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.