On October 20, IOTA Institute and INCUBATOR Art Lab held a livestream tattoo demonstration with Dion Kaszas on IOTA’s Youtube channel. As the fifth online event in our Bio Art Kitchen Hangout series, Dion Kaszas brought visitors in to experience a tattooing session with Ecko Aleck, live from Secwepemc territory.
Dion Kaszas is a tattoo artist, cultural tattoo practitioner, painter, teacher, and scholar of Hungarian, Métis, and Nlaka’pamux (Interior Salish) heritage. His area of research is Indigenous tattooing, focusing keenly on the revival of Indigenous peoples tattooing practices, using Indigenous and creative research methodologies. Dion is one of the founding members of the Earthline Tattoo Collective which aims to enhance, expand, and support the work of traditional and cultural Indigenous tattoo practices across Canada.
Ecko Aleck was born into the Nlaka’pamux Nation, raised with the shishalh Nation and currently living on the unceded ancestral lands of the Pentlatch people. She is a global facilitator, multimedia performing artist working through the disciplines of spoken word, rap and singing. She is also a multimedia digital artist working through the mediums of music, sound, and video production. In 2019, she launched her business Sacred Matriarch Creative weaving together all of her gifts.
As a performance inside the digital sphere, Dion welcomes us into his studio to bear witness the sounds and video of a live tattoo demonstration and to discuss his research. Dion has been an IOTA Institute researcher for the last year, researching links between blackwork tattooing and bioart. His work considers the politicized Indigenous body in contemporary Indigenous tattooing, and body projects in contrast to idealized standards set through advertising and consumer culture. The experience is a gift to invited viewers. It is a moment of contemplation that embodies an undeniable warmth through the duration of time. It is an emotional commitment, and a moment to look at the light and to hear the sounds of the body being marked with ancestral motifs. And, it is a way to share the magic and the healing that is associated with indigenous tattooing. To be invited into this journey of transformation and affirmation is a true honour.
1) DION KASZAS at THE IOTA BIO ART KITCHEN SERIES event poster, IOTA Institute & INCUBATOR Art Lab, 2021.
2-3) Still form video documentary with Dion Kaszas and Ecko Aleck, Bio Art Kitchen Hangout, IOTA Institute & INCUBATOR Art Lab, 2021.
2-3) Screenshot of the Bio Art Kitchen Hangout with Dion Kaszas and Ecko Aleck, IOTA Institute & INCUBATOR Art Lab, 2021.