Artist-run project SideReal looks into alchemical ideas of passage, manipulation, magic, and occult politics through events and research related to music, art, and theory. Considering alchemy as a counterpublic from which to reflect on the undermining of social movements, we ask whether the particular magic that invites oppression can protect against it. The ‘SideReal Reader’ chronicles attempts to discern true from false material and an event series at Butcher’s Tears, Amsterdam (2017–18) around annotated excerpts from ‘On the Stellar Rays’, a foundational alchemical text by ninth-century philosopher al-Kindī who brought the radiant power of the stars down to the ground.
The publication is compiled by Janine Armin and Laura Wiedijk, and designed by Michelle Parrott with a special edition poster. Project contributors include: Hee-Seung Choi, Francesca Clements, Jens van Dongen, Charis Konstantinou and Jaap Faber (Rebet guitarS), Alina Lupu, Rob Manthey, Méadhbh McIvor, Aspasia Nasopoulou, Jörn Nettingsmeier, Margarita Osipian, Monica Tormell, Jasna Veličković, Tao G. Vrhovec Sambolec, and Felicia von Zweigbergk.