Selected Live Art


James Luna – Live Art 2015 10 min.

A survey of performances presented from over the past 40 years beginning with a classroom performance at UC Irvine in 1977 to the present.


Take a Picture with a Real Indian


“Take A Picture With A Real Indian” 2001  12:19 Min.

Luna takes the perceptions of what many people perceive as a “real”

American Indian and are given a choice to do what many tourist minded people do when confronted with exotic ethnicity, they want a photo of the event.

Family Matters


“Family Matters” 2015  6:10 Min.

Using personal family archival photos from the four generations of his family Luna traces the changes and size over a 125-year cycle. The intent of showing the resilience of Indian families and their future.


In My Room


“In My Room:  2016 2:39 Min.

Luna combines memory from his youth with is currently Indian spiritual practice.


In the Fall season of 2015 I performed in Vancouver & Victoria, British Columbia.  In Vancouver I was housed on Hastings Street, just a block down from what has been described as one of the “worst” street living scenes in North America.  This area has long been known as the “Four Blocks of Misery,” which I found to be true. Of the inhabitants of these mean streets, I noticed a substantial number of Indigenous peoples. A sight that shocked and saddened me, although I have been witness to these types of street scenes, I was surprised by the sheer numbers of abandonment, public drug use, bad energy, and desperation of the people.

Later that week I traveled to Victoria to perform and then traveled to a northern area of Vancouver Island. While there I visited a salmon hatchery, which housed salmon on their last journey up river.  Many of those fish wore a coat of molding decay, which added to the mustering and constant back and forth swim in their holding pool.

It was months later that I came to understand and feel the parallel of the street people scenes with numerous salmon in the hatchery pool; the decay, the constant pace, and the restless unsettling. A final chapter of their journey, a hard life lived, yet endured, one last thrust and thrash.


Sites of Recollection


Williams College Museum of Art

Williamstown, MA



“Parallel” 2016  1:10 min.

“In My Room”  2016  2:30 min.

“Family Matters” 2015 6;10 min.

“We Become Them” 2014   4:31 min.

“All Indian All the Time” 2005  6 min.

“Take a Picture With a Real Indian”  2001 12:19 min*

Performed and written by James Luna; David Merrick, Director

“Petroglyphs in Motion” 2001

Performed and written by James Luna

“Bringing It All Back Home” 1997  55:12 min.

Performed and written by James Luna; Chris Eyre, Director

“Indian Having Coffee with Kerouac, Ginsberg and Hemingway” 1994  23: min*#+

Written and Directed by James Luna

“The History of the Luiseno People – La Jolla Reservation" 1993 35 min

Performed and written by James Luna; Directed by Isaac Artenstien

Available for screen, rental & purchase

Video Data Bank, Toronto, ON Canada

Video Data Bank, Art Institute of Chicago

Third World Newsreel