Usurp Zone5 Film Festival

14 – 17 August 2015

Usurp Art Gallery organised an extraordinary, four day film festival with 84 experimental short films by 63 artists and filmmakers from over 15 countries, including Argentina, Germany, India, Jordan, Peru, Spain and South Africa. This is the first time an experimental film festival has taken place in the London Borough of Harrow.

Festival website

The Usurp Zone5 Film Festival was conceived as a curated and open submission festival of short films up to 10 minutes. Usurp Art nurtured the film festival from a well publicised open call, receiving 491 film submissions from every continent and over 60 countries. Our open call asked for films that were based on the following: “Think – abstract, absurd, activist, animated, asemic, clandestine, collage, conceptual, cut-ups, environment, experimental, glitch, graffiti, graphic, identity, kinetic, outsider, paracinematic, performance, plunderphonic, poetry, radio, rebellious, scores, sci-art, scratch, silent, sonic, subterranean, subversive, surreal, synesthetic, typographic, video art…”

The programme consisted of four days of exhibition films – projected and on monitors, three nights of screenings with informal talks and discussions, and a film soundtrack and projection night with artists from Usurp Art. It was fantastic to have 11 festival filmmakers present who made the discussions highly enjoyable and accessible. Usurp Art welcomed very diverse audiences each day with a full house on each night. Attendees were thrilled to meet and discuss the films with the filmmakers, and share knowledge. The filmmakers were delighted to be able to network with each other and to share their ideas with members of the public, other filmmakers, and curators that attended. The social, cultural and educational value of this festival was considered to be exceptional, and the fact that it took place entirely at Usurp Art proved to be its strength, with high numbers of people reporting that they felt excited and engaged because of the intimacy, and possibility to have one on one discussions in a friendly atmosphere.

Programmed and curated by Poulomi Desai and Simon Underwood.

“Proud to be backing experimental film and video festival Zone5…

Inspiring, friendly, high quality, thought provoking films – first time I have attended an experimental film festival – this is brilliant – well done Usurp!

Amazing community spirit and what an opportunity to meet with so many filmmakers and a chance to discuss ideas

Eclectic, funny, well-organised, great audience and what an atmosphere – more of this please!

Thanks Usurp for taking so much care in screening my film. The sound, black-out, people, everything is perfect. Great to be in an environment that nurtures reflection and networking

Exciting, enthralling, luminescent, interactive, inviting, textured

Festival showing experimental films from all around the world:

Thanks to all the filmmakers, audiences, helpers and sponsors who made our Usurp Zone5 Film Festival a great success.

Film Hub London, Film, NEC, and the BFI. #usurpzone5

Selection from the documentation:

All the filmmakers and artists:

Adam H. Marchand, Ale Bachlechner, Alice Boutell, Aline Helmcke, Allan Brown, Arnont Nongyao, Blanca Rego, Clint Enns, Damian Lintell-Smith, Damien Megherbi, Daniel Watkins, Eisuke Yanagisawa, Elsa Philippe,Francois Knoetze, Gabriel Rud, Graham Dunning, Harrison Banfield, Hernán Talavera, Hiroya Sakurai, Jack Wormell, James Pomeroy, Jessica J Giacobbe, Jo Shaw, Justin Pechberty, Jukka-Pekka Jalovaara, Karl Waugh, Kuesti Fraun, Laura Fletcher, Marc Nesy (aka SWOON), Marko Schiefelbein, Maryam Tafakory, Matthias Kispert, Maura Wendelken, Mauricio Sanhueza, Maxime Corbeil-Perron, Melanie Menard, Michael Fleming, Michael Woods, Mikhail Basov, Molly Brown, Morgen Christie, MV Isip, Natália Azevedo Andrade, Nazare Soares, Neelu Bhuman, Onyeka Igwe, Pablo Saura, Razan Haikal, Richard Anthony Dunford, Richard Ashrowan, Sally Waterman, Sandra Araújo, Saravana Selvam, Sasha Waters Freyer, Scott Fitzpatrick, Samir Hamiche, Sedi Ghadiri, Shunsaku Hayashi, Stuart Pound, Theo Tagholm, Thorsten Fleisch, Vicki Bennett, Zachary Finkelstein

Usurp Zone5 Trailer

Check out our Vine videos here:

Part of this tomorrow with my Kartar harmonium – do join us – the afternoon starts at 2pm with performances.

Sat 18th July 2015
4.30pm – 5.30pm
space breath time
Joe Namy (b. 1978, lives and works in Beirut, Lebanon)

space, breath, time brings together a group of musicians to interpret a text-based score written for South Asian portable harmoniums. This experimental score explores ‘flows of people, networks and waves – sounds in migration, in search of asylum’. Audience members are invited to walk amongst the harmonium players in order to experience the sonic characteristics of the performance space.


Looking forward to this tonight at 8pm:

Sonic seeds and spores from thunderous electronic artist Petrels – presenting the London debut of the full 5-piece Petrels band line-up following the release of new album ‘Flailing Tomb’; extraordinary and otherworldly noise duo Conspirators of Pleasure – aka Simon Underwood (founder member of The Pop Group) and Poulomi Desai (ex Dead Jalebies); CIYF favourite Laid Eyes, presenting the premiere screening of new film ‘I Want In But I Don’t Know To What’; enthralling quartet performance from müllZimmer’s Jonas Gustafsson (percussion) and Lia Mazzari (cello), with Clay Gold (electric bass) and Florian Zeisig (percussion); plus Tartaruga DJing throughout and till late.


My duo supporting one of the best film organisations in the UK – SATURDAY 20TH JUNE : NO.W.HERE PRESENT: no.we.are 10 (now’s the time to dance to all our futures)


Advance ticket price £10 // door price £15


An invitation for artists, radicants, friends, fugitives & time travellers to celebrate 10 years of at a late night party on the shortest night of the year, Saturday 20th June 2015. A lively and eclectic evening at the Working Men’s Club. Come and dance on the back of austerity, doublespeak and triple think..

The night features a heady and eclectic mix of film, music, performance and interventions.


Free improv drumming, permutational poetry, and epic Super 8 film with Hugh Metcalfe and Penny Rimbaud from Crass, expanded sound and image with Anna Thew, live execution ballads and flicker film with Lisa Knapp and James Holcombe, Richard Crow’s film ‘Lead Sehnsucht’ with live analogue synth and tape manipulation soundtrack..Collectiv-iz re-working time, light, film, performance, and the machinery of projection in a special curated performance for the evening….Conspirators of Pleasure bending the rules and questioning the sacred via prepared sitar, sonically twisted stylophones, prepared bass, modified toys, resurrected radios and visually scarred slide projections….The Errorists plugging phantom power to sing to’s future…Peter Gidal’s Coda 1 and 2 “a complex of barely visible cuts in space and time, the opposite of erasure, but nothing so much as visible”..A performance by Martin Blažíček and Steven BallSimon Bookish’s digital pop perfection ‘a Scrooge McDuck backstroke through a pool of cartoon coins’…A fantastical phantasmagoric performance by Tai Shani …the evening will be rounded off by a DJ set from Bass Clef trombone, effects, and percussive instruments of choice, splicing together Caribbean rhythms with pulsating techno, hypnotic brass, machine soul and ‘hands in the air’ rave dynamics..201505229461midlets-dance-to-all-our-f

‘Freudian Feedback’ (modified sitar + tabla) + ‘Turtlebox’ (hand-made instrument) at the Noise Colloquium – University of Greenwich 22 March 2015.
© Poulomi Desai and Dushume (aka Amit Patel)

The University of Greenwich hosted a two-day colloquium to explore noise as a concept that embraces the expressive, the idea of noise as a resistance and, through mutating repetition, a catalyst for creative production. Other speakers and performers included David Toop, Nicolas Collins (Art Institute of Chicago), Atau Tanaka (Goldsmiths University), Andrew Hill, Stephen Kennedy, Ian Thompson (University of Greenwich) Melanie Clifford, Sarah Sparkes, Rie Nakajima and Dirty Electronics.

Special thanks to John Richards (Dirty Electronics) and Andrew Hill (University of Greenwich).

Great to have been invited by Graham Dunning for his morning sound art radio show on NTS on 3 April – as it’s Easter there may well be the sounds of Oryctolagus cuniculus included in our live set…

Fractal Meat

Performing live in the studio on Friday 3rd April will be Conspirators of Pleasure, aka Poulomi Desai and Simon Underwood. Tune into NTS from 8am to 10am to hear them play.

Conspirators of Pleasure (Poulomi Desai – ex Dead Jalebies and Simon Underwood – founder member of post punk band The Pop Group) are an improvising duo that seek to bend all the rules, question the sacred, create extraordinary soundscape performances and self-regulating sonic systems, using modified and prepared instruments. Part of their unusual musical armoury includes a prepared sitar, sonically twisted stylophones, prepared bass, modified toys, resurrected radios and visually scarred slide projections. Their compositions explore experimental terrains, twisting technology to transform organic sounds into eerie calls that flow from intense waves of abrasive, noisy, chaos invoking industrial nostalgia, to structured pulsating rhythms, to melancholic, microtonal drones.

The duo have worked with a range of musicians and artists including, Noise=Noise…

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Free “Noise Colloquium” 21 – 22 March 2015 at University of Greenwich.

I am performing with Dushume (who will also be presenting a paper) – we will be deciphering and/or dissolving ideas of “Asian Noise”.  Speakers and performers include,  David Toop, Alice Eldridge, Andrew Hill, Nicolas Collins, Ian Thompson, Sarah Sparkes, Rie Nakajima, Steve Kennedy, Atau Tanaka, Melanie Clifford, Nuno Salihbegovic, Manuela Barczewski + Dirty Electronics.

“The University of Greenwich is hosting a two-day colloquium to explore noise as a concept that embraces the expressive, the idea of noise as a resistance and, through mutating repetition, a catalyst for creative production. From this perspective noise moves out of the solely auditory register into a multisensory realm of non- representational logic.”


Happy International Women’s Day!
My curation for Sound and Music’s International Women’s Day is now online! 

Sound and Music | British Music Collection | Google Cultural Institute.
Creating this online exhibition has been inspiring, reflective, joyful, intense and hard work. There were many gems in the archives at the collection, from autograph manuscripts to quizzical graphic scores, to old recordings and photographs. I have produced / curated this online exhibition within two weeks including two fascinating, intensive research days at the University of Huddersfield where the archives are preserved carefully, cataloging and colour correcting dozens of photographs, and uploading, and designing the exhibition on an online software that I sometimes wanted to scream funeral dirges at. I hope you find it stimulating and informative. This is just the beginning of an “unfinished” story and I hope to be able to re-visit the archives to highlight more of what is hidden and waiting for us to discover.
Featured amongst many are – Composers, Sound Artists, Conductors, Musicians, Sound Magicians, Wordsmiths: Alwynne Pritchard, Angela Morley, Anna Friz, Claudia Molitor, Diana Burrell, Errollyn Wallen, Ethel Leginska, Ethel Smyth, Feminist Improvising Orchestra, Iris Garrelfs, Janet Beat, Jo Thomas, Judith Weir, Lindsay Cooper, Magz Hall, Michelle Marie Lewis-King, Nicola LeFanu, Phyliss Tate, Polystyrene, Priti Paintal, Rebecca Horrox, Rebecca Saunders,  Riot Grrrls, Riz Maslen, Shirley J. Thompson, Yumi Hara Caukwell.

WomensdaylogoI am very pleased that I have been chosen for the curation of an online exhibition for Sound and Music and the Google Cultural Institute. The exhibition is for the British Music Collection for International Women’s Day on 8 March 2015. I want to highlight new works by living composers and artists and want you to be part of it.

Here is my call out:

Using the idiom of “A wo (man)’s work is never done”, I am exploring what might be considered, ‘feminist’ and ‘radical’ –  from everyone who considers themselves to be on the margins – artistic, social, cultural, political. I am specifically interested in finding:

1) ‘Unfinished’ pieces 2) Noise based, Dada, Fluxus, ‘nonsense’, multi-lingual, poetry, radio, video and text sound works, and graphic scores. I want to highlight work that is on the fringes of contemporary, new music scenes and interweave this with archived works from the British Music Collection at the University of Huddersfield. My intention is to make this archive broader in it’s outlook and  I encourage sound makers and musicians to register their works with the British Music Collection. Your work will also be highlighted on the Usurp website.

For your work to be considered for the exhibition, you will need to register with the British Music Collection website by 2nd March 2015 be a member of PRS (or equivalent) and have some You Tube links for me to view. Full guidelines (check the details) and how to register:

Once your work is online, email me your details:

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