8 years ago

Octavia's Attic:
ARTifacts From Our Possible Futures

An Exhibition of New Worlds in Honor of a Legendary Writer
— 24 February to 2 March 2016 @ Live Worms Gallery, 1345 Grant Ave., San Francisco, CA 94133 —
— ART ON VIEW ALL DAY — as New Orleans-based performance artist Kaile Glick creates spontaneous prose and poetry (based on Butler's work) for gallery visitors all week.

Parables of the Future
An Interactive Art and Science Event

— Presenting Drama, Poetry, Music, and Cutting-Edge Scientific Research on Time Travel —
— Sat., 27 February, & Sun., 28 February! —
— Showtime Promptly @ 7 p.m. // FREE (Voluntary Donation) —

"Octavia's Attic: ARTifacts From Our Possible Futures" is a curated exhibition of new works by established and emerging artists on the theme “Predictions of the Past, Memories of the Future.”

The show will culminate in "Parables of the Future," a one-night TWO-NIGHT live event on February 27 and February 28, including:

  • "Octavia Speaks," an original performance based on Octavia Butler's own words, created by and starring New York actress Shinnerrie Jackson. Directed by Carl Hurvich.

  • Original dance piece by Bay Area performance artist, choreographer, author, and Younger Lovers frontman Brontez Purnell.

  • "Time Travel 101," a presentation on how to build a time machine by University of Connecticut theoretical physicist Dr. Ronald Mallett.

  • "Time Dilations," an autobiographical performance by curator Channing Joseph.

  • Original music by singer-songwriter Charles Peoples III.

  • The artwork will be on display from February 24 until March 2.

    Featured artists are both emerging creators and those who have displayed work in major institutions, including New York's Museum of Modern Art and San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center. They include (but are not limited to): John Jennings, Stacey Robinson, Daniel McKernan, Nightmare City, Rasheedah Phillips, Brontez Purnell, Paul Lewin, and many more!!!


    Intro: Channing Joseph, curator

    Octavia Speaks, Part I: How to Predict the Future -- an interactive dramatic performance by Shinnerrie Jackson, directed by Carl Hurvich

    The Afrofuture: a poem by Camae Ayewa

    Welcome to the Universe: an original songscape by Charles Peoples III

    Octavia Speaks, Part II: Write Yourself In

    Time Dilations: an autobiographical revelation by Channing Joseph

    Octavia’s Telegraph: a poem created in real-time by Kaile Glick on a mindbogglingly advanced typewriter from an alternate reality

    Untitled, a dance duet meditating on the fact that “the future is now”: choreography by Brontez Purnell and Wizard Apprentice

    Octavia’s Atmosphere: an original poem by née bittersweet

    Rewriting History: a comedic exploration of time travel by Duncan Gale

    Time Travel 101: University of Connecticut physicist Dr. Ronald L. Mallett discusses his research into how build a time machine, followed by an audience Q&A

    Octavia Speaks, Part III: A World Without Racism


    18 years ago

    24 February 2006
    — Divergence Point —

    The Day Our Timeline Diverged From Those Where Octavia Lives On

    Octavia E. Butler is considered one of the greatest science fiction writers of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. A MacArthur Genius Grant recipient, she also received two Hugos and two Nebula Awards for her short stories and novels — whose plots feature time travel, alien abductions, and genetically engineered black vampires. They also grapple with real-world issues like racism, gender equality, ecological sustainability, and the ultimate survival of the human species. Her death was reported on February 24, 2010, but according to Wikipedia, those "accounts were inconsistent as to the cause of her death." The curators and creators of "Octavia's Attic" like to think that she lives on in an alternate universe and that perhaps some day she might use an advanced technology — like the kind she so loved to imagine — to return to our world.

    Click here for more about Octavia E. Butler (22 June 1947 – 24 February 2006?)
    23 years ago

    1 June 2000
    — On Our Own Timeline —

    “Why Science Fiction?” Charlie Rose Asks Butler

    Butler's answer begins: “Because there are no closed doors. No walls. ...” If there were no closed doors and no walls around your imagination, what sort of future would you imagine? If you could take a time machine to any time and place in the past, where and when would it be? What wrong would you try to make right? And if you could hop back into that same time machine to visit any alternate future you desired, which future would you choose? When you stepped out of the machine and into that new world, what would you see?

    24 years ago

    17 January 2000
    — On an Alternate Timeline —

    The Space Traders Arrive

    In an alternate timeline, aliens suddenly arrived in huge ships to offer the U.S. government a trade: vast treasures, chemicals to remove pollutions from the environment, and a totally safe and inexhaustible energy supply -- all in exchange for every African-American child, woman, and man. After a brief debate, the aliens got what they came for. These events were later documented in our own timeline by Derrick Bell in “The Space Traders.”

    See a visual recording of the incident above. For the original text of Bell's account, click here.
    76 years ago

    2 June 1947
    — On an Alternate Timeline? —

    Alien Ships Crash in Roswell, New Mexico

    Less than three weeks before Octavia Butler was born, an alien vessel is reported to have crashed in the New Mexico desert. Several of the craft’s inhabitants were killed in the accident, and an autopsy was carried out on their bodies. The event, though documented as fact in other timelines, has not been confirmed in our own.

    136 years ago

    12 April 1888
    — On Our Own Timeline —

    D.C. Police Raid One of William Dorsey Swann’s Early Drag Balls

    Despite perceptions that the LGBT rights movement began at New York's Stonewall Inn, courageous rebels of color were fighting for their liberation long before June 28, 1969. William Dorsey Swann and his group of (mostly) black drag queens regularly risked their freedom, their jobs, their reputations, and perhaps even their lives to organize elaborate, self-affirming social gatherings in the shadow of the White House — at a time when every sector of society considered same-sex attraction and gender-nonconformity to be moral abominations and symptoms of a serious psychological disease. Swann and his group were among the first known LGBT activists in the United States, organizing in their own homes before gay bars as such were available. They were rebels whose sacrifices, courage, and determination helped lay the foundations of self-acceptance, solidarity, and community that made the Stonewall riots possible more than 80 years later.

    For more details, click here to read Channing Joseph's “The Black Drag Queens Who Fought Before Stonewall,” published by Truthdig, 24 September 2015.
    242 years ago

    Late November/Early December 1781
    — On Our Own Timeline —

    The Zong Massacre: 130 Africans Thrown From Slave Ship to Drown

    Each seasick night aboard the Zong, the crewmen must have dreamed of being back in England at last, with their purses full of gold. The ship’s two-month voyage had been an arduous one. The supply of drinking water was running dangerously low, and many on board were gravely ill, including Capt. Luke Collingwood. In fact, Collingwood was so deliriously sick that he could not navigate properly, and the sailors—who had believed they were bound for Black River, Jamaica—ended up overshooting their destination by some 300 miles. Panic set in when they realized their error. Survivors would later testify that they had feared there would not be enough water to sustain them and their valuable cargo for the entire way back. This is how, they claimed, they came to the damnable decision—in late November and early December of 1781—to unload a sizable portion of their cargo, tossing overboard more than 130 West African prisoners and leaving them to drown in the blue depths of the Caribbean Sea. The murderers eventually landed in a London court—in a case known as Gregson v. Gilbert—not to face charges for the massacre but in a dispute over an insurance policy taken out on that human cargo. When the 200 or so remaining Africans had been sold and the crew had returned to England, the expedition’s leaders filed an insurance claim to recoup some of the money they had lost on the people they had killed. Understandably, the insurers refused to honor the claim, but at trial a jury found that they were in fact legally bound to do so—just as they would have been if the cargo had consisted of horses. (The plaintiffs later appealed, and the court agreed that a new trial should take place, yet for some reason none ever did.) — Pictured above, Isaac Cruikshank’s 1792 depiction of a woman being tortured aboard a slave ship.

    For more details, click here to read Channing Joseph’s “The Call for Reparations Rises Again,” published by Truthdig, 11 April 2015.

    “Octavia’s Attic: ARTifacts From Our Possible Futures,” a curated art exhibition in San Francisco, seeks submissions and proposals from creators in the Bay Area and elsewhere on the theme “Predictions of the Past, Memories of the Future."

    The show's dates, 24 February to 2 March 2016, will coincide with nationwide gatherings honoring the visionary writer Octavia Butler, author of the time-traveling classic “Kindred.” It will feature 2D art, sculptures, and video as well as poetry, song, and other live performances from emerging and established creators. Some contributors committed to participating in the show have displayed their works around the world and been featured in major institutions like San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Performers have appeared on national TV networks and in major theater productions.

    Our questions: “If you were asked to build a time machine, what would it look like? And how would you use it to save humanity from itself?” We are open to objects of any media and short performances as long as they can reasonably be displayed or carried out in our medium-size gallery. We look forward to hearing from you. Another world is possible. Let’s envision what it could look like and show the world through art.

    Send links, ideas, and questions to submit@octaviasattic.com. Submissions from LGBTQ folks and people of color are strongly encouraged. Deadline: December 31, 2015.

    Love and justice,
    Channing Joseph and the Visionaries of “Octavia’s Attic”

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