“I have the kind of imagination that hears. I think of it as radio imagination.”
-Octavia E. Butler
Radio Imagination is a project initiated by the Los Angeles arts organization Clockshop that celebrates the life and work of science fiction writer Octavia E. Butler (1947–2006). The year long program centers on ten contemporary art and literary commissions arising from research into Butler’s archive at the Huntington Library. Scrivener’s monthly welcomes Clockshop Director Julia Meltzer to talk about Butler’s work and legacy along with journalist and essayist Lynell George to read her text, an imagined posthumous interview with Butler assembled from her journals, notes, letters, fiction and commonplace books.
Lynell George is a Los Angeles-based journalist and essayist. As a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times and L.A. Weekly she covered social issues, art, human behavior, and identity politics. She is currently an arts and culture columnist for KCET’s Artbound. George’s writing has appeared in various magazines and news outlets, including Boom, Slake, Vibe, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Essence, Black Clock, The Root, Ms., and many others, and she is the author of No Crystal Stair: African Americans in the City of Angels (Verso, 1992), a collection of essays drawn from her reporting. She is currently a Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities Fellow.
Julia Meltzer is a filmmaker and the founder and director of Clockshop. Her film and video work has been broadcast on PBS and exhibited at the Whitney Biennial, the Sharjah Biennial, The Toronto International Film Festival, and the Rotterdam International Film Festival. Meltzer is a recipient of grants from Art Matters, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, the Rockefeller Media Arts Fellowship, the John Simon Memorial Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, and was a Senior Fulbright Fellow in Damascus, Syria in 2005–6. She has taught in the Film/Video and Studio Art programs at Hampshire College, UC Irvine and the California Institute of the Arts.