I am a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin and a descendent of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians. That announcement of identity is important to my work, as within my Self are strata of information, presence, confusion, and history. In similar ways, my videos use figures and text that are layered and dense in image and sound, and those tactics are used to assist questioning the simple movements and complications of knowledge, access, and artifact. I am a part of this story, as a tribal member and as the maker, and I take steps to acknowledge my presence and involvement. These layers are an imperfect puzzle that are not about the precision of the connections, but rather the generation of overlapping swathes of emotion, indescribable understanding, and burdened insouciance, for the viewer and myself.
Sky Hopinka was born and raised in Ferndale, Washington and spent a number of years in Palm Springs and Riverside, California, and Portland, Oregon and is currently based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In Portland he studied and taught chinuk wawa, a language indigenous to the Lower Columbia River Basin. His work centers around personal positions of homeland and landscape, designs of language and facets of culture contained within, and the play between the accessibility of the known and the unknowable. He received his BA from Portland State University in Liberal Arts and his MFA in Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
His work has played at various festivals including ImagineNATIVE Media + Arts Festival, Images Festival, Wavelengths, Ann Arbor Film Festival, American Indian Film Festival, Sundance, Antimatter, Chicago Underground Film Festival, FLEXfest, Projections, and the LA Film Festival. His work was a part of the 2016 Wisconsin Triennial and the 2017 Whitney Biennial. He was awarded jury prizes at the Milwaukee Underground Film Festival, the More with Less Award at the 2016 Images Festival, the Tom Berman Award for Most Promising Filmmaker at the 54th Ann Arbor Film Festival, and 3rd Prize at the 2015 Media City Film Festival.