AboutXenogenetizing with Octopuses: An Occasion
- Performative lecture by Anastasios Logothetis
20 & 21 November 2021, at 4 pm, *pre-registration required/ RSVP
“Being in harmony with the world through archipelagos means inhabiting this diffraction, while still rallying coastlines and joining horizons. They open us to a sea of wandering: to ambiguity, to fragility, to drifting, which is not the same as futility.”
The Archipelago Conversations, Edouard Glissant & Hans Ulrich Obrist
You are cordially invited to the first of a series of Occasions as part of Anastasios Logothetis’ ongoing book project “But I Will Also Go Back in Time”. At the core of the project is an engagement with the formal methodologies of speculative fiction, understood as a site of experimentation with space and time, through written and visual assemblages. The main premise of the book revolves around narratives that are feeding off a constant oscillation between things happening in real life, auto-fiction, and the production of a speculative virtual world. During this process, questions of sexual transformation, human extinction, planetary precariousness, and strange new kinships are negotiated and interwoven.
Octavia Butler’s term "Xenogenesis", as interpreted by the Otolith Group, is used as a point of departure by Anastasios Logothetis for his upcoming intervention at Centrum. “Xenogenesis", in this sense, is meant as a proposal for elaboration thought experiments that engage with forms of alien, or strange becoming. The term Occasion, which was first coined and used by the artist Isabel Lewis in her own practice, is here borrowed by Logothetis to describe a similar continuing interest in the kind of performative event or lecture that does not seek a clear end result. Rather, it takes away a great deal of the premeditated and the organized, making room for more contingency, for the unexpected, and a formless format to occur. A large amount of malleability and vulnerability is vital. Logothetis is here aiming for a becoming-less as to allow for more meaning to appear through the communal. A communal which inherently does not take advantage of other bodies, other creatures, others’ sorrows and feelings for a furthering of a cis-het male privilege. Instead it is very much about decentralising the idea of ownership of authorship inherent in the patriarchal system of today.
For this Οccasion, we will turn our eyes and bodies to the virtual world part of the narrative. In a post- Anthropocene setting, the only thing human that has survived is our avatars on a small desolate beach, surrounded only by water. Alien and weird things are taking place there. Through a lecture-style narration, interspersed with collaborative game-like exercises, you will be invited to the beach and become part of the narrative of the book. There, the post-Anthropocene is not treated as an event that might just happen, but as a reality that is already dawning on us. What kind of alien avatars have we become in this virtual world?
Through a large amount of play, Anastasios Logothetis asks us to search for nothing less than the beginning of a way out of our present highly precarious predicament, by looking at the future. What might happen if we let our future avatar’s personality seep into our own present reality, as in a feedback loop of becoming? Can we ask ourselves to de-patriarchize, re-sexualize, liquify our cyborg bodies and minds to find a different path forward in the now?
Xenogenetizing with Octopuses welcomes you to a sort of inter-human, intra-species cosmogony.
Anastasios Logothetis (b. Sweden, 1979) lives and works in Berlin. His interests are based on strategies of refusal, the figure of a trickster, and the shapeshifter. As such, the methodology of making art becomes central in the understanding of his practice; it spans various mediums while being strongly informed by that character, as much as the lack of character, that he has usurped for a specific project. After leaving his medical studies at Brandeis University, Boston, Logothetis graduated with an MFA in sculpture from The Slade School of Fine Art, London, in 2008. His work has amongst others, been exhibited at Manifesta 11, Zurich; Färgfabriken, Stockholm; The Composing Rooms, Berlin; Andquestionmark, Stockholm; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm. In 2021 Logothetis received the INITIAL grant from Akademie der Künste.
* PLEASE NOTE: Each Occasion is limited to seven participants. Participation is free, but you must RSVP in advance at email@example.com. At the entrance, you will be asked to present proof of full vaccination or recovery from COVID-19.