyes peeled on our social media for updates on the February launch of the Jordan Bennett Sportsplex public art piece and the start of the Earthline Tattoo School.

We look forward to evolving IOTA with you all in the coming year!

Bacterial BioPigments Master Class with WhiteFeather Hunter

A very rad Master Class with Bio Artist WhiteFeather Hunter is now live for registration on the NSCAD University website. IOTA, the School of Extended Studies and the Anna Leonowens, are co-hosting a Bacterial BioPigments Master Class which will include the coveted textile dyeing technique of shibori.

Only 12 spots available. Sign up for this pretty unique experience.


Hunter will be in Halifax for six weeks starting October 1st, for a soil remediation project Prospective Futures: The Aurelia Project a collaboration with IOTA, Saint Mary's University Halifax professor Dr. Linda Campbell and the Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture and Technology at Concordia.

This project is partly funded by STEMfest 2018, and CLARI Committee on Community Engaged Research (CASE).

Date: Wednesday October 24th and Friday October 26th, 2018

Times: 1pm – 4pm

Cost: $350

WhiteFeather Hunter is a multiple-award winner and grant recipient, holding an Master of Fine Arts in Fibres and Material Practices from Concordia University. She is Principal Investigator and Technician of the Speculative Life BioLab at the Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture and Technology at Concordia University and Artist-in-Residence at Sporobole centre en art actuel/ Université de Sherbrooke with collaborator, Dr. Denis Groleau, Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Microorganisms and Industrial Processes.

Earthline Tattoo Collective - Artist Talk - Nov. 6, 2018 @ 7pm

Earthline Tattoo Collective is invited by IOTA for an artist talk to discuss the revival of Indigenous tattooing traditions and how it can revive artists’ ancestral traditions through the stories of others who have been working at reviving their own tattooing traditions.


Earthline Tattoo Collective Artist Talk -----> November 6th, 2018 @ 7pm

Earthline Tattoo Collective is an Indigenous arts collective of a dedicated cultural tattoo practitioners and visual artists: Jordan Bennett (Mi’kmaq, NS), Amberley John [kʌniyewʌna (Bear Clan), ON], Dion Kaszas (Nlaka'pamux, BC), and Amy Malbeuf (Métis, NS) who travel through Canada to create a safe space to teach traditional and cultural Indigenous tattoo practices. They host a tattoo school for Indigenous artists to (re)learn their craft.

Earthline Tattoo Collective aims to enhance, expand, and support the work of traditional and cultural Indigenous tattoo practices across Canada. Earthline is committed to ensuring the health and safety of our communities through training and adhering to the highest standards. We are committed to ensuring the cultural safety of individuals and communities we work with through research, collaboration, design development, and creating awareness of the cultural Indigenous tattoo practices of Turtle Island.

CYBERHIVE world premiere, Wednesday October 3rd, 2018 @ 7:30pm


(May - October 2018)

IOTA: ARC presents the dome after dark for a 15-min stop-motion, sound and video piece which conjures a technologically altered, large-scale beehive.

This Immersive Experience is created by Ruth Marsh is a 360 degree video with original music and sound design by Jeremy Costello. The new work is presented by IOTA Institute and was supported via a 2-month artist residency in the Seadome.

A critical Essay about Ruth Marsh's residency and immersive artwork by writer, curator and artist Julia McMillan, will be published in an e-publication, released on the screening premiere

CYBERHIVE world premiere -----> October 3rd, 2018 @ 7:30pm


IOTA: ARC Residency goes forward

With contributions to IOTA: ARC residency’s IndieGoGo campaign and with other private donations this Ruth Marsh #immersive #dome residency will be possible.

We’ll update you all as we go! Thank YOU for your support. #artistresidency #ruthmarsh #IOTAARC #bee #beehive

Bio Art at IOTA

Prospective Futures: The Aurelia Project (May- December 2018)

 IOTA: BETA is launching a Bio Art project in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Working with 9 contemporary artists and three curators, who bridge the topic of life sciences through arts.

Look for updates on all platforms of social media @IOTAinstitute!

Prospective Futures: The Aurelia Project is a collaboration between Saint Mary’s University Senior Research Fellow, Dr. Linda Campbell, and WhiteFeather Hunter, transdisclipinary artist and Principal Investigator/ Technician, Speculative Life BioLab at the Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture and Technology at Concordia University in Montreal. 

Full IOTA Project Page HERE.

(Photo: WhiteFeather Hunter, video still "blóm + blóð"

(Photo: WhiteFeather Hunter, video still "blóm + blóð"

Ruth Marsh and IOTA in the CBC News!

"This summer, Marsh is teaming up with IOTA Institute, a Halifax-based arts organization, for what's called an immersive cinema artist residency. She plans to broadcast her animation inside a nine-metre 360-degree dome that's meant to mimic a living, breathing beehive."

See full CBC Nova Scotia article by journalist Emma Smith HERE.

Accompanying video piece HERE

ONLY 7 DAYS LEFT - every $10 helps us come closer to our goal! ------> IndieGoGo Ruth Marsh Residency


(Photo: CBC Nova Scotia)


Jordan Bennett selected for Signature Piece

IOTA is proud to announce that Jordan Bennett has been selected for the creation of a new signature public artwork for the Dartmouth Sportsplex, and IOTA is SO incredibly pleased to be a project partner.

Follow us on all social media platforms @IOTAinstitute to see the art in progress! 

You can find out more about Jordan Bennett on his artist page:

Press Links:

Dartmouth Sportsplex public art bid awarded to Jordan Bennett

Mi’kmaq artist Jordan Bennett awarded public art bid for Dartmouth Sportsplex - Global News

(Photo: Dahlia Katz)

(Photo: Dahlia Katz)


IOTA on Indiegogo!

IOTA has launched a crowd funding campaign in Indiegogo!

Our new initiative, the IOTA: ARC pilot residency program takes place in a 30 ft geodesic dome with an  360° cinematic interior; an artist will learn the technology necessary to support the creation of a new immersive experience.

(Photo by Liz Lott)

(Photo by Liz Lott)


We've invited Halifax based artist Ruth Marsh to pilot the residency! The Immersive Experience is a 15-min stop-motion, sound and video piece. The film will feature several hundred cyborg bees for this immersive environment. The presentation will invite viewers to enter into a technologically altered, large-scale beehive.

Support our pilot immersive cinema artist residency!



Web-Art e-Publication

Isabelle Avers

Isabelle Avers

Couldn’t be more excited to announce that #IOTADATA is working on an e-pub in an e-pub, mid-2018, with web-art writers David Clark, Isabelle Avers, Johanna Drucker, and Adrienne Crossman. Available in April. #epub #webart 

IOTA has invited Isabelle Arvers, author, art curator and game artist to write about Liz Solo’s #thewidesky machinima #webart commission for #IOTADATA

Adrienne Crossman

Adrienne Crossman

Writer, artist, educator and curator Adrienne Crossman will write about Jennifer Chan’s #importantmen #webart commission for #IOTADATA

Johanna Drucker, known for her work in typography, experimental poetry, digital humanities, and as a book artist, was invited by #IOTADATA to write about J.R. Carpenter’s web commission #thisisapictureofwind for an #epub

Johanna Drucker

Johanna Drucker

David Clark

David Clark



David Clark, net artist, curator and writer works in material and intuitive or ephemeral media such as #AugmentedReality and will be offering a reflection on the net-scape of #webart in his forward for the #IOTADATA#epub

See all three IOTA web commissions here:


Launch: 'This is a Picture of Wind' by J.R. Carpenter

Launch date: Monday, 22 January, 2018

J.R. Carpenter’s web piece “This is A Picture of Wind” will expand upon a short text written in response to the storms which battered South West England in early 2014.

J. R. Carpenter is an award-winning artist, writer, performer, postdoctoral researcher, and maker of maps, zines, books, poetry, short fiction, long fiction, non-fiction, and non-linear, intertextual, hypermedia, and computer-generated narratives.




New Website Coming Soon

IOTA is undertaking a structural change that will better reflect an interactive online space, new services to artists, and exciting announcements in early 2018. 

IOTA continues to be a producer of contemporary cross-disciplinary art discourse focusing on art forms that are based in technology, social interventions, and science.

Coming soon in 2018


Launching - This Is a Picture of Wind, web-work by J.R. Carpenter

Announcing - The first IOTA: STUDIOS artist 

Click 'CONTACT' to join our sporadic mailing list

May-June 2017: Second edition of IOTA: Gallery Pop Up

Announcing the Micro Event:

IOTA: Gallery Pop Up (Deux)

After the successful 2015 Micro-Event IOTA: Gallery Pop Up (Un), a pop up gallery that featured fourteen Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and New Brunswick contemporary artists, and two Halifax commercial art galleries for an online sale and pop-up sale event, IOTA Institute has decided to conduct a second event titled IOTA: Gallery Pop Up (Deux)

The works of twelve new artists who work in various disciplines such as printmaking, bioart, collage, painting, text-based, video, photography and sculpture will be available for pre-purchase through the IOTA website HERE. All artists will be featured for an interview as part of the Six Questions series, released every few days starting the first week of May 2017 leading up to the pop up event: June 17th, 2017 at the Anna Leonowens Art Bar + Projects.

IOTA: Gallery Pop Up (Deux) artists: Alisa Arsenault, Rémi Belliveau , Angela Glanzmann, WhiteFeather Hunter, Anne MacMillan, James MacSwain, Annie Onyi Cheung, William Robinson, Lou Sheppard, and Terri Whetstone with others to be announced.

Featured galleries:

HERMES: presenting artist TBA
Studio 21: presenting artists TBA

IOTA: DATA presents the commission The Wide Sky by Liz Solo


IOTA Institute has taken on a commissioning project inviting artists J.R. Carpenter (UK), Jennifer Chan (Ontario), and Liz Solo (Newfoundland) to produce new web-projects.

Liz Solo’s “The Wide Sky” is a web-based story based on the fragmented memories of a scientist desperately trying to save the world, users may view the story in linear time or opt for the interactive timeline and be presented with a choice at the end of every video, generating alternative outcomes. Visitors will be able to customize their avatar as characters from the story, interact with props and experience the video narrative via screens inside each digital space.

Follow the project progress on Twitter @IOTAinstitute #thewidesky #IOTADATA

IOTA Institute project page: