To take Octavia Butler’s fiction seriously requires us to devote time and space to dwell on the images of thought advanced throughout her novels. To convene a space and a time for verbalising the letter and the spirit of Octavia Butler’s dangerous visions. The aspiration to hold open a time and a space to think with Octavia Butler is what animates the idea of DXG: Dept. of Xenogenesis. Think of DXG as a space-time for taking the time and the space to think with the idea of xenogenesis formulated by Octavia Butler in 1987. An idea that runs throughout her oeuvre from Patternmaster in 1971 to Fledgling in 2005. Think of DXG as a time-space convened by Kodwo Eshun and Anjalika Sagar of the Otolith Collective to register the forms of epistemic shock specific to the science fictions of Octavia Butler. A way of hosting a space-time for co-creating a consciousness of the methods developed by Octavia Butler for suspending disbelief in the worlds that she built.
On 2nd March 2022, The Otolith Collective join Andrea Philips and guests to discuss the implications of the writings of Octavia Butler for artistic and curatorial practice.
The Otolith Collective
Since 2002, Kodwo Eshun and Anjalika Sagar of The Otolith Collective have engaged in the conception, creation and convening of platforms that make public the research that informs their artistic, theoretical and curatorial practice. Throughout this practice runs a precoccupation with shifting the decolonial form of the essayistic towards an idea of science fiction conceived as a method for investigating the present. From this aesthetico-political process emerges a practice of platforming, a practice of platform-making that draws attention to the urgency of the present in all of its provincial, provisional, prospective and planetary dimensions. It is the urgency of the Now that animates the Collective’s platforming of the work of Chris Marker, Harun Farocki, Anand Patwardhan, Etel Adnan, Fred Moten, Eyal Sivan, Black Audio Film Collective, Peter Watkins, Sue Clayton, Mark Fisher and Justin Barton, Silvia Maglioni & Graeme Thomson, Lamia Joreige, Naeem Mohaiemen, Chimurenga Library, Emma Wolukau-Wanamba, Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum, Lungiswa Gqunta, Tony Cokes, Rania Stephan, Ayo Akingbade, Rehana Zaman and Onyeka Igwe throughout and beyond the UK. What unites the Collective’s pratice of platforming is the necessity to bring viewers face to face with the threat of images and the unnameability of sounds so as to create the conditions for intervention in the colonised times and racialised spaces of our catastrophic present.