Welcome to Metaphysical Magic, an exciting film project that combines academic concepts with performance magic. On 25 November 2016, 30 students from the University of Nottingham participated in a live performance held in the Djanogly Theatre at the Lakeside Arts Centre on campus. The film was shot and produced by the University of Nottingham Film and Video Production Team.
Todd Landman, Academic Magician and Associate of the Inner Magic Circle, performed for close to an hour, while each effect was then released as a series of stand alone videos that have been shared world wide.
There is a strong academic theme running through each of the videos as the students are asked to consider deep philosophical questions around the nature of knowledge, the separation between mind and body, morality and justice, free will, the foundations for human rights, and the science of deduction. Each of the videos is shared on this page, and there is a bonus 7th video of Todd's charity blindfolded bicycle ride.
I. Academic Magic: In this first video of the series Metaphysical Magic, Todd introduces the idea of Academic Magic, where he explores and delivers insights of a fundamental nature through the medium of magic. He demonstrates this concept by introducing students at the University to a book of philosophers and reads the mind of student, but the substance of what the student is thinking sits at the heart of the Enlightenment.
II. Mind and Body Dualism: Todd explores the idea of a separation between mind and body, first introduced by the French philosopher Rene Descartes. The demonstration involves a black sphere, a pendulum, and a student making choices that have a deeper esoteric meaning.
III. Ring of Gyges: Todd demonstrates Plato’s famous thought experiment from The Republic in which a ring of invisibility challenges us to entertain the possibility of committing an unjust act. He works with three different students as each is tempted by the prospect of being invisible.
IV. Free Will: Do we have free will? Or are our choices controlled by other forces unknown and unseen to us? Using three books of philosophy, each with a different theory of free will, Todd engages in a double blind experiment allowing free choice of the books. The result may just surprise you.
V. Foundations for Human Rights: In the absence of any agreed grounding in philosophy, Todd explores the origins and critique of human rights and watches to see which ideas have the most appeal. Aquinas, Locke, Kant, Burke and Marx all feature in a game of choice and intuitive mind reading.
VI. The Science of Deduction: Inspired by the most rational mind that never existed,Todd’s final video demonstrates the Sherlockian science of deduction through a mental game of ‘whodunnit.’
VII. Blindfolded Bicycle Ride: A tribute to Kuda Bux 'The Man with the X-Ray Eyes’, Todd Landman rides his bicycle around Highfields Lake at the University of Nottingham on 17 June 2017 in aid of raising funds for the Children's Brain Tumour Research Centre.
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