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 educational events teach-outs, seminars, 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 July 2022.

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

DXG is series of sequences in an ongoing programme 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 programme is the aspiration to hold open a time and a space to think with the ideas of Butler as they relate to temporality and science fictions of the present.

Think of DXG 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.

An armed volunteer (aka Ra-Twoine Fields) guards the Say Her Name march under the watchful gaze of Octavia Butler. Photographed at 601 West Broad St, opposite the Otolith Group’s Xenogenesis exhibition at the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia on 03 July 2020. Photograph by Christopher ‘Puma’ Smith.

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.

Partner Organisations:

Royal College of Art︎︎︎
Royal College of Art School of Architecture hosts its International Lecture Series 2021-22 with the theme ‘Re-possession’ hosting a diverse range of guests with topics such as ‘Geological Kinship and Resistance’, ‘The Translocal Politics of (Anti-)Apartheid’ ‘Material Gestures’ and ‘Making Non-State Space: Rojava Solidarity Lecture’.
Cafe OTO︎︎︎
Cafe OTO provides a home for creative new music that exists outside of the mainstream with an evening programme of adventurous live music seven nights a week.
LUX︎︎︎ LUX is an international arts agency that supports and promotes artists’ moving image practices and the ideas that surround them. Founded in 2002 as a charity and not-for-profit limited company, the organisation builds on a long lineage of predecessors (The London Film-Makers’ Co-operative, London Video Arts and The Lux Centre) which stretch back to the 1960s.
BxNU Institute︎︎︎ The BxNU Institute supports experimental artistic and curatorial research and practice. It is a collaboration between Northumbria University and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art.
Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art︎︎︎

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art creates and produces exhibitions, activities and opportunities that explore understanding of the world through diverse contemporary art by artists from across the world. Located on Gateshead quayside, we have 2,600 square metres of exhibition space dedicated to the art and artists of today and tomorrow.



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