Artists & Writers in the Archive of Octavia E. Butler Feb 2016 – Jan 2017

“I have the kind of imagination that hears. I think of it as radio imagination.” 
-Octavia E. Butler

Radio Imagination celebrates the life and work of Pasadena science fiction writer Octavia E. Butler (1947–2006). Organized by Clockshop, the program centers on ten contemporary art and literary commissions that explore Butler’s archive at the Huntington Library. New work will premiere alongside performances, film screenings, and literary events throughout the year.

Recognition of Butler’s influence across artistic disciplines and her contribution to the Los Angeles cultural landscape is long overdue. Radio Imagination will bridge Butler’s groundbreaking fiction with contemporary conversations about the future of Los Angeles. The series will span 2016, the tenth anniversary of the writer’s death.


Radio Imagination
artists and writers will conduct first-hand research in Butler’s archive at the Huntington Library and create new work based on their research. New poetry and creative nonfiction by Tisa Bryant, Lynell GeorgeRobin Coste Lewis, andFred Moten will premiere at a public reading event. New contemporary artworks byLaylah Ali, Courtesy the Artists (Malik Gaines and Alexandro Segade), Mendi + Keith Obadike, Connie Samaras, and Cauleen Smith will be presented at an exhibition at Armory Center for the Arts (October 1, 2016–January 7, 2017).

Radio Imagination is curated by Clockshop. View event calendar.

also check out the Octavia Butler Collection
The papers of Octavia E. Butler, the renowned science fiction writer, have resided at The Huntington since 2008, and since being made available to scholars for research, it has become one of the most heavily used archives at the institution.  The collection includes extensive drafts, notes, and research materials for more than a dozen novels, numerous short stories, and essays, as well as correspondence, ephemera, and assorted books.
Explore some of The Huntington’s Butler-related material, including the news release announcing receipt of her papers, a blog about how the collection is being used, a Huntington Frontiers magazine article, images from the collection, and a link to special events being organized by the L.A. arts organization, Clockshop.

An exhibition is planned for Spring 2017.

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