Jules Varnedoe


Orchid and the Metal: Walking, Talking and Sharing London's Hidden Occult Histories, Antiuniveristy Now Festival, 2017.


From the early sigils of Austin Osman Spare, to the birth of Chaos Magick in Deptford Squats, or the work of Genesis P-Orridge and Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth in London Fields, there are rich and hidden histories of occult practices scattered across South/East London. We walked through some sites that bore witness to these histories, telling stories and sharing

research and ideas as we wandered. In the evening we gathered at Chisenhale Studios where we screened films and held an informal conversation and reflection on the walk, it’s themes, and the spaces we had passed through.


Explicitly rejecting pedagogic hierarchies - while we acknowledge that we planned the route and shared our research and thoughts, we actively encouraged all participants, and anyone with knowledge or interest in these histories or ideas to contribute to the day.


Thanks to all the participants for their involvement and to Chisenhale Studios for facilitating.


Orchid and the Metal was co-organised for Antiuniveristy Now Festival by Jules Varnedoe and Elizabeth Kane.


Image made for the event by Rosie Carmichael (rosiecarmichael.com).