GROUNDWORKS follows the California Native co-creators of the Groundworks project, an immersive, interactive, performance and media collaboration in traditional lands in Northern California. Though a year-long collaboration, Groundworks culminated in a performance on Alcatraz Island following the Sunrise Ceremony on San Francisco’s first official Indigenous People’s Day in October 2018. Over a year of collaboration, Ras K’Dee, Desirae Harp, Bernadette Smith, Kayon Sayers-Roods, and L Frank shared stories, songs, and their artistic practices, and developed a series of immersive media pieces with technology partner Toasterlab to be made available through a geolocated mobile application. This documentary brings the audience into the lives of the collaborators as they intersect talk about issues that concern them as contemporary Native Californians. By exploring their creative practices and connections to their communities, this project highlights Indigenous artists’ contemporary relationships to traditional territories of Pomo, Ohlone, Wappo, and neighbouring communities and their efforts to “re-story” the land through creative reclamation.
GROUNDWORKS is produced by Toasterlab, which creates place-based extended reality experiences that promote deeper engagement with history, community, and imagination. Toasterlab’s Ian Garrett leads the project in collaboration with Tia Taurere-Clearsky (Ngāpuhi/Te Aupōuri Nations of Aotearoa) of Whaea Productions. Whaea Productions engages in Media Arts services in International Indigenous communities. Principal Tia Taurere-Clearsky specializes in Indigenous media initiatives from an Indigenous perspective. Additional collaboration on the project comes from cultural manager Tiśina Parker (Yosemite Sierra Miwuk, Mono Lake Paiute, Kashia Pomo), and award-winning filmmaker Don Schroeder.