• Curated Programme
  • The Showroom, London
  • 2016

Genres of the Human

The Showroom 63 Penfold Street London NW8 8QP Wednesday 12 October, 2016. 6-8pm In his widely acclaimed books, lectures, essays and articles, writer and literary theorist Louis Chude-Sokei has embarked upon a far reaching excavation of the histories of black encounters with technology. In his new book The Sound of Culture: Diaspora and Black Technopoetics, Louis Chude-Sokei rethinks the widely held assumption that the relation between race and science fiction is a twentieth century phenomena. Drawing upon the writings of Karel Capek, Samuel Butler, Donna Haraway and Sylvia Wynter among others, Chude Sokei-argues that the intimate relations between black peoples and technology can be situated within the wider imperial histories of industrialisation and slavery. From this perspective, robotics cannot be distinguished from minstrelsy, music is rethought as informatics and theories of creolization offer profound insights into the evolution of artificial intelligence. On the launch of The Sound of Culture: Diaspora and Black Technopoetics, Louis Chude-Sokei will join artist Appau Junior Boakye-Yiadom and artist and theorist Kodwo Eshun to discuss the mutual implication of posthumanism, postcoloniality, Afrofuturism and cybertheory.  Louis Chude-Sokei is Professor of English Literature at University of Washington, Seattle. His essays have appeared widely in publications such as African American Review, Transition and The Believer. He is the author of The Last “Darky”: Bert Williams, Black on Black Minstrelsy and the African Diaspora which was a finalist for the Hurston / Wright Legacy Award. He is also the Editor in Chief of The Black Scholar. Founded in 1969, it is one of the oldest and most influential journals of black thought in the United States. Appau Junior Boakye-Yiadom is a multi-media artist based in London. He is a founding member of Network 11 whose peer group sessions were hosted at Cubitt Gallery London. The Showroom is a space for contemporary art that is focused on a collaborative and process-driven approach to production; be that artwork, exhibitions, discussions, publications, knowledge or relationships. The Otolith Collective is a publicly funded, not-for-profit arts organisation run by Kodwo Eshun and Anjalika Sagar of the award-winning artist collective The Otolith Group. The Otolith Collective curates exhibitions, seminars and screening programmes with museums, galleries and foundations. Listen to a recording of Genres of the Human; Kodwo Eshun in conversation with Louis Chude-Sokei and Appau Junior Boakye-Yiadom here.