American Artist reimagines the field of rocket science to foreground the ideas of science fiction author Octavia E. Butler, and their own roots in America’s Second Great Migration. The community of Altadena, California, home to Butler and Artist, and the neighboring NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, will serve as a basis for this research. Ultimately, the project aims to build a machine in the form of the historic 1936 GALCIT Rocket Motor Test that incorporates Butler’s notion of “change.” American Artist’s project is called Collective Head.
In celebration of the opening of American Artist: Shaper of God at REDCAT, LACMA Art + Technology Lab grant recipient American Artist joins Octavia E. Butler scholar Ayana Jamieson to discuss Butler’s continued resonance in contemporary life and the author’s intersections with American Artist’s upbringing in Altadena, CA. Curator Adam Kleinman moderates the discussion followed by audience Q&A.