The fog of the here-and-now is ossifying. Contemporary culture is characterised by states of anxiety, alienation and exile. Breaking with these states requires a series of temporal maneuvers. Ritual is an apt symbolic technology for this work, for ritual is a way of entering time and rendering it habitable through communion.

~ Joseph Morgan Schofield

FUTURERITUAL is an artist-led research project considering the use of ritual in contemporary queer and performance cultures. FUTURERITUAL is conceived and convened by artist Joseph Morgan Schofield and this iteration features performances and contributions by Benjamin Sebastian, Charlie Ashwell, Daniella Valz Gen, Es Morgan, Soojin Chang, Rubiane Maia and Teo Ala-Ruona.

Identifying performance art as a potent contemporary modality for ritual, the performance works and accompanying sonic essay of this FUTURERITUAL represent a plurality of responses to this question: how can the archaic technology of ritual be deployed in the divination, manifestation and sustentation of something else - of alternative [queer] futurities, wherein states of belonging (in difference) are felt deeply and more readily?

The works in this FUTURERITUAL activate the ICA between 18 and 29 May, and investigate memory, sex, time, collaboration, ecology, power, alienation, intimacy and belonging. The body remains at the heart of each work, immediate and autonomous. Identity, however, is frequently destabilised and diffused towards the imagination of other ways of being in other possible worlds.

The live programme features four performance art works and Summoning, a workshop exploring queer kinship and collaboration, and is accompanied by Divinatory Strategies, a three-part sonic essay, available online.

Background Image: Rubiane Maia, Every Time I Trace The Horizon, My Hands Catch Fire [Book-Performance, Chapter III], 2022. Photo by Zack Mennell.

Photo by Zack Mennell. Sigil by Ben Normanton. 

Sonic Essay

Divinatory Strategies

> available online, from May

Divinatory Strategies is a three-part sonic essay tracing some of the aesthetic and affective entanglements of ritual and performance art. 

In their articulations of ritual, 20th century anthropologists identified a ‘threshold’ zone, a disorienting liminal stage where order dissolved and participants existed in a time between their past self and the self yet to be produced by the ritual. This liminal stage was a place of possibility exactly because of the experience of not-knowing.

Convened by Joseph Morgan Schofield, and featuring the contributions by Charlie Ashwell, Daniella Valz Gen, Es Morgan, Soojin Chang, Rubiane Maia and Teo Ala-Ruona, Divinatory Strategies is an invitation to enter into this place of not-knowing. Drawn from a series of free-flowing conversations, and loosely-grouped around notions of grief, transformation and hope, the essay speaks to the multiplicity of future ritual practices.

Divinatory Strategies is available through:
> ICA website
> Soundcloud
> Spotify 
> Apple Podcasts

001: Grief, Death and Healing

Ritual abounds in death, offering a space to process, acknowledge and mourn. In this opening chapter of Divinatory Strategies, artists Rubiane Maia, Daniella Valz Gen, and Soojin Chang discuss practices of channeling, their ways of working with and through memory, ancestral healing and communion, belonging, and the kinship between spiritual practitioners and artists. Emerging from these conversations, hosted by Joseph Morgan Schofield, is an articulation of ritual/art as something which has a vital and affirming function in dealing with human experiences of dislocation, alienation and grief.

002: Transformation, Becoming, Desire

Intention is a crucial facet of ritual. Building on the idea of ritual as a technology which produces transformation, in this chapter artists Es Morgan and Teo Ala-Ruona speak with Joseph about the ways in which they have used ritual-performance-art to discover their desires, and work with intention as they move towards the horizon of transition. Ritual is alive, actively changing the very conditions of living.

Credits & Licenses
Hosted and produced by Joseph Morgan Schofield
Editing and post-production by daz disley

Hang sounds, by Quiet American
Tundra, by Nat Norland
Birdsong, by junior85
Approaching Daylight, by The Time Dilation Orchestra (courtesy of daz disley)

‘Prelude to Extinct’, composed by Tuukka Haapakorpi, lyrics by Teo Ala-Ruona, vocals by Teo Ala-Ruona & Tuukka Haapakorpi


3 Reflections²

Benjamin Sebastian

Wednesday 18 May 2022
> info & tickets

Benjamin Sebastian, 3 Reflections², 2022. Photograph by Zack Mennell.

“This work seeps slowly, requesting patience, reflection, vision & vulnerability from both you and I.

Repetitive actions loop on themselves again and again. Across three hours; three full cycles will be completed.

Voice, light, language, adornment and a breaking of the skin; will be used in an attempt to temporarily bridge interiority and exteriority, the proximate and distant - the past, present & future.

Alone, together.

ɿoɿɿim ɿυoγ mɒ I”

The work will unfold across three hours, with Sebastian moving between three work stations every 20 minutes. Audience members are free to come and go as they please, while the piece loops and builds during this time. 

Videography and editing by Baiba Sprance and Marco Beradi.

Photos by Zack Mennell.

Es Morgan and Joseph Morgan Schofield, Summoning, 2022. Image courtesy of the artists.



Es Morgan and Joseph Morgan Schofield

11am - 4.30pm, Friday 20th May 2022
> venue info

In the corner, your hands are on the small of my back and I pour into you, churning, through my skin and into yours. Finding the brim, building a bridge, sending a message, kneading the seam, unfolding and reversing. A rush of water penetrates the silence, cleaving stillness in two, and we tumble in slow motion upwards, roaring, spilling toward and away.

A portal opens.

Kinship is a mode of summoning and a commitment to the continual co-forging of selfhood. This commitment could be understood as the currency of meaningful relationships.

Summoning is a free workshop facilitated by Es Morgan (they/she) and Joseph Morgan Schofield (they/them).

In their recent collaborative exchanges, Es and Joseph have positioned kinship as the means by which their sensate experiences of having trans* bodies are produced. In treating their own pre-existing intimacy, kinship and knowledge function as materials, their collaboration explores how relationships can be deepened and experienced anew through performance. This understanding has foregrounded their exploration of partnership, sensation, desire, devotion and summoning.

Summoning is open to pairs of artists with a pre-existing relationship - be they kin, lovers, or carers; new connections or committed collaborators. Artists should apply together.

The session will be split in two. In the morning, Es and Joseph will guide pairs through a series of playful and experiential scores derived from their creative process, grounded in movement, listening, and touch. In the afternoon, pairs will be invited to share something from their own practice with each other, and Es and Joseph will offer ways into conversation, writing, exchange and transformation.

The artists intend that Summoning is a space in which consent is foregrounded and risk and experimentation are valued. Their aim is to hold space for participants to deepen their knowledge of each other, expanding their individual and collective practices.


Heavenly Shower of Bank Notes

Soojin Chang

Saturday 21 May 2022
> info & tickets

Soojin Chang, 2022. Photo by Zack Mennell.

What will you do with your vision of her?

Heavenly Shower of Banknotes is a space for gambling desire and testing sight. Soojin Chang invites the audience to offer her fate as she is bound to another in a room. Georgie (Rei-n) Lo performs as mediator in this experimental ritual as it oscillates between a fighting ring, feast, and transaction. Come and join the match.

Photos by Zack Mennell