Epistementalogie. Stevens Magic is proud to continue our association with Dr. Todd Landman. Magic and Mentalism has enjoyed brilliant writers that have a gift for taking complex ideas and making them easily digestable with words. Dr. Todd Landman is one of the best at doing this – having written hundreds of books. Away from Magic he is a fascinating individual, and an international authority on conflict resolution, human rights and political science.
Épistémentalogie combines insights from epistemology, philosophy of science, metaphysics and the history of ideas with mentalism, bizarre magic and the mystery arts in ways that remain intriguing, enchanting and above all else entertaining for audiences. This book advances a post-pseudo-psychological paradigm for mystery entertainment that makes philosophy the meta-premise for performance. Section I provides an overview of the academic magician, which has formed over many years of Dr Landman’s experience in academia as a professor of political science and as a magician who has performed publicly since 1977. Or what you get when you combine the Da Vinci Code, the Dead Poets Society and The Paper Chase! Section II shows how the idea of Épistémentalogie combines the concept of epistemology with the power of the mind and is framed around three critical questions that this approach poses at the outset: • How do you know what you know? • How do I know what you know? • What do we know that matters?
Section III offers eight routines that reflect the overall concept here: narrative-based routines and effects that are steeped in philosophical and metaphysical ideas, use methods from magic and mentalism, and provide an exploration of deeper concerns of human existence. • Venus and Void is an opening effect that addresses the sources of our knowledge based on experience, belief, and reason; • Guardians of the Mind uses Plato and many other philosophers in a demonstration of accessing the ‘community of human minds’; • Ring of Gyges is wonderful version of a ‘which hand’ routine based on a thought experiment from Plato’s Republic; • Leviathan draws on Thomas Hobbes seminal work to discuss assumptions about human nature; • Real Free Will uses books from philosophy that actually have something to say about free will and uses them as the objects that are chosen; • Foundations addresses the philosophical origins of modern conceptions of human rights; • The Veil of Ignorance connects Tarot, Gandhi, and John Rawls in a perplexing display of mind reading and synchronicity; • The Beetle examines the use of words and how they find meaning through what Wittgenstein calls ‘public language’; • Of Virtues and Solids draws on Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics and Plato’s Timaeus to provide a powerful reading system and reflective routine that provides sitters with the tools for meaningful engagement in their lives.
Section IV, entitled Épistémentalogie Unplugged offers a fully scripted performance based on the ideas contained in Section III combined with other hard-hitting mentalism routines using nothing more than a MindSpy wallet and a sharpie pen! With over 120 pages and 20,000 words, the book comes as a hardback with original artwork from Peter Howells, Iain Dunford, and Phill Smith, and original photos that help illustrate and explain all the routines. Described as a manifesto for a new way of performing mentalism and mystery entertainment, Épistémentalogie is sure to be part of any serious performer’s library! INFO: Dr Todd Landman is Professor of Political Science and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Essex. He is an Associate of the Inner Magic Circle with Silver Star (AIMC), Professor of Performance Magic at the University of Huddersfield, Founder of Psycrets: The British Society of Mystery Entertainers and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA). Epistementalogie
‘Landman is an example of how the performance of “magic” has been transformed in the last decade…far removed from circus-style trickery of sawing women in half.’ Laura Marsh, Prospect Magazine, May 2012, p. 79. ‘To call him a conjuror is to liken President Obama to a parish Councillor ……’ ‘ A marriage of top end conjuring and stock-room science with psychology and philosophy as bridesmaids and comedy as its pageboy.’ Martin Newell, East Anglia Daily Times ‘…the future of magic…’ Neil Darcy-Jones, Essex County Standard ‘Professor Landman is a unique magician who held our audience in the palm of his hand as he read minds and introduced Eastern esoteric arts none of us could fathom. The high point of our major fund raising event, his set immediately became legendary. Not so much ‘sleight of hand’ as ‘sleight of mind’. A deeply mystifying and cerebral experience. Todd redefines the meaning of magic.’ Charles Malcolm-Brown, The Mountain Trust ‘Todd is unlike any other performer on this planet. He is a sophisticated deceiver and at the same time a charming and delightful entertainer.’ Barrie Richardson, Celebrated mentalist and author of Theatre of the Mind ‘Smart’ ‘Crafted’ ‘Gentle’ ‘…baffled, educated and entertained, all at the same time…’ Audience feedback from the show at The Milton Theatre, Huddersfield