Reality Was Whatever HappenedReality Was Whatever Happened
Reality Was Whatever Happened
Octavia Butler AI And Other Possible Worlds
Reality Was Whatever Happened Book Image
Beth Coleman _ Author
Along with 7 additional contributors below
octavia butlerartificial intelligencephilosophyart+technology
Canonical Book Link
Octavia Butler’s Xenogenesis trilogy is a compelling meditation on the existential human fear of depending on other species to survive; Beth Coleman’s Reality Was Whatever Happened: Octavia Butler AI and Other Possible Worlds relays questions of kinship, community, survival, and transformation through generative processes of image production, serialization, and fabrication.

Operating as an interspecies vehicle with which OBAI prompts us to reconsider race, cognition, and computability, Reality Was Whatever Happened attends to the wild edges of computational culture and politics. Contributors engage with questions of black computing, indigenous AI, relational temporalities, and the hummmm of digital repetition, while Coleman’s conversation about the process and reality of contemporary AI-driven artistic practice frames the broader ethical and aesthetic stakes of OBAI. To see beyond the current hype of AI and explore the radical potential for (de)generative reconfigurations of images, bodies, and worlds, Coleman invites readers to become complicit in and through OBAI’s project of promiscuous liberation and provocative drift.

I stumbled across this book while with my dear friend Dawn Lozzi who was visiting Los Angeles, May of 2024. We had no itinerary but were crossing Los Angeles from DTLA to Venice Beach and were making small stops along the way. Arcana books is a favorite book seller with a beautiful and highly curated collection and it was on my mind as a stop that I knew Dawn would appreciate. Of course, I ended up as the one to buy not one, but three books.

I found this quite by accident on the front display. As soon as I saw the name and the subject, I knew it was my friend Beth Coleman — I hadn’t seen or heard from her for some time. During The Pandemic, I had several Zoom calls with her partner, Howard Goldkrand, but never caught wind that Beth was working on this book.

Super glad I found it.

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Professor Beth Coleman
_ Author
JJJJJerome Ellis
_ Contributor
Mitch McEwen
_ Contributor
M. Murphy
_ Contributor
Lee Smolin
_ Contributor
K. Verlag
_ Design, Publisher
Wolfgang Hückel
_ Design
Katharina Tauer
_ Design


Beth Coleman works across locations of text, sound, and visuality, playing with frequencies of a generative aesthetic. Coleman’s work is located at a blurring of boundaries between visible/invisible, subject/object, past/futures. An obsession with technology, aesthetics, white dogs, black cats, and formulations of power and agency are evident across the body of Coleman’s work. Coleman has a history of international exhibition at venues such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, New Museum of Contemporary Art, Pioneer Works, Centre International des Récollets Paris, Waag Society Amsterdam, among others. In collaboration with Howard Goldkrand, Coleman led the decade-long SoundLab Cultural Alchemy project that transformed New York City’s "electrotectural now," along with other international sites. During daylight hours, Coleman is an associate professor of Data & Cities at the Institute of Communication, Culture, Information & Technology and Faculty of Information, University of Toronto with previous academic appointments at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Waterloo. Coleman’s publications include Hello Avatar, "Race as Technology," and "Technology of the Surround," among others.


K. Verlag


Dimensions 14 x 21 cm
Pages 132pp
Printing Full color images, silver pantone spot ink
Binding Softcover with wrap-around poster, open spine, foil stamp, thread sewn

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