Guest Expert, 'Magic', The Digital Human (BBC Radio 4)

Kristensen, J C. 2015. Guest Expert, 'Magic', The Digital Human (BBC Radio 4). [Broadcast]

No full text available

Abstract or Description

In 2015, I was a guest on BBC Radio 4’s The Digital Human episode on Magic (S7, EP2), in which Aleks Krotoski explored whether Arthur C. Clarke's Third Law law, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic", is applicable to the modern digital world.

From people living under the 'curse' of electro-sensitivity to the rituals we all go through to ward off evil spirits like updating our anti-virus software, Krotoski spoke to people teaching the language of magic to technologists. Through this programme, she asks in a world of install wizards and demon programmes why is the vocabulary of magic so powerful and what does that mean for our understanding of how our technology works?

As a guest on the show, I spoke about the historical relationship between magic and technology, from Spiritualist practices of the nineteenth century through to how contemporary technologist embody visual and spoken language that remediates the work of nineteenth century magicians.

Item Type:



Technology, Magic, Spiritualism, History of Technology, History of Media, Broadcasting, Public Engagement

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



20 April 2015

Dimensions or Duration:


Copyright Holders:

BBC Radio 4

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

07 Nov 2019 14:44

Last Modified:

12 Jan 2021 10:36


Edit Record Edit Record (login required)