Annual theme "Real Magic"
Interdisciplinary Lecture Series (2015/16)



Magic Tricks and the Mastery of Non-Mastery

Keynote by Michael Taussig


Michael Taussig teaches theory, film, and magic, in the anthropology department at Columbia University. He has written over ten books including Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man, A study in Terror and Healing (University of Chicago Press, 1987); Mimesis and Alterity (Routledge, 1993); What Color is the Sacred? (University of Chicago Press, 2006); and forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press, Palma Africana. Taussig studied medicine in Australia at the University of Sydney, and he earned a Ph.D. in anthropology at the London School of Economics in 1974. Among the universities where he has taught are the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogota, Colombia, the University of Michigan and the New York University. In addition to his many contributions to international conferences and a number of distinguished visiting professorships, he pursued intensive and exhaustive fieldwork every year since 1969, geographically focussing mostly on Colombia and Venezuela. His research interest and writings have spanned different subject areas, such as the history of African slavery and of abolition in Western Colombia; popular manifestations of the working of commodity fetishism; the sociology of malnutrition; the impact of colonialism on "shamanism" and folk healing; the relevance of modernism and post-modernist aesthetics for the understanding of ritual; mimesis in relation to sympathetic magic; state fetishism; secrecy; beauty and violence; or the sun in our age of global warming.



Annual theme "Real Magic"
Interdisciplinary Lecture Series (2015/16)



Techno Magic

with Jussi Parikka and Jeremy Wade


Jussi Parikka


Jussi Parikka is Professor in Technological Culture and Aesthetics at the Winchester School of Art (University of Southampton). His publications have addressed a variety of topics relevant to a critical understanding of network culture, aesthetics and media archaeology of the digital, including the media ecology-trilogy Digital Contagions (Peter Lang, 2007, 2nd updated edition 2016), Insect Media and most recently, A Geology of Media (University of Minnesota Press, 2010 and 2015 repectively), which addresses the environmental waste load of technical media culture. In addition, Parikka has published What is Media Archaeology (Polity, 2012) and edited various books, among which Writing and Unwriting (Media) Art History (MIT Press, 2015, with Joasia Krysa) on the Finnish media art pioneer Erkki Kurenniemi.


Jeremy Wade


Jeremy Wade is a performer, performance maker, curator and teacher. After graduating from the School for New Dance Development in Amsterdam and receiving a Bessie Award for his first evening length performance Glory at Dance Theater Workshop in New York City in 2006, he moved to Berlin and since then works in close collaboration with the HAU Hebbel am Ufer. Recently, Wade has created Fountain, Together Forever, Death Asshole Rave Video, and Drawn Onward exploring the death of man, zombie subjectivity, strange modes of being and affective relationality to undermine the social codes that define and oppress our bodies. In combination with a rigorous teaching practice, Wade’s inclination for subversion is extended towards the curation, production and the subsequent hosting of ecstatic events, series, festivals and symposia such as Politics of Ecstasy (2009), Creature Feature (2009–11), The Great Big Togetherness (2015) and recently Take Care (2017), a symposium at HAU in the frame of the NO LIMITS Internationales Theaterfestival Berlin based on the relational ethics and critical use of care that disability culture demands. In 2017/18 Wade will direct a three-part performance project addressing care as a political methodology comprised of: The Battlefield Nurse (a drag lecture performance investigating the structures vs. symptoms that are making us sick), The Future Clinic for Critical Care (a world making forum dedicated to art, activism and social work), and Between Sirens, a new trio processing the political imagination of systemic support.

Annual theme "Real Magic"
Interdisciplinary Lecture Series (2015/16)



Magic and Power

with Olivia Plender and Marco Pasi


Note: Due to health reasons Olivia Plender was not able to attend the lecture.


Marco Pasi


Marco Pasi is associate professor in the history of hermetic philosophy and related currents at the University of Amsterdam. The focus of his research as well as his teaching and publishing activity lies on the history of modern Western esotericism and its relation to magic, art, and politics. Pasi, who holds a PhD in religious studies, is a leading member of the Enchanted Modernities research network and a former fellow at the Max-Weber-Kolleg, University of Erfurt. He co-curated various exhibitions such as La Chambre des Cauchemars: Peintures inconnues d’Aleister Crowley at the Palais de Tokyo (Paris, 2008), Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits at the MUMA Monash University Museum of Art (Melbourne, 2015), and Georgiana Houghton: Spirit Drawings at the Courtauld Gallery (London, 2016). His book Aleister Crowley and the Temptation of Politics (Acumen, 2014) has been translated into several languages.

Annual theme "Real Magic"
Interdisciplinary Lecture Series (2015/16)



Magic Arts

with Verena Kuni, Annika Lundgren and Kadri Mälk


Annika Lundgren


Verena Kuni is a scholar of art, cultural and media studies and professor for visual culture at Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main. Her curatorial work is dedicated to interdisciplinary projects and programs at the intersections of theory and practice. Subjects of her research and writings are transfers between material and media cultures; media of imagination and technologies of transformation; DIY cultures and critical making; toys and/as tools; visual epistemology, information design, and (con)figurations of knowledge; biotopias and techno/nature/cultures; alternate realities and (trans)formations of time. She has also intensely researched and published on the artistic engagement with occult traditions (19th to 21st centuries) as well as on aesthetics, politics, apparatuses, and technologies of alchemy, magic, spiritualism, and parapsychology.


Annika Lundgren lives and works in Göteborg, Sweden, where she is an artistic director at the artist run platform Skogen. In her performances, interventions, and texts she has variously dealt with the performative aspect of magical phenomena and the interplay of magic, suggestion, and power. Strategies of Magic (since 2011) a series of lecture-performances based on music, text, and magic tricks, thematizes the relationship between politics and transformation. In other works the artist is concerned with the essence of the presumably irrational, for instance in The Stock is Rising (2010), at which she staged the levitation of the Frankfurt Stock Market. In a recent work, Winter is Coming – on Spirits and Populists, she compares manifestations of the occult practice of spiritualism with strategies, signs and imagery found in right wing extremist demonstrations. Lundgren studied at then Valand School of Fine Arts in Göteborg and at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Denmark. Her work has been seen in international group and solo exhibitions and has been awarded numerous prizes, including a residency at the Center for Danish Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (2001).


Kadri Mälk calls herself a metaphysicist by vocation. The jewellery artist draws inspiration for her artistic and curatorial work from the dark of the souls and the night as well as the colour black. In 2001 she organised under the titel Nocturnus an exhibition with international contributions at the Art Academy in Tallinn, where she has been teaching as a Professor for jewellery since 1996, and a night-symposium on the island of Muhu. At the Art Academy she studied jewellery art in the 1980s with Leili Kuldkepp, followed by studies of gemmology and stoneworking in St. Petersburg, studies with Bernd Munstein in Stipshausen close to Idar-Oberstein (Germany) as well as studies of design at the Lahti University of Applied Sciences in Finland. International solo exhibitions have been dedicated to her work, and her jewellery pieces are on show in museums and public collections such as The Victoria and Albert Museum London, the Espace Solidor in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France, the Alice und Louis Koch collection in Zurich, the State Museum Hermitage in St. Petersburg und the LACMA, Los Angeles.

Among her publications are the exhibition catalogue Nocturnus (EAA, 2001), Ornament as a Crime (EEA, 1998, with Christer Jonsson), Chroma/Monochroma (EAA, 2007), Just Must (Arnoldsche, 2008) and Castle in the Air (Arnoldsche, 2011, with Tanel Veenre) – a publication about works of the Estonian jewellery art group õhuLoss (eng. castle in the air), that Mälk founded in 1999 as a mentor. In 2017 her monography Testament (Arnoldsche, 2017) has been published. Mälks work has received several international awards, most recently the renowned Bavarian State Prize 2016.

Annual theme "Real Magic"
Interdisciplinary Lecture Series (2015/16)



Magical Knowledge

with Susan Greenwood and Christoph Keller


Susan Greenwood


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 the 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 and Research in California. Her publications include Magic, Witchcraft and the Otherworld (Bloomsbury, 2000), The Nature of Magic (Bloomsbury, 2005), The Anthropology of Magic (Bloomsbury, 2009), Magical Consciousness: an anthropological and neurobiological approach (with Erik Goodwyn, Routledge, 2015), Developing Magical Consciousness (forthcoming, Routledge, 2019), and Astral Magic, Consciousness and the Imagination in Astral Bodies (Künstlerhaus Bethanien, 2017). She lectures internationally, amongst others she has given 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.


Christoph Keller initially 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 artist-curator, 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.