Podcast: Sky Hopinka on dislocation and language

The Milwaukee-based filmmaker visits Madison for a March 7 talk.

The Milwaukee-based filmmaker visits Madison for a March 7 talk.


Still from Sky Hopinka's

Still from Sky Hopinka’s “Dislocation Blues.”

Sky Hopinka is a Milwaukee-based filmmaker who uses a variety of experimental visual and audio approaches to explore the experiences of indigenous Americans. One of his most recent projects, Dislocation Blues, offers what Hopinka himself calls an “incomplete and imperfect portrait of reflections from Standing Rock.” His work asks a lot of complicated questions about how native americans relate to language and to their surroundings, both natural and built.

One of Hopinka’s goals in portraying the Standing Rock protest moving in Dislocation Blues was to avoid foregrounding the violence that often predominates in media portrayals of Native Americans.

“There never is going to be the Standing Rock film,” Hopinka says. “It’s going to be an accumulation of voices and perspectives that will inspire others and force us to ask ourselves, what happened, what’s going on, and how can we use this in the future?”

You may remember Hopinka from an October 2016 episode of the Tone Madison podcast, when he joined us to discuss his short film Jaaji Approx., which at the time was showing in the Wisconsin Triennial at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.

He’ll be back in Madison on Wednesday, March 7 to give a visiting artist talk at the Elvehjem Building. The talk is hosted by the UW-Madison Art Department but is free and open to the public. It’s part of Terra Incognita, a multidisciplinary art series that focuses on how human beings relate the environment. Hopinka caught up recently with Tone Madison contributor Phoebe Schlough.

Give the conversation a listen here, or subscribe to the Tone Madison podcast on Apple Podcasts. If you like what you’re hearing, please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts and consider supporting us financially with a one-time or recurring donation.

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