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Come to the experimental film festival I have curated / programmed this August. 83 films being screened and exhibited over four days.

It is going to be amazing. Full programme here: www.usurpzone5.org.uk

UsurpZone5_Imagedates

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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) http://www.tickettailor.com/checkout/view-event/id/27853/chk/50be/ref/website_widget?widget-disable=true

DOORS 7PM // CLOSE 2AM

Advance ticket price £10 // door price £15

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An invitation for artists, radicants, friends, fugitives & time travellers to celebrate 10 years of no.w.here 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.

Featuring:

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 no.w.here’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

Photo from performance by the “Conspirators of Pleasure” on Thurs 2 May 2013.  Club Integral at The Others Club 6-8 Manor Road, London, N16 5SA. We were joined impromptu by the amazing free improviser vocalist Sharon Gal.Thanks to Justin Davin Smith for the photo. More info about CoP: www.conspire.org.uk Also on the night were the legendary Daevid Allen, Yumi Hara Cawkwell, Chris Cutler,  Smoo, Untied Knot + visuals by Rucksack Cinema.

“Intonarumori” – Poulomi Desai of Usurp performing at the amazing Colour Out of Space Festival, joined in an impromptu improvisation by the brilliant Lorah Pierre, an artist who makes her own sound hardware and instruments. Poulomi plays her unique modified sitar, embracing elements of chance, challenge and subversion, in a industrial, noise explosion. Her prepared / bowed sitar is augmented with modified cassette decks playing field recordings, circuit bent toys, distortion pedals, opti-kinetic instruments, kitchen knives, axes and massage tools Her sitar is the primary basis for sonic improvisation and exploration — a conscious response and reaction to the idea of ‘authenticity’. Seeking to break the rules and expectations of how a ‘sacred’ instrument should be played, she questions the strictures upon the player, the guru-shishya approach and the assumptions made upon the identity of the player herself, and affirms the idea of ‘Noise’ as protest (Russolo as opposed to Marinetti). Her noise art video “Experiments with Noise No 3 Vivarta” was also screened at the Sallis Benney Theatre as part of the “Open Colour” film festival.

Lorah Pierre is an artist whose practice explores the nature of ‘event’ through live working collaborations in physical and virtual spaces. Projects focus on experimentation across a number of disciplines – the recycling of materials, self-built hardware, hacking and bending, along with a DIY ethos allowing interactive installations and performances to develop out of temporal space. She has collaborated with scientists, performers and musicians. Pierre is the founder and curator of The Experimental Sounding Board, a live platform for collaboration between sonic and visual modes of improvisation.

Full list of festival participants: Ilan Volkov, Maya Dunietz, Hiroshi Hasegawa (Astro) & Reiko.A, Angela Sawyer, Dinosaurs With Horns, Alessandro Bosetti, Dieter Schnebel, Joachim Nordwall & Dan Froberg, Sons of God (Leif Elggren & Kent Tankred), DDAA, Richard Youngs & Luke Fowler & Neil Campbell Trio, Jooklo Duo, CM Hausswolff & Michael Esposito, Andy Guhl, Enzo Minarelli, Gen Ken Montgomery, Dan Melchior, Hans Clavin & GJ De Rook, SIndre Bjerga, Bridget Hayden, Makino Takashi, Gwilly Edmondez & THF Drenching & Posset, Dog Lady Island, Kiko C. Esseiva & Vincent de Roguin, Jennifer Walshe & Tomomi Adachi, Spoils & Relics with Karen Constance, Acrid Lactations, Acchiappashpirt, Woven Skull, Occult Hand, Usurper & Dora Doll, Skin Graft, Greg Kelley & Dylan Nyoukis, Andie Brown & Sharon Gal, Primate Arena, Fordell Research Unit, Kenny Millions & Rat Bastard, The Y Bend, Roman Nose, M.Stactor, Tom White, Ewa Justka, F Ampism, Psykick Dancehall, Derek Walmsley.

Colour Out of Space is a festival of experimental music and film. Since 2006 it has played host to some of the most visionary musicians, sound artists and filmmakers of the last forty years. COOS is run by Open Music a not for profit arts group based in Brighton and coordinated by Dylan Nyoukis, Karen Constance, Michael Sippings, Johannah Henderson, Duncan Harrison, Daniel Spicer, Melanie Absolon and sound technician Tim Wilton, together with the help and input of Brighton’s wider community of musicians, artists and experimental enthusiasts.

Big thanks to Dylan Nyoukis, Michael Sippings, Lorah Pierre, all the participants and the wonderful tech crew inc. Sian and TIm.

Behind Closed Doors Exhibition commissioned by The Phoenix Project, Housing % for The Arts and Baranado’s 2003.

The Barnardo’s Phoenix Project, which supports South Asian women, children and young people experiencing domestic violence, worked on a number of projects with the support of Housing Percent for Art.  The majority of the women users of the projects had been re-housed in social housing properties. Programmes of arts activities were used to engage with client groups to develop communication skills, self-expression and confidence in parallel with the other work of the Phoenix project, and it was hoped that the potential would be identified for mentoring of individuals in arts techniques to develop transferable life and employment skills.

‘Behind Closed Doors’ was an eighteen month project led by photographer Poulomi Desai.  The aim was to enable South Asian women who were survivors of domestic violence to use photographic equipment and develop images and messages which conveyed their experiences.  They developed a series of striking images promoting messages about domestic violence issues and raising awareness in the South Asian community.  This culminated in an exhibition launched in November 2002 at the Reebok Stadium which then toured around the borough and more widely.  The exhibition is an art installation containing a number of exhibits including photographs in light boxes, plates, a bedspread, an iron in a bird cage and a burnt dress, which highlights the impact of domestic violence. The exhibition is housed inside three tents to create an environment to emphasise the isolation of domestic violence which often occurs behind closed doors.

It was profiled in the national press and attracted a great deal of interest.  A second group of women subsequently developed a stand-alone participatory workshop to raise awareness of the issues, which was profiled at the Bolton Domestic Violence and Criminal Justice System Conference in November 2003 and Barnado’s helped fund the group to take it to an international conference in New Delhi in India in December 2003.

The exhibition is still available for touring and is used to raise awareness and challenge attitudes in order to influence and affect changes in policy and practice.

More info here: http://www.usurp.org.uk/project_page/artists-talk

More images here: http://www.usurp.org.uk/project_page/selected-images

branded

This project was part of the outcome of a short residency created by Poulomi Desai, enabled with an award from the Year of the Artist Programme.

The residency which began in March 2001, was based at Community Premises in South Harrow Middlesex UK, where some refugee groups meet, to enable an initial interaction between artists and members of the groups. It became an intimate discourse between artist, Poulomi Desai, poet Parm Kaur, and three participants, as below, relating the experiences on their journey to this country and their future aspirations. This site is one of the outcomes of the residency and is a reflection on the stories that were shared. The residency was a learning curve for the artists as well everyone at Community Premises, being the first arts based project that had taken place there. Although not everything was achieved, with some ideas being over ambitious and one of the artists unable to take part, many obstacles were overcome such as the still unexplained fact that the Arts Section of the London Borough of Harrow pulled its support out at the last minute.

It is hoped that this project will enable groups at Community Premises to organise future programmes with artists. There are current discussions on what further can be developed.

Pari was a headteacher in a school in Tehran and was forced to leave with her immediate family during the revolution in Iran. She hopes that her sister who is a writer and a poet will be released from prison.

Tofik was a journalist in Baku; he was forced to leave Azerbhaijan due to his religious beliefs, leaving behind his wife and daughter. He hopes that he will be able to see them again soon.

Alex came to study from Angola. He found himself becoming more and more active in human rights work to the extent where his life was in danger if he returned. He hopes one day to be able to travel to Angola to see his family.

Community Premises provides office space for voluntary organisations representing a variety of communities within the borough of Harrow. The facility provides a starting point for new and emerging groups to establish themselves within the community that can move on once established making space available for a new generation of organisations.

Special thanks to Pari from the Harrow Community Iranian Association, Tofik from the Russian Immigrants Association, Alex from the Angolan Civic Communities Association for taking part and sharing some very painful memories, and, Tony from Harrow Anti-Racist Alliance, Marion from Community Premises, and Harrow CRE for their support and help.

Thanks to Simon for the Flash / web programming and to Usurp and cyberstrider for providing the internet and hosting service.

June 2001

About Year Of The Artist
The aim of Year of the Artist was to raise the status and profile of living artists – working as individuals, groups or companies – across all artforms. Started on 1st June 2000 for one year, each region of the UK contributed to a national programme of arts activity involving the Arts Councils of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. With a budget of more than £4 million, the ten English Regional Arts Boards co-ordinated a minimum of 1000 artists to produce site specific work in at least 1000 unusual, surprising, unpredictable places throughout England. Year of the Artist aimed to take art and artists out of the ‘traditional’ spaces usually associated with art, and place them in everyday situations. The challenge for participating UK and international performers, visual artists, dancers, film makers and writers was to develop original, innovative and inspiring ideas to celebrate the Year of the Artist.

 

“Branded”

‪Performance and film screenings at Supernormal Festival 2013:  Sitar, Circuit Bent, Slide Projectors, axe, knives, kitchen implements + Electronics.‬

The full series of “Experiments with Noise” videos were also screened at the festival.

Supernormal Festival (Braziers Park) is a wonderful small festival of experimental arts and music. Big thanks to Sam Francis. See: http://www.supernormalfestival.co.uk/programme/2013

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