Marco Tempest spoke with New Scientist today about magic, technology and his gray area between them. During the conversation, he had a very interesting point about the role of the creative magician.
Specifically, that anyone who is going outside the normal mode of solving a problem while trying to hide something or deceive the senses of a laymen, is really an inventor as well.
Magicians are also in a way like inventors: we create stuff, but we are not limited by available technology. So magic is an excellent way to prototype or sandbox future technologies. By that I mean that the illusions I create give us a very good idea of how future technologies might be experienced. A near-future world where projection and gestural sensing is ubiquitous and intelligent, a place where, when we talk about things and gesture, they actually appear right in front of us. A lot of these near-future scenarios are perfectly prototyped with magic and that’s a very big part of my work.
Obviously, this would play more into those how are creating, refining and evolving methods but you could say anyone who puts their own handling on anything is working toward a better solution in some capacity.