#58 Winter 2019
We would like to cast a spell on you that will only work if you read this whole issue from cover to cover. Along the way, you will battle monsters, fall in and out of love, perform rituals, believe or disbelieve the evangelists of new religions, and enter magic circles that protect you against evil and create a safe space for your own vulnerability. In the witching hours of the twenty-first century, magic is once again a tool with which we can change reality, but at the same time it is pervasive and pernicious, co-opted by spiritual entrepreneurism and the false gods of Silicon Valley. Spike and Ignota Books, who collaborated on the conception of this issue, bid you welcome on your journey through esoteric, cybernetic, psychedelic, technoshamanic worlds that are still in the making. We are pleased to unveil Spike: The Magic Issue. Use it wisely.
”Heteroglossia” at HOW Art Museum by Shanzhai Lyric
McDermott & McGough at Studio Voltaire by Oliver Basciano
René Daniëls at WIELS by Rita Vitorelli
Zoe Leonard at MOCA and Betye Saar at Roberts Projects by Keith J. Varardi
“Post-Nature – A Museum as an Ecosystem” – 11th Taipei Biennial by Harry Burke
Friedrich Kunath at Blum & Poe by Ariella Wolens and Kevin Beasley at the Whitney by Aria Dean
Tania Pérez Córdova at Kunsthalle Basel and Ka Moser at Kunsthalle Bern by Adriana Lara
Beatriz González at KW Institute for Contemporary Art by Federica Bueti, Henrike Naumann at Galerie im Turm and Irina Rastorgueva & Thomas Martin BQ by Penny Rafferty in Berlin; Cady Noland at MMK by Bob Nickas in Frankfurt; Jörg Immendorf at Haus der Kunst by Daniela Stöppel in Munich; Mary Beth Edelson at Kunsthalle Münster by Alex Scrimgeour
Kris Lemsalu at Secession by Dan Udy, Ernst Caramelle at Mumok by Maximilian Geymüller, and Louise Lawler at Sammlung Verbund by Bob Nickas in Vienna; Stuart Middleton at Künstlerhaus Graz by Johanna Rainer
“Spellbound. Magic, Ritual, Witchcraft”by Ella Plevin
The worlds of technology and spirituality are converging once again, but something new is emerging. It is too early to say what its effects will be and the right language to describe it is still taking shape. Hans Ulrich Obrist and Ben Vickers on new dimensions of understanding in lines of code.
Lu Yang fuses virtual with actual architectures, luring the viewer into syncretic hells of augmented realities. With high-energy soundtracks and by tapping into the realms of ancient Buddhism, cyberfeminism, and technoreligions, her installations and videos conjure spiritual stimulants, curious deities, death, and posthuman life forms. By Harry Burke
Jim Shaw’s dreams and waking visions tap into the deep reservoir of the American unconscious, which runs through his oeuvre and inspires his neo-surreal sculptural objects and installations. His most ambitious project is the ongoing development of a religion that revolves around a goddess known only as “O”. By Stanya Kahn
We seem to be living through the revival of esotericism and technobelief in a disenchanted age, but what we are witnessing is no comeback. The gods we pray to and spells we cast have, in fact, been here all along, now they just bear different names. The reality is that the Enlightenment has yet to come… By Ella Plevin