Think of Keith Barry as a hacker of the human brain — writing routines that exploit its bugs and loopholes, and offering a revealing look at the software between our ears.

Why you should listen

As Arthur C. Clarke told us, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." So think of Keith Barry as a technologist, an elite software engineer of the human brain. Witty and direct, he celebrates human cleverness even while he's hacking it.

Barry's repertoire ranges from outrageous stunts -- driving a car at full speed blindfolded -- to mind control, including hypnosis and mindreading. The Irish magician's relaxed style has made him an audience favorite worldwide, both in live shows and on his European television series, Close Encounters with Keith Barry, which aired in 28 countries. He's had specials on MTV and CBS, and tried his hand at acting as a murder suspect on CSI: Miami. There are rumors of a Las Vegas residency later in 2008.

What others say

“Mr. Barry is not content merely to perform sleights of hand; he wants his audiences to know how deeply he embraces risk, how very life-affirming careering toward the canyon of eternity can be.” — New York Times

Keith Barry’s TED talks

Keith Barry on the TED Blog

Entertainment

TED Weekends reveals sleight of mind

August 10, 2013

Hypnosis is a source of both debate and fear. It’s an intimidating thought that the subconscious mind can listen and react to outside sources. But there are still many questions to be answered: Does the subconscious work independently of the conscious mind? Is it programmed by experiences or instructions? These are questions posed by Keith […]

Continue reading

Brain magic: Keith Barry on TED.com

July 18, 2008

First, magician Keith Barry shows us how our brains can fool our bodies — in a trick that works via podcast too. Then he involves the audience in some jaw-dropping (and even a bit dangerous) feats of brain magic. (Recorded February 2004 in Monterey, California. Duration: 19:49.) Watch Keith Barry’s 2004 performance on TED.com, where […]

Continue reading

Quotes from Keith Barry

I’m going to show you all how easy it is to manipulate the human mind once you know how.
Keith Barry
TED2004 • 7.6M views Jul 2008
Jaw-dropping, Fascinating
Magic is all about directing attention. If I didn’t want you to look at my right hand then I don’t look at it.
Keith Barry
TED2004 • 7.6M views Jul 2008
Jaw-dropping, Fascinating