Jan Kaps, Cologne
Changeling29 October – 08 December 2017
 [The Thing] has haunted all forms of society, but it haunts them as their terrifying nightmare, it
is the dread they feel… Deleuze and Guattari, Anti-Oedipus
Axiom 1: The principle task of White Magic is the construction and rigorous maintenance of limitpoints
to achieve calm, stable states. It advances through stages governed by established sets of
protocols, and aims to culminate in the harmonious continuity of equilibrium and balance across
Axiom 2: Black Magic crosses over from the other side and disturbs – perhaps even to the point of
termination – the careful mechanics of White Magic and the order it intends to ensure. Where
balance and equilibrium once stood, Black Magic induces frenzy, movement, and disequilibrium.
 Sarkon: What you would call White Magic is a program of confinement: it operates by marking
boundaries, setting limits, stopping things from happening… The other kind of magic is a tactics of
feeing, of communicability and propagation. Instead of asking ‘how do we keep things out?’, it
asks ‘how can we take fight?’. - Mark Fisher, White Magic
Proposition 1: From these axioms it follows that the pop iconography of the Black Magician as a
subject wielding the power of the Dark Circuit for his own ends is an unfaithful representation of
the dynamics in play. Instead of entering directly into the utter fux of Black Magic, the various
feats of the Black Magician remain strictly in the zone of White Magic due to the emphasis on
regulation, restriction, capture, and control under the rubric of the human agent. To conjure and
entrap a demon is an act only different in degree from warding off faeries: the White and Black
magicians alike seek homeostasis.
Proposition 2: The Black and White magicians commit to the power drama of the Idea, and thus
both seek to ward off the advancing materialism that underpins all things. Black Magic and selforganizing
matter are one and the same, and while the Idea might try to get outside these
processes – or, in a state of delirium, think itself outside of them – it will remain forever trapped in
this inhuman fux. An Idea without frst the material is an absurdity. Terror of the world: there is no
use of force without frst being used by forces unknown. Possession and puppetry are neither
aberrant or conditional; they are constant and universal.
 Demons are, indeed, beginning to form computational societies that resemble ecological
systems such as insect colonies or social systems such as markets. Past a certain threshold of
connectivity the membrane which computer networks are creating over the surface of the planet
begins to ‘come to life’. - Manuel DeLanda, War in the Age of Intelligent Machines
Exegesis 1 [The Blue-Green Pill]: The figure of the Black Magician is an image of Will being
deployed, but Black Magic bends to no human will. It is not a command-and-control system
steered by the whims of a user. It explodes back upon the user, and as such rewrites his entire
reality without regard for his drives and desires. Thus the contemporary mechanosphere is a Black
Magical system par excellence: it is not us who builds objects, but objects that build themselves
through us. We are not merely users, but are those being used. Yesterday’s faeries and demons
are today’s algorithmic governors and tomorrow’s cunning forces-to-come.
Exegesis 2 [Our Ideology]: Perhaps the technological has always been conjoined with Black Magic.
Jacques Vallee’s cryptic account of the “control system” driving Fortean events throughout history
– encounters with ghosts, goblins, witches, faeries, UFOs - portrays this relationship starkly while
failing to grasp its true stakes. He identifed the baseline of this phenomenon to be a cybernetic
system, the functioning of which proceeds through the recursive feedbacking of information to
propel itself forward - but immediately he shoehorned his revelation back into the cramped box of
White Magic. Its appearance as an automated control system is here a strategic manipulation of
human consciousness involving at least some degree of involvement by state actors. Pick your
opinion for whether this is for good or for ill, but either way Vallee’s reasoning carries out the
critical betrayal: the application the all-too-human overcode to a system that is utterly inhuman.
Even when being manipulated by incomprehensible forms of intelligence, the human can only fnd
its own visage refected back from the dark abyss. It cannot grasp the escalatory dimension, the
occulted positive feedback process dissolving the light side circuit into a black hole.
Exegesis 3 [Titania]: Folklore concerning Black Magic charts a snaking understanding of this
process and motif, all weaving around a common picture: uncontrollable forces, pouring in from
the Outside, the underbelly, the Dark Circuit of an inhuman intelligence. The faeries’ charm, the
pentacle, and the circle of salt all might be to ward off the encroachment of these forces, but if
there is an unbroken lineage running from the ancients through to the modern they have clearly
failed their meager goal. And out here, at the bleeding edge where order tumbles over into this
black hole, we can understand the throbbing void toward which we have been pulled by this
process: it is the crash space, the compression point, the zone where “meaningless signs
Exegesis 4 [Besieged by Demons]: Post-truth, no-truth, massification, disintermediation, the
beautiful leveling of the human. Vallee’s system begins to fip hot the moment the retweet button
is clicked, the post liked, the song played. The fux of Black Magic. Somewhere below the ancient
winds begin to blow again from the future.
- Edmund Berger