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Susan Greenwood, Christoph Keller: ‘We need to understand magic as a form of gaining knowledge’
‘We need to understand magic as a form of gaining knowledge’
(p. 83 – 90)

Susan Greenwood, Christoph Keller

‘We need to understand magic as a form of gaining knowledge’
In conversation with Susan Greenwood and Christoph Keller

PDF, 8 pages

  • occultism
  • ritual
  • spiritism
  • contemporary art

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Susan Greenwood

is an anthropologist based in Brighton, Sussex, working as a writer and lecturer on magical consciousness. When she first started her doctoral research in the 1990s on British practitioners of magic she decided to study magic from the inside, as a practitioner herself. Thus she explored various approaches to magic and participated in many witchcraft rituals, was trained as a high magician and worked with shamans. Greenwood then linked her practical experience to a scholarly approach aiming to build bridges between magical practice and academic discourse. Having gained her PhD in anthropology in 1997, she has lectured at Goldsmiths, University of London, and the University of Sussex, and has taught courses on the anthropology of religion, shamanic consciousness and altered states of consciousness. In 2014, Greenwood was invited as a researcher to contribute to a seminar on the paranormal at the Esalen Center for Theory & Research in California. Her publications include Magic, Witchcraft and the Otherworld (2000), The Nature of Magic (2005), The Anthropology of Magic (2009), Magical Consciousness: an anthropological and neurobiological approach (with Erik Goodwyn, 2015), Developing Magical Consciousness (2019) and Astral Magic, Consciousness and the Imagination in Astral Bodies (2017). She lectures internationally, and recently gave a keynote to the Danish Ethnographic and Anthropologist Societies at the University of Copenhagen and a lecture on the subject of exploring magic in art at the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich.
Other texts by Susan Greenwood for DIAPHANES

Christoph Keller

studied mathematics, physics, and hydrology in Berlin and Santiago de Chile, and then fine arts at the University of the Arts, Berlin, as well as art and film at the Academy of Media Arts, Cologne, where he finished as a post-graduate in 1999. Keller, who now lives in Berlin, examines phenomena from the natural sciences from an artistic perspective, and also researches topics from fringe science such as the relation between hypnosis and cinematography. For instance, for his Hypnosis-Film-Project (2007) or Visiting a Contemporary Art Museum under Hypnosis (2006) he studied hypnosis techniques and applied them experimentally. His works have been awarded numerous prizes, including the Ars Viva Prize for Art and Science and the Recollets Grant in Paris. In 2011, working as an artistcurator, he conceived L’Aether (de la Cosmologie à la Conscience) at the Centre Georges Pompidou. His most recent exhibitions include Anarcheology (2014) and Grey Magic (2015) at Esther Schipper as well as Small Survey on Nothingness (2014) at the Schering Stiftung Berlin. He currently teaches at the Haute école d’art et de désign in Geneva.
Other texts by Christoph Keller for DIAPHANES
Susanne Witzgall (ed.): Real Magic

In Western societies a newly discovered and very lively interest in magical practices and occult knowledge can be witnessed. The magical seems to be evolving into a popular phenomenon that affects society as a whole and is also becoming the subject of intense debate in artistic and academic-scientific contexts. The book Real Magic investigates the current realities of the magical in the contemporary arts, sciences and everyday culture. It explores the present Western residues and forms of magical practices, the current potentials of magical perception and thinking in a world largely determined by financialised instrumental reason, and also the drawbacks of occultism. The publication is the result of the fourth annual programme of the cx centre of interdisciplinary studies at the Academy of Fine Arts Munich.

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