St James’s Piccadilly, London
13:00-22:00, Friday 13 October 2023
The Spiral is a turning, a gathering – a world in the making. A common pattern of nature – found across cosmic galaxies, snail shells, pine cones, flowers and DNA – the spiral symbolises the constant change and evolution of the universe. Spirals are also a structure of experience and memory: we learn and grow through repetition and return.
Join us at the Ignota Gathering: The Spiral to celebrate Ignota’s fifth birthday on Friday 13 October at St James’s Church, Piccadilly, London, with Ignota’s friends and family to explore the spiral through resonance, poetry and philosophy.
The day and evening will unfold across dialogues, collaborations and performances spiralling around psychedelic hieroglyphs, Hilma af Klint’s imagery and the spirit realm, cinematic whorls, the Endcore doom- and downward- spiral into Horny-Sad Hell, eternity and ornament, open-ended languages and more.
‘True journey is return.’ – Ursula K. Le Guin
With Shumon Basar, Federico Campagna, Lucinda Chua, Jennifer Higgie, Bones Tan Jones, Bhanu Kapil, NYX, Paul Purgas, Nisha Ramayya, Tai Shani, Himali Singh Soin, Maxwell Sterling, Tzekin and Flora Yin Wong.
Book specially priced early bird afternoon tickets here and evening tickets here. The Spiral continues at the ICA with an improvised concert by Jaar and an afterparty with DJs; visit the ICA website for full details and to book.
Ignota x St. James’s lunchtime concert
13:00 – Bones Tan Jones opens the space.
13:30 – Tzekin performs improvised saxophone meditations and electronics, creating trance chords over reverb drone.
14:15 – Welcome by Sarah Shin, Ignota’s co-founder, and Susanna Davies-Crook, Ignota’s Head of Growth and ICA Talks & Research curator:
Sarah Shin introduces Ignota at five: the spiral, the turning, a gathering – a world in the making.
Rector Lucy Winkett introduces ‘The Spiral’ for the day within the walls of St. James’s Piccadilly.
Susanna Davies-Crook guides the gathered through a hypnotic journey, deeper and deeper into the ancient whorl.
14:45 – Bhanu Kapil reads a poem written for the fifth turn. Because the fifth turn is unstable. But it is also a place of foundational love.
15:00 – Jennifer Higgie presents ‘Spirals Signify Evolution’, a phrase borrowed from the notebooks of Hilma af Klint. This talk meditates on the significance of spirals in Klint’s work and beyond, into the realm of artists and the spirit world.
15:40 – Nisha Ramayya and Paul Purgas respond to Rabindranath Tagore’s mystic drama ‘Formless Jewel’ through recitation and microtonal sound. In the spirit of līlā (play) and arūpa (formlessness), they tread an orbit of sound, poetry, and metaphysics to get closer to the vortical heart.
16:15 – Shumon Basar presents a profile of Scottie in Alfred Hitchcock's film Vertigo. Scottie’s obsession with a deceased Madeleine revolves around her tightly wound spiral hair: a vertex of desire and double death. From this cinematic whorl, Basar travels towards our Endcore present: a time of doom- and downward- spiralling in the endless feed.
17:00 – Flora Yin Wong presents ‘Strange Loop’, a site-specific piece for St James’s Church using kemence and field recordings.
17:45 – Federico Campagna and Sarah Shin discuss the spiral and the sense of order. What is the shape of reality? Together they explore the spiral in relation to return, eternity, (non)death, ornament, open-ended languages, labyrinths and escape routes.
18:30 – MJ Harding plays the church organ, including his compositions for: Deep Deep Dream by Ignota, an experiment in the techniques of awakening and an invitation to touch the dreamworld, created for Transmissions S2; Treble Heaven, a collaboration with Nisha Ramayya exploring three ways of singing to heaven and three different types of longing; and Mirror 1: The Sea by Sammy Lee and Sarah Shin, a video game journey through a mythical world of correspondences that begins by awakening within the Book of Dreams.
Throughout the day:
The Spiral by Himali Singh Soin is a video work inspired by Italo Calvino’s text of the same name. ‘For the majority of mollusks, the visible organic form has little importance in the life of the members of a species, since they cannot see one another and have, at most, only a vague perception of other individuals and of their surroundings. This does not prevent brightly coloured stripings and forms which seem very beautiful to our eyes (as in many gastropod shells) from existing independently of any relationship to visibility.’
Intercommunications, a forthcoming album by Paige Emery.
Sounds and music created and selected by MJ Harding.
19:30 – Tai Shani’s offering takes the form of a special invocation to the incomprehensible spiral of life in the namelessness of the mystery from My Bodily Remains, Your Bodily Remains and All the Bodily Remains that Ever Were and Ever Will Be (2023), performed by Molly Moody.
19:50 – NYX members Sian O'Gorman and Alicia Jane Turner present new and improvised spiral soundscapes for voice, piano, violin and electronics.
20:30 – Lucinda Chua performs a live set with solo cello and pedals. Weaving multi-layered melodies and textures together to create otherworldly soundscapes, she approaches the room and everyone in it as her instrument.
21:15 – Maxwell Sterling presents ‘Lissajous Figures & Fugues’, a new solo performance for the double bass.
Afterparty – sold out – ticketed by ICA
Concert and afterparty from 22:00 at the ICA (five minutes walk from St James’s Church) with an improvisation for the bass-clarinet and electronics by Jaar and DJ sets by Flora Yin Wong, TFT and Chooc Ly Tan.
Programmed by Sarah Shin and Susanna Davies-Crook.
Please note: we cannot refund event ticket sales.
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Supported by the ICA London.