Finnegans Wake Revisited

Thursday 4 May 2017

The latest recording from Usurp’s Conspirators of Pleasure features Annette Perry (voice) and Simon Underwood & Poulomi Desai (sound design). It forms part of an ongoing project setting James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake to music by Waywords and Meansigns to be released on 4th May 2017.

This year’s release featuring over 100 musicians and readers from 15 different countries is unique in that contributors are now focused on shorter passages of the book  – a page, or a few pages. As always, they create a work that is simultaneously an audio-book as well as a musical adaptation.

Our first contribution to this project can be listened to here:


Finnegans Wake  –  page 163 line 8 to page 165 line 7
Please listen on headphones or a system with good bass.

The Usurp Tapes 2017 – Species Of Spaces

April 2017

Nothing disappears completely … In space, what came earlier continues to underpin what follows …Henri Lefebvre

“Spaces” is a exploration of our everyday surroundings, mundane activities and forgotten objects. Located in the Usurp art space,  “Spaces” is an inventory into the production of everyday life and an investigation into the infra-ordinary. The recordings codify experience and document aspects of ‘ordinary’ life through experiments in sound and the invention of space as a site for possibilities.
Some of the pieces follow John Cage’s notion of maximum amplification using contact mics while others are live ambient recordings to include outside ‘rouge’ sounds.

What speaks to us, seemingly, is always the big event, the untoward, the extra-ordinary…. How should we take account of, question, describe what happens every day and recurs everyday: the banal, the quotidian, the obvious, the common, the ordinary, the infra-ordinary, the background noise, the habitual? Georges Perec

“Support the Creative Industries!” What does this mean?

Friday 12 May 2017

An introduction to what the purse string holders mean by the creative industries and how you can get involved in the debates and quangos. From start up web based services to fine art, architectural, film and music studios, there has been a shift to private funding of the arts and creative spaces. The cultural industry generates billions in revenue in the UK – what does this mean post-brexit? The mantras include “become a landlord and see your investment grow, become a tenant on a short lease and sell things”. Who benefits, who loses out in the long run, and what will be left for communities to shape in our societies on a local level?

More information soon.

“We Are The Lions” the story of the Grunwick strike 1976 -1978

19 October 2016 - 26 March 2017

Usurp is delighted that we are involved with the Grunwick 40 exhibition, “We are the Lions” that has been researched and curated by our artistic director, Poulomi Desai and organised by the Grunwick 40 group.

Forty years ago, a group of workers in a backstreet London factory stood up to their unfair bosses and kickstarted one of the longest and most important industrial disputes in British history. Led by Asian women, the Grunwick strike challenged stereotypes, changed the face of white, male trade unions, and inspired others to speak out against injustice…and this was just before punk in 1976. There are unseen photographs, huge banners, posters, soundtracks and stories that Poulomi has unearthed.

19 Oct 2016 to 26 March 2017
Mon-Fri 9am-8pm| Sat-Sun 10am-5pm

Press preview: 18 Oct – contact us to register: info[at]

Brent Museum
The Library at Willesden Green
95 High Road
London NW10 2SF

“What you are running is not a factory, it is a zoo. But in a zoo there are many types of animals. Some are monkeys who dance on your fingertips. Others are lions who can bite your head off. We are the lions, Mr Manager.” Jayaben Desai, leader of the Grunwick strike.

Grunwick 40 is a joint project run by Brent Trades Council and Willesden Green Town Team, in partnership with Brent Museum & Archives. It is set up to commemorate the 40 years of the Grunwick strike and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Near Neighbours and donations from numerous individuals and organisations. More info:

Usurp Art – Circuit Bending Delhi Parliament

Friday 25 March 2016

Two buildings – the Delhi Parliament and Secretariat. Two instruments – an handmade “senso-stamen” flower noise machine and a circuit bent toy.

Usurp Art at Khoj Delhi at the Reproduce Listening Room

Sunday 13 March 2016

Usurp Art at Khoj Artists Workshop

Usurp Art’s Conspirators of Pleasure (Poulomi Desai & Simon Underwood) performed at the Khoj Artists Workshop in Delhi as part of the eclectic series of sound nights called the Listening Room organised by the music collective, Reproduce. The series aims to fill a gap in the ever iterating and increasingly varied community of live music in India by showcasing talent that might not get heard in the more mainstream oriented venues. The night was packed out with an enthusiastic audience. Big thanks to Rana at Reproduce and all the crew at Khoj.

Usurp Art at the Carnival of E-Creativity, Shillong, India

22 - 29 February 2016

Usurp Art's Conspirators of Pleasure at the Carnival of E-Creativity India

In 2016, Poulomi Desai and Simon Underwood of Usurp Art were invited to be participants at the 10th edition of The Carnival of E-Creativity (CeC) as part of their six week project based trip to India.

Usurp Art & Banana House Delhi present Ohmsonic

Friday 18 March 2016

Ohmsonic a night of noise & sound art in India

Conspirators of Pleasure, Da Saz & Hemant Sreekumar.


Friday 18 March 2016

Poulomi Desai at Banana House Delhi - "Vermillion Sands"

This performance by Poulomi Desai was part of the sound art / sonic noise event “Ohmsonic” organised by Usurp Art and Banana House in Delhi and is an extract from a series of performances inspired by “Vermillion Sands” by J.G. Ballard, originally premiered at the London Contemporary Music Festival (LCMF).

Usurp celebrates Dada, Shakespeare, and Black Punk 2016

8 March - 31 December 2016

We are hosting a six month project to mark the legacies of Shakespeare, Dada and Punk.

Starting on International Women’s Day on 8th March in India, and for the rest of 2016 in the UK, Usurp is organising an international programme of events to celebrate the legacies of Dada (in particular the women artists of Dada), Shakespeare, and Punk. There will be abstract film screenings, chemical and static poetry, communal Dada paper and rag costume making, performance parties, strange dancing soirees, readings of soliloquies, graphic splashes, noisy outrage, puppet plays and an exhibition with the sounds of Black Punk.


Selections from our archive

Usurp Meets James Joyce

Tuesday 2 February 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:

International Women’s Day British Music Collection

Sunday 8 March 2015

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

Commissioned by Sound and Music | Google Cultural Institute.

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

Usurp Chance Tour 2014 – Cage and Beyond

15 March - 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.

Conspirators of Pleasure performing live on NTS Radio

Friday 3 April 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 Underwood – Modified Toys and Electronics.

Listings  Listings Archive

Cafe Oto – Merzbow/Desai/Justka

Saturday 1 October 2016

Cafe Oto - Merzbow/Desai/JustkaRead More


Usurp Art at Sonic Imperfections

Tuesday 12 July 2016

Usurp's 'Conspirators of Pleasure' perform at 'Sonic Imperfections' at The Montague Arms in Peckham.Read More


Lost Property presents : Infrasection Dispersion

Saturday 20 August 2016


Lost Property, an arts collective based in Brighton, present a building takeover of the DLWP. With Conspirators of Pleasure and more.Read More


British Council / Arts Council England Funded Project

Sunday 14 February 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.Read More