a small note about magic
Youri Johnson



I start over every day because I have no choice. The lighted candle is never just a lighted candle. The knives no longer cut but open doors. The sharpness of the blades goes through the flesh and the sound they make sometimes resembles the sound of truth. I have never understood the opposition between art and technology. I believe that there are only practices, techniques, more or less obscure, more or less negative, in the best sense of the word. In the same way the aesthetic qualities of a thing cannot be disjoined from its relational qualities, that is to say magical. When my palm closes on the handle of a counterknife, when my fingers caress the edge of a card, when my eyes glide lovingly over a printed surface, when I put the images in my mouth and they begin to dilute in it, yes when I touch like that the forms that I make or that others make, it becomes clear that the aesthetic qualities of those forms only ever serve to increase their effectiveness. The soup is better in the bowl you made for me. The oil is better because of the sprig of thyme you put in it. The unusable knife is more powerful because of the key I roughly glued to it. Each assemblage is magic, and I think everyone knows it, even if only on an intuitive level. When I swim in the river and come back with my hands full of little pebbles that look like turtle shells, and in the evening I put those pebbles by the fire while you sing the song that others before you sang, then something happens that, despite appearances, owes nothing to chance. I like the fact that in my language, courage is etymologically linked to the heart (“coeur” in french). The heart has never stopped being brave. The heart has never stopped producing assemblages that, from a cultural point of view, often had been called magic. I have the impression that this is coming back, that the heart, so to speak, is gaining ground; that more and more creatures have the courage to practice this strange thing that is sometimes called magic but which is only a way of lovingly animating things and, in so doing, playing the game of the world. Almost nothing is needed, as everyone knows. A thorn on a table, a flower in hot water, a few lines on a piece of paper, a fingerprint in the sand, etc. If these technologies are coming back, it is undoubtedly because the world aspires to be renewed.



a small note about magic | Youri Johnson @youri.johnson