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"If you understood everything I say, 
you'd be me" 

Miles Davis 


Thought Magicians


Contemporary society is riddled with obstacles and mechanisms which hinder bold, philosophical thinking. In its expansive and free-flowing movement, thought constantly collides with barriers. These barriers take many forms and are popping up everywhere; in language, in politics, in the world of institutions, rules and guidelines, in digital space, in the world of publishing, and in our own heads. Even the university, a place historically well-suited for free and bold thinking to have free rein, seems to increasingly value everyday, conventional thinking over the practice of real thought. Academic language unknowingly betrays this, for what is an academic discipline but a way of disciplining thought within frameworks which it must not escape? Streams of thought are continuously sent into fairways whose banks they must never overflow. Thought is tamed and the cries of the trainer are well known: don't you dare mix disciplines! Stick to the rules of thinking! Stay in the area where you belong! Thought – innovative and revolutionary by nature – cannot fail to hear these slogans with a sense of horror and bewilderment.

It is therefore clear that the narrowing of philosophical thinking must be combated, but it is not obvious what form this struggle must take. That is why we have to experiment, fail, evaluate, and start again. It is not right to call this a purely 'philosophical' task: art, nature and literature also have an important role to play in this. Such an interdisciplinary approach is not valued very highly in an increasingly fragmented world, but it is needed in order to face the most pressing challenges of our time. We therefore need crazy and radical ideas, but we must cross intellectual, institutional, national and political boundaries to find them.

These observations sparked the creation of this interdisciplinary online platform called ‘Thought Magicians.’  On this platform, we try to use the emancipating elements of the digital age (easy access, low barriers, no cost, no location, infinite possibilities for new connections) without having to accept the limits imposed by big capital and power-hungry organizations. The hegemony of great power structures is disarming to our creative power, but it does not signify its end. This platform contributes to the movement of thinking outside of these structures by offering bold thinkers and artists the opportunity to share their ideas with others without having to fit into a straitjacket. However, our ambitions also exceed this publishing-focussed approach. What we ultimately want to create, is a platform for thought which is fundamentally free and open-ended. We started it, but we do not want to remain ‘in charge’. Such a structure would fall back into the spheres of academic and intellectual gate-keeping that we seek to escape. As such, we want to use the platform as a digital space in which writers, thinkers and artists can meet and think together. This means writing texts, but also reading books, designing courses, organizing talks and conferences, and whatever else we feel like making. Only time will tell if we will be able to fulfil those grand ambitions, but we needn’t be concerned by that for the present moment. For now, what matters is the willingness to experiment and bring something incomprehensible into the world in the hopes somebody else will pick it up and run with it. We hope you are here for the ride.

Founding Team

Contributors & Collaborators

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