The best part of “Radio Imagination: Artists in the Archive of Octavia E. Butler” is the view it provides into Butler’s archive itself. Butler, who died in 2006, was a bestselling Pasadena novelist and the only science fiction writer to win a MacArthur fellowship. She was also African American, and her novels reworked the sci-fi genre with far-reaching insights on race, sex and gender.
The exhibition at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena features works by eight artists who were granted access to Butler’s archives at the Huntington Library in San Marino. Their responses take a variety of forms, including sound and video as well as photography, drawing and installation….