Sunday 20 February 2022, 8pm

Stream + live event: Department of Xenogenesis – DXG: Octonionic Constellation: Thinking Octavia Butler with Rasheedah Phillips of Black Quantum Futurism

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Please note, the livestream will be free-to-watch on this page on the night.

Department of Xenogenesis is a time space convened by The Otolith Collective of Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun. An ongoing space time for convening public online and offline discussions, performances, screenings and exhibitions with artists, filmmakers, theorists, and musicians. The idea of DXG builds upon Xenogenesis The Otolith Group’s travelling exhibition, which concludes at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in June 2022.

DXG: A time-space for convening an indisciplined thought. An ongoing convocation for an indisciplinary curriculum.

Octonionic Constellation is the second in an ongoing public programme convened by DXG for thinking with the idea of xenogenesis formulated by novelist Octavia Estelle Butler. An idea that runs throughout Octavia Butler’s oeuvre from Patternmaster, 1971, Kindred, 1979, Wild Seed, 1980, the Xenogenesis trilogy of Dawn, 1987, Adulthood Rites,1988 and Imago, 1989, Parable of the Sower, 1993, and Fledgling in 2005.

What animates the idea of Octonionic Constellation is the aspiration to hold open a time and a space to think with the ideas of Octavia Butler. Think of Octonionic Constellation as a programme for verbalising the letter and the spirit of Octavia Butler’s dangerous visions. Think of DXG as one out of many vectors engaged in thinking with Butler’s fictions for thinking otherwise. Fictions that provide us with thought experiments for thinking otherwise. Fictions of temporal abduction. Fictions of the denaturalization of the human. Fictions of planetary extinction. Fictions of alien intimacy. Fictions of the eugenic imagination. Fictions of racial distinction. Fictions of kinship under duress. Fictions of enforced migration. Fictions of asymmetric love. Fictions of capitalist servitude. Fictions of theocentric hegemony. Fictions of the process philosophy of religion. Fictions of genetic evolution.

20 February 2022
DXG: Octonionic Constellation: Thinking Octavia Butler with Rasheedah Phillips.

On 20 February 2022, DXG convenes a discussion and listening session around the writing of Octavia Butler with Rasheedah Phillips, co-founder of Black Quantum Futurism at Café Oto. A time/space that returns to and departs from the Constellation 8/∞ ( Octonionic Constellation), a ‘Sonic celebration of OCTAVia eSTELLE’ produced by Rasheedah Phillips and Camae Ayewa of Black Quantum Futurism Collective on 11th January 2015.

Curated and produced by The Otolith Collective, London, supported by the BxNU Institute, a collaboration between BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and Northumbria University, the Royal College of Art School of Architecture International Lecture Series and Café OTO

Funded by Arts Council England


Rasheedah Phillips

Rasheedah Phillips is a queer housing advocate, parent, writer, interdisciplinary artist, and cultural producer who uses web-based projects, glitch art, zines, short film, archival practices, experimental non-fiction, speculative fiction, printmaking, performance, social practice, installation and creative research to explore the construct of time, temporalities, and community futurisms through a Black futurist cultural lens and experience. Phillips is the founder of The AfroFuturist Affair, founding member of Metropolarity Queer Speculative Fiction Collective, co-founder of Black Quantum Futurism, co-creator of the award winning Community Futures Lab, and creator Black Women Temporal Portal and Black Time Belt projects. Recognized as a national expert in housing policy, Phillips is a 2016 graduate of Shriver Center Racial Justice Institute, 2018 Atlantic Fellow for Racial Equity, and 2021 PolicyLink Ambassador for Health Equity. As part of BQF and as a solo artist, Phillips has been awarded a CERN Artists Residency, Vera List Center Fellowship, A Blade of Grass Fellowship, Velocity Fund Fellowship, among others, and has exhibited, presented at, been in residence, and performed at Institute of Contemporary Art London, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Serpentine Gallery, Red Bull Arts, Chicago Architecture Biennial, Akademie Solitude, Manifesta 13 Biennale, and more.

Black Quantum Futurism Collective (Rasheedah Phillips and Camae Ayewa)

The Otolith Collective

Since 2002, Kodwo Eshun and Anjalika Sagar of The Otolith Collective have engaged in the conception and creation 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 platform-making that draws attention to the urgency of the present in all of its provisional, prospective and planetary dimensions. It is the urgency of this differentiated Now that animates the Collective’s desire to platform 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 these convenings and convocations is the necessity of bringing viewers face to face with the threat of images and the challenge of sounds so as to create the conditions for intervention in the colonised times and racialised spaces of our catastrophic present.

D1L0 DeMille, Rasheedah Phillips' Black Women Temporal Portal (2019)

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