Digital Residency: Trickster, Teacher, Chaos, Clay
Time & Location
About the Event
Four artists were asked to respond to the future speculated by author Octavia E. Butler in her Earthseed Series, as part of a Digital Residency in partnership with CRATE (Margate, England). The artists were asked to develop and research work in response to the contemporary moment with reference to Octavia E Butler’s unfinished ‘Earthseed’ series.
Of the six planned books, only two were written during Butler’s life. They chronicle the tale of a fictional young black empath who forms an eco-feminist religion called Earthseed to save humanity from a white-supremacist, patriarchal, authoritarian ruler that came to power after an extremist, populist movement. After completing Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents, Butler was unable to finish the series. It was only after her passing that scholars learned that Butler had intended to write a total of four subsequent books: The Parable of the Trickster, The Parable of the Teacher, The Parable of Chaos, and The Parable of Clay. Butler intended the unwritten novels to document an escape from the Earthly authorities in the name of Earthseed, the settling of a new planet, and the building of a society based on the principles of the new religion.
In our current political climate, with a populist movement growing globally and speaking for disparate communities and over environmental allies, this residency engages collective reading and generative imagining to produce potential outcomes of Butler’s Earthseed Series as a means to engage with the political changes underway.
Provided with the first two novels (in either audio, printed or e-book format according to their ability and preference), the four artists were asked to consider Octavia E. Butler’s extra-terrestrial world under the reign of Earthseed from the perspective of one of the unwritten parables. Once artists had familiarised themselves with Butler’s first two novels, they began to document their findings and research online in digital forms of their choice eg.blogs, podcasts, vlogs, chats, webinars, digital films, virtual exhibitions, digital sound piece/songs etc. Outcomes will be shared and promoted by host institutions from the Leo-Virgo Transition and will be staggered for each artist ending in the Scorpio-Sagittarius Transition.
We are first witness to the work of artist Kaya Joan. Kaya Joan is a multi-disciplinary Afro-Caribbean (Jamaican/ Vincentian)-Indigenous (Kanien’kehá:ka) artist living in T’karonto (Dish with One Spoon treaty territory). Kaya’s work focuses on healing, transcending ancestral knowledge and creating dreamscapes rooted in spiritualism from the lands of their ancestors (Turtle Island and the Caribbean). Afro and Indigenous futurity and pedagogy are also centred in Kaya’s practice-working through buried truths to explore how creation can heal 7 generations into the past and future. Kaya has been working in community arts for 5 years as a facilitator and artist. She has recenty completed a BFA through the Indigenous Visual Culture program at OCAD.
Click HERE to see Kaya's offering.