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Twice Upon A Time 2014 : Twice Upon A Time: Magic, Alchemy and the Transubstantiation of the Senses


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Submission Deadline Sep 30, 2014
Categories    art   magic   science   philosophy

Call For Papers

Call for Papers for Publication in Zētēsis 3

‘Twice Upon a Time: Magic, Alchemy and the Transubstantiation of the Senses’

Following the conference that took place at the end of June, the Centre for Fine Art Research at the School of Art, Birmingham City University invites artist and scholars to submit work and papers for the next issue of the peer review journal Zētēsis published by CFAR and ARTicle Press.

Under the illusive cloak of magic, the curiosity of alchemists introduced a means for experimentation into the innate properties of materials. The transformation of raw matter into precious metals, the combination of hot sulphur and wet cold mercury to birth the philosophers stone; to bring the inanimate to life, to miraculously vanish and conjure the body as well as providing a basis for the laws of substance based on sensory interaction and its potentiality. The scientific practices of today echo this inherent desire for material transformation, yet Western tradition remains cautious of unreasoned sensorial data, treating it with illusory trepidation. While this paradigm has proven an efficient methodology, it has installed a discriminatory partition between that which can be rationalised or mathematized and that which is ‘only’ sensory. These energised and sensate transformations mark the beginning of a new challenge against tradition, returning to curiosity, experimentation and the intensity of the senses away from conventional modes of thought.

We welcome papers/performances/exhibition installations that respond to magical and alchemical practices, in all their forms; including but not limited to the origins of alchemy and its contemporary relevance in science, magical performance, illusion, automata, the sensory in artificial intelligence and radical thinking in relation to concepts of time. We invite artists, scientists and philosophers to explore again the threshold between these paradigms, dwelling on curiosity and the tradition of scientific questing. By re-visiting the alchemist’s vision, we are looking for a renegotiation of the very boundary that separates the shifting representational referents in the traditional image of magic; seeking a way to extend the concept of transformation of the same (metamorphosis), rather than re-defining a realm that is allegedly beyond rationality and linguistic articulation.

Papers should range between 3000 and 5000 words, and use Chicago style referencing. Please add an abstract of around 300 words, up to five keywords for tagging, and a short bio. If you wish to use images in your article and they are not your own, please make sure you have the express permission of the original image owner/creator.

Images for artworks should be high resolution (300dpi at full scale). Please include a short bio and a short description of the work for peer-review. If you wish to include a description of the work or artist statement for publishing alongside your work, it should be no longer than 500 words.

All papers, articles and artwork are subject to a blind peer-review by a member of our international peer-review and advisory board.

Please submit your papers/artwork to the editors of Zētēsis :


Papers/Artwork Deadline: 30th September 2014

For more information about Zētēsis, please visit the official website at

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