Ignota Gathering: The Spiral

Church Window Mask

Friday 13 October 1.10pm until late

To celebrate Ignota’s fifth anniversary, you are invited to the Ignota Gathering – sharing the sacred space of St James’s Piccadilly in community with Ignota’s contributors, members, supporters and friends.⁠

  • Getting here

    We are at 197 Piccadilly London W1J 9LL between Piccadilly and Jermyn Street, about 200m from Piccadilly Circus.

  • Access

    If you have any access requirements, including any access requirements that necessitate watching the event from home, please email susanna@ignota.org

  • Inspired by the spiral – symbolising the movement of consciousness and the constant change and evolution of the universe – the day will unfold in a series of dialogues, collaborations and performances in the beautiful, light-infused, Christopher Wren-designed church.⁠

    Through resonance, poetry and philosophy, the Ignota Gathering speaks to the patterns underlying the Ignota project – unknown languages, worlding and the spaces in between – and looks ahead to the Oracle, the final stage of Ignota’s membership journey. ⁠

    Confirmed artists and readers include Ignota friends and family with Shumon Basar, Federico Campagna, Paige Emery, Jennifer Higgie, Paul Purgas, Nisha Ramayya, Himali Singh Soin and Flora Yin Wong for the afternoon and Lucinda Chua, NYX, Tai Shani and Maxwell Sterling for the evening,

    Supported by the ICA London.

    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.

    14:45Bhanu Kapil reads a poem written for the fifth turn. Because the fifth turn is unstable. But it is also a place of foundational love.

    15:00Jennifer 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.

    17:00Flora 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.

    19:50NYX 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.

    ICA concert and afterparty

    22:30 – Flora Yin Wong

    23:00 – Jaar presents an improvised solo set for bass clarinet and electronics.

    00:00 – TFT

    01:00 – Chooc Ly Tan