Vincenzo Fiore Marrese

Artistic Research

This research is currently open.

I (don’t) know the spell


“I (don’t) know the spell” explores our inner border between ration and emotion through the lens of Internet technologies, posing questions on the dividing line between the performance art and the magic act.

For my performance, I cast a spell according to instructions in an old manuscript of magic. Then I broadcast my action on Instagram in a temporary account that I will delete after after a few hours. The idea is to model a collision between magical thinking and the world of information technologies built upon rational frameworks. The audience will experience this collision, and the art insider would appreciate the boundaries of the performance act compared with the magical one. With “magical thinking”, I mean:

“the belief that one’s (...) actions (...) can influence the course of events in the material world. Magical thinking presumes a causal link between one's inner, personal experience and the external physical world. Examples include beliefs that the movement of the Sun, Moon, and wind or the occurrence of rain can be influenced by one's thoughts or by the manipulation of some type of symbolic representation of these physical phenomena.” [note 1]

Information technologies are a rational tool, but the use of the Internet seems to improve emotional behaviours. I will explore this theme through my performance using Instagram doing a magical act, a spell. There are similitudes between “magical thinking” and “performance art”. First, in “performance art”, the artwork is an action that sometimes involves objects. Second, the idea that art could be related to magic or rituals is intriguing. Historically, this kind of connection appears in the specific field of “performance art”. I will explore through my performance the relationship between magic and performance doing magic and performative action at the same time. My action is artistic, but a magic action too. I’m doing it according to the instruction of a book of spells.

The topic is labyrinthine. Is magical thinking emotional? Are technologies rational? Is there a connection between a magic action and an artistic one? How do I take steps in the world according to the information that surrounds me? I (donI’t) know, could be the answer.

  1. Vandenberg, B. (Invalid Date). magical thinking. Encyclopedia Britannica. back to the text