Implicasphere - Peeling Onions

Implicasphere (an itinerary of meandering thought) presents a special talk event with Gerry Gilmore, the first person to weigh the Milky Way, literary scholar Alexandra Neel and socialist magician Ian Saville. They give specialist insights on the theme of onions in cosmology, literature and magic as part of a collective unearthing of allium-oriented material for Implicasphere’s forthcoming issue.

Implicasphere is an occasional mini-publication that seeks to unearth curious and compelling ideas in the form of image and text fragments taken unadulterated from fields as diverse as folk craft, nuclear physics and film noir. Each issue unravels the apparently simple meaning of an everyday, unimportant word – mice, string, the nose, stripes – by trailing its associations. The next edition is on the theme of onions.

The event is chaired by co-editors Cathy Haynes and Sally O’Reilly who invite the audience, too, to bring along images, texts, ideas for leads or simply vague thoughts for the content of Implicasphere’s onion issue. The talk is followed by audience drinks.


Gerry Gilmore is an international authority on the Milky Way galaxy: he was the first person to weigh the Milky Way and discovered its Thick Disk. He is Professor of Experimental Philosophy and Deputy Director, Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge University. His research involves weighing the invisible, attempting to find the true nature of reality. For this event he explores onions in cosmology.

Alexandra Neel is a literary scholar completing her PhD at Princeton University on literary and photographic explorations of Antarctica. She joins the Department of English at the University of Oregon in September. For Implicasphere’s talk, she elaborates on James Joyce's theory of the world as an onion.

Ian Saville has been performing Socialist Magic for the past twenty-five years on picket lines and at comedy clubs, festivals and theatres all over the world. He is the award-winning author of the first full-length socialist magic show Brecht on Magic. Classics from his act include ‘The Class Struggle Rope Trick’ and ‘The vanishing of the military-industrial complex’. Tonight he attempts to combine materialism and idealism by interrogating his soul, in the form of an onion.

This event is presented as part of The Photographers’ Gallery’s public programme focusing on artists and publications working with found and shared material. All ticket sales go directly back into the Talking Photography programme.