Of art
and technology
Braga, Portugal

Federico Campagna + Liliana Coutinho

From Technic to Magic


Moderated by Liliana Coutinho
Talk in English

In 2020, the Italian philosopher Federico Campagna published the book that serves as the basis for this conversation, entitled “Technic and Magic – The Reconstruction of Reality”. Of an anarchist nature, Campagna’s career has included membership in a street poetry collective, collaborations with the philosopher Franco “Bifo berardi”, the creation of critical theory platforms, and research that resulted in a doctoral thesis on metaphysics and ethics in the design of video game strategies. In the aforementioned book they propose a paradox: that we reconstruct and rehabilitate reality through magic. Through a rigorous and vivifying analysis of how the last centuries have been building a culture of Technique that intends to dominate all existences through language, Campagna presents us with another possible architecture of reality, recovering ancient knowledge from cultures other than the so-called Western ones – Persian, Islamic, ancient Gnostic philosophies and knowledge practices located in the syncretic and multicultural context that is the Mediterranean. It also points to the importance of fiction and the crisis of imagination that endangers reality, freezing it and forgetting its existence and its historical movement and therefore always in transformation.

Federico Campagna is a philosopher and writer. He spent over twenty years in Milan, where he was active in the anarchist/autonomist networks and co-founded the street-poetry collective Eveline. In 2007 he moved to London, where he lives. In 2009 he starteda long-term collaboration with the Italian Autonomia philosopher Franco Berardi ‘Bifo’. In that same year, he co-founded the (now defunct) multilingual platform for critical theory Through Europe. Federico’s latest books are “Prophetic Culture: recreationfor adolescents” (Bloomsbury: 2021), “Technic and Magic: the reconstruction of reality” (Bloomsbury, 2018), and “The Last Night” (Zero Books, 2013). Federico has a PhD from the Royal College of Art, London, with a thesis on “Metaphysics and Metaethics in the Design of Strategy Video Games”; he has an MSc and a BSc in Economics and Management of the Arts from Bocconi University, Milan, and an MA in Cultural Studies from Goldsmiths University, London. He works as lecturer and tutor in the MA NonLinear Narrative at KABK (Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten), Den Haag, the Netherlands, and as the director of the rights department at Verso Books. He is the host of the podcast Overmorrow’s Library, produced by the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève. He is the philosopher in residence at Castello di Rivoli Contemporary Art Museum (Turin) for the year 2022.

Federico Campagna + Liliana Coutinho