DXG 01: Our Xenogenetic Gift: Thinking Octavia Butler with Fred Moten


Fred Moten in conversation with Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun
Moderated by Andrea Phillips at BxNU

13 February 2022 | 4pm GMT | Online

Our Xenogenetic Gift is the first 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. A title adopted from Fred Moten’s consent to be a single being: Stolen Life from 2018.

On 13 February 2022, DXG convenes a conversation around the writing of Octavia Butler with academic, poet and theorist Fred Moten. A conversation that spirals around the following sentence from consent not to be a single being: Stolen Life in 2018: 

“The generative breaks into the normative discourses that it found(ed). They weren’t there until it got there, as some changes made to previous insistence, which means first things aren’t first: Zo just wants to travel, to cities. Do you want some? Can I have some? (Octavia Butler might have called it the oncological difference; she sounds disposession as our xenogenetic gift; migrating out from the outside, always leaving without origin.)” 

Fred Moten works in the Departments of Performance Studies and Comparative Literature at New York University. His latest book, written with Stefano Harney, is All Incomplete (Minor Compositions/Autonomedia, 2021).

DXG with Fred Moten_FINAL from LUX Moving Image on Vimeo.

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