Usurp Meets James Joyce

Tuesday 2 Feb 2016

This project was Commissioned by ‘Waywords and Meansigns’ an ambitious and forward looking idea to set Joyce’s seminal and experimental novel to music. We are delighted that the project has been featured in The Guardian newspaper:
The idea was a simple enough question. How many ways are there to read James Joyce’s great and bizarre novel Finnegans Wake?
Seventeen different musicians and artists from all around the world, each assigned to render a chapter aurally. The only requirements: the chapter’s words must be audible, unabridged, and more or less in their original order.
Book 3 Chapter 4 was composed and performed by The Conspirators of Pleasure (Poulomi Desai & Simon Underwood) using a variety of techniques including live improv, tape loops, modified Sitar,electronics and speech to text synthesis.

For more info and to listen to other tracks visit:


2016 – Dada, Shakespeare, Black Punk

We look forward to your support for our forthcoming international programmes celebrating the legacies of Dada, Shakespeare and Punk:

Thanks to everyone, 2015  was another astonishing, exploratory year at Usurp Art with moving image screenings, sound art, festivals and more.

We launched the Usurp Zone5 Film Festival with an international call out that attracted over 480 submissions. The festival with screenings and exhibitions over four days, supported by Film London, was a great success, featuring over 80 works by artists and filmmakers from over 15 countries, including Argentina, Germany, India, Jordan, Peru, Spain and South Africa.

We screened “Tyburnia” by James Holcombe, a 16mm compelling film, that illustrates the twists and turns of political whimsy, church and state, and the birth of capitalism.

We premiered “AND I” a new eight hour, durational video work by performance artist, Marcia Farquhar and experimental filmmaker, Reynir Hutber.

Usurp Art was also part of the BFI Love season, hosting a special 30th anniversary screening of  the beautifully, transgressive film “My Beautiful Laundrette“. It was a fantastic evening with lots of great South Indian food and feisty discussions.

Continuing our exploits in sound, Poulomi Desai launched her amazing project for International Women’s Day for the British Music Collection, the Google Cultural Institute and Sound & Music charting over 100 years of women’s contributions in the UK to new music.

Our artists have also been busy performing at London Contemporary Music FestivalCafe OtoSouth Bank CentreHundred Years Gallery and, to name a few.

Selections from our archive

International Women’s Day British Music Collection

Sunday 8 Mar 2015

Happy International Women’s Day with the British Music Collection!

Commissioned by Sound and Music | Google Cultural Institute.

“Creating this online…

Usurp Zone5 Film Festival

14 - 17 Aug 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,…

Usurp Chance Tour 2014 – Cage and Beyond

15 Mar - 8 May 2014

Usurp Art Gallery presents two dynamic, ensemble performances, exploring perceptual concepts of chance, time, listening and humour, and the breadth and parameters of improvisational approaches in new music.  All…

Conspirators of Pleasure performing live on NTS Radio

Friday 3 Apr 2015

The Conspirators of  Pleasure Live on Graham Dunning’s ‘Fractal Meat on a Spongy Bone’ radio show 3rd April 2015. Featuring Poulomi Desai – Modified Sitar and Electronics and Simon…

Listings Listings Archive

British Council / Arts Council England Funded Project

Sunday 14 Feb 2016

“Vermillion Sands” – supported by the British Council and Arts Council England. Thanks to supportive funding, Poulomi Desai of Usurp will be travelling to India.

Usurp at the London Contemporary Music Festival

Friday 11 Dec 2015

Usurp's Poulomi Desai will be premiering a new composition and performance inspired by JG Ballard's short stories in "Vermillion Sands" at this acclaimed festival of new music.

Usurp at Hundred Years Gallery

Sunday 29 Nov 2015

Marjolaine Charbin, Poulomi Desai, Artur Vidal, Douglas Benford.


Friday 1 May 2015

müllZimmer (Jonas Gustafsson & Lia Mazzari) want to convert a disused Water Tank in Lewisham in to an Art/Event Space.