Coming Up: The Electric Indian
February 15-16, 2014
Invisible Dog Art Center
51 Bergen St, Brooklyn, NY
This winter, Immediate Medium will premiere The Electric Indian, the first of JJ Lind’s three-part examination of the former Indian Territory and its descendant, the present day state of Oklahoma. The Electric Indian reimagines the events following Cherokee relocation to Indian Territory as an historically accurate, all-white fantasia of Indianness. Its central character is the controversial Cherokee figure Elias C. Boudinot, a half-Cherokee Confederate colonel and founder of the small railroad town of Vinita, Oklahoma. Boudinot, the son of a prominent chief, advocated passionately on Indian affairs, but was vilified by his own people for helping open the door to white settlement in Indian Territory and for his father’s role in the Trail of Tears.
The piece draws upon Boudinot’s well-known lectures of the day — which were fuel for much 19th century mythology about native people — and remixes them with traditional Cherokee storytelling techniques, 21st century technologies, and found historical, anthropological, and mass market Indian “artifacts.” Through ritual, dance, projection and song, The Electric Indian envisions Boudinot as a charismatic evangelical magician. As he extols the wonders of the Great American Civilization, he is glorified, amplified and fetishized by its technologies and is transformed into a magical, mythical and rarely-seen being — a modern day unicorn, The Indian.