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Cafe OTO 12 June


“If the blues is really the poetic spirit of a people, that place deep in the unconscious where emotion, dream, and intellect commingle in flammable combinations, then Fred Moten is one of the greatest bluesmen of our generation.” – Robin D.G. Kelley

Cesura//Acceso are excited to have the chance to host the poet and theorist Fred Moten at Cafe Oto, who will be joined by Will Holder, Sacha Kahir, Fumi Okiji and Hypatia Vourloumis. There will a submission by Hannah Black and performance by musician Pat Thomas.

Moten’s theoretical and poetic work has consistently and radically explored the entanglement of language, music, performance, improvisation and the black radical aesthetic in social life.
Moten currently works as a professor of English at the University of California, Riverside. He lives in Los Angeles. A scholar whose work explores black studies, performance studies, poetry, and critical theory, Moten has taught at several colleges and universities, including the University of Iowa, New York University, Duke University, the Naropa Institute, and Brown University, among others.

His poetry collections include The Little Edges (Wesleyan University Press, 2014), The Feel Trio (Letter Machine Editions, 2014), B Jenkins (Duke University Press, 2010), and Hughson’s Tavern (Leon Works, 2008). His scholarly texts include The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study (Minor Compositions, 2013), coauthored with Stefano Harney, and In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition (University of Minnesota, 2003). In 2009, Moten was recognized as one of ten “New American Poets” by the Poetry Society of America.

Fred Moten resources:

– Poetry Readings at PennSound – http://writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/Moten.php
– Recent interview with Fred Moten – http://lithub.com/an-interview-with-fred-moten-pt-i/
– Sound in Florescence: Cecil Taylor’s Floating Garden – http://www.ubu.com/papers/moten.html
– Recordings of Grammars of the Fugitive, a public lecture and workshops organised by Black Study Group (London). Held at Goldsmiths College, University of London. – https://archive.org/details/Blackstudiesgrammarsoffugitive
– Lecture at MoMA on the right to perform, blackness, nonperformance and freedom – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2leiFByIIg
Selected Bibliography
– The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study, with Stefano Harney (Minor Compositions, 2013)
– In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition (University of Minnesota, 2003)
– The Little Edges (Wesleyan University Press, 2014)
– The Feel Trio (Letter Machine Editions, 2014)
– B Jenkins (Duke University Press, 2010)
– Hughson’s Tavern (Leon Works, 2008)
– I ran from it but was still in it (Cusp Books, 2007)
– Poems, with Jim Behrle (Pressed Wafer, 2002)
– Arkansas (Pressed Wafer, 2000)


Hannah Black is an artist and writer from the UK. She lives in Berlin.


Will Holder is a typographer concerned with the organisation of language around artworks, particularly the ways in which voices from various disciplines are mediated to provide meaning and access to art objects. His work has taken the form of live readings, printed matter, social events and dialogues with other artists and he is the editor of F. R. DAVID, a journal dedicated to reading and writing in the visual arts.


Sacha Kahir is an artist and writer whose work explores class, race and the messianic potential of art and politics to overthrow the seemly ‘natural’ order of things. He has also been involved in welfare rights activism in the UK for a number of years.


Fumi Okiji’s research focuses on the black radical tradition. She is particularly interested in how expressive work can provide alternative forms of knowledge and models of progressive social organisation. In September, Okiji will begin a research fellowship in Black Arts at Northwestern University, Chicago. Her current work, tentatively titled How to Love Black Things: Expressive Work as Black Epistemology, contributes to the debate concerning the sociality of blackness and black people, and possibilities for thought allowed by such social life.


Pat Thomas studied classical piano from aged 8 and started playing Jazz from the age of 16. He has since gone on to develop an utterly unique style – embracing improvisation, jazz and new music. He has played with Derek Bailey in Company Week (1990/91) and in the trio AND (with Noble) – with Tony Oxley’s Quartet and Celebration Orchestra and in Duo with Lol Coxhill.

“Sartorially shabby as Thomas may be, and on first impression even rather stolid, he has a somewhat imperious charisma that’s immediately amplified when he starts to play. Unlike other pianists whose virtuosity seems to be racing ahead of their thought processes Thomas always seems supremely in command of his gift, and his playing, no matter how free and ready to tangle with abstraction, always carries a charge of authoritative exactitude.” – The Jazzmann


Hypatia Vourloumis is a scholar in performance studies who lives and works in Athens. Her research interests include modern Greek and postcolonial South East Asian cultural production and more broadly performance theory, philosophies of language, critical marxism, race, feminist and queer theory, decolonial thinking & practice and popular culture.