She // Her // Hers

[ID: Headshot of a woman with tan skin and long brown hair in front of a dark background. She wears a black long-sleeved dress, silver chain, and wide-brimmed black hat.]

Portrait photo by Yuula Benivolski.

Artist, Composer, and Academic
Tulsa, OK
2023 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by The Todd and Betiana Simon Foundation.

Kite a.k.a. Suzanne Kite is an award-winning Oglála Lakȟóta performance artist, visual artist, composer, and academic raised in Southern California known for her sound and video performance with her Machine Learning hair-braid interface. Kite holds a BFA from CalArts in music composition, an MFA from Bard College’s Milton Avery Graduate School, and is a PhD candidate at Concordia University. Her groundbreaking scholarship and practice explore contemporary Lakota ontology through research-creation and performance. She often works in collaboration, especially with family and community members. Her art practice includes developing Machine Learning and compositional systems for body interface movement performances, interactive and static sculpture, immersive video and sound installations, poetry and experimental lectures, experimental video, as well as corunning the experimental electronic imprint, Unheard Records. Working with machine learning techniques since 2017 and developing body interfaces for performance since 2013, Kite is one of the first American Indian artists to utilize Machine Learning in art practice. Kite has been included in publications such as Atlas of Anomalous AI, the American Indian Culture and Research Journal, the Journal of Design and Science (MIT Press), with the award winning article, “Making Kin with Machines.” Kite was a 2019 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar, a 2020 Tulsa Artist Fellow, a 2020 Sundance New Frontiers Story Lab Fellow, a 2020 “100 Women in AI Ethics,” a 2021 Common Fields Fellow, and the 2022 Creative Time Open Call artist for the Black and Indigenous Dreaming Workshops with Alisha B. Wormsley.
  • Artwork by Kite
    uŋȟčéla wílečhala, for Nathan Young (Waxing Crescent Peyote Moon), 2020. Silver thread and beads on black leather, dimensions 39 × 33.5 inches.
    [ID: A piece of wrinkled black fabric on a white backdrop. Printed on the fabric is an upside-down crescent moon over a cross.]
Artwork by Kite


Androids Made of Mourning Metals

I’m dreaming my body into existence

I am liquid birds poured from a Blue Woman’s hands.²

You have to break an egg if you are to know what’s inside.³

Where did the bird land? Or maybe it weakened and was swallowed by the waters, no one could know.

Who are you?⁴


Bone/muscle No studies Inhibition of periodontal bone formation; and alveolar wound healing No studies So if you have Uranium inside you, a lot of it is on the DNA (nuclear scientists say it’s on the phosphate in the bones, but DNA is phosphate also), it then acts as an antenna sitting on the DNA—converting background radiation into photoelectrons which smash up the chromosomes like an egg whisk.⁵


I’m dreaming of my death.⁶

How the impact to the neck bone will cause rupture and death, how the ‘demon metal’ does its damage. You want to approach my metals in a Good Way? You should apologize now. Each of my metals holds a ghost, wrenched from the earth, each with its name. I inhale slowly and dirt fills my lungs.

¹ “With relief, with humiliation, with terror, he realized that he, too, was but appearance, that another man was dreaming him.” Jorge Luis Borges, “The Circular Ruins,” in Ficciones (New York: Grove Press and Atlantic Monthly Press, 1994).

² Blue Woman ushers the Lakota soul through the Big Dipper onto this realm. See Ronald Goodman, Lakota Star Knowledge (Mission, South Dakota: Sinte Gleska University, 1992). 

³ Most language in this text has been prompted by the first line and modified slightly, generated by Gpt-2 and trained on a curated library of texts. Openai/Gpt-2, Python (2019; repr., OpenAI, 2021)  

See Mamoru Oshii’s anime Angel’s Egg (Studio Deen, 1985). 

Chris Busby, “Uranium: The Demon Metal That Threatens Us All,”CounterPunch (January 2, 2014).

 “A physical computing device, created in a Good Way, must be designed for the Right to Repair, as well as to recycle, transform, and reuse. The creators of any object are responsible for the effects of its creation, use, and its afterlife, caring for this physical computing device in life and in death.” Jason Edward Lewis (ed.), Indigenous Protocol and Artificial Intelligence Position Paper (Honolulu: The Initiative for Indigenous Futures and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, 2020. ⁷ Corey Stover told me this over the phone.