In the fantastic Wired article released today focusing on “The world’s most wired magician” Marco Tempest, the Swiss technoillusionist who was recently named an MIT research fellow broached what his grand plan for his relationship with the renown engineering school could be.
He hasn’t started his fellowship at MIT but he already knows what he wants to make there: “the world’s first laboratory with a program dedicated to illusion in all its aspects.” It’s a wildly ambitious idea, one Tempest believes could lead to finding new uses for mobile technologies, new entertainment experiences and augmented reality applications for for education. In Tempest’s mind, it’s better to learn what could be done than figure out what magicians already know (even if they’re just not telling). After all Robert-Houdin did find a way to manipulate electromagnetism when scientists still struggled to understand it.
The article makes mention that such an idea would require more magical minds like Tempest. I could not agree more. The future of the art lies in the undiscovered creative possibilities. As tempting (and valuable) as it is to fetishize the past or focus relentlessly on understanding the science of misdirection, neither will move magic forward.
Tempest explains the origins of this routine on the TED blog today, specifically the Soldier’s Prayer Book which Tempest uses as inspiration for his explanation of the decks greater meaning:
Here the soldier says that the deck is not only a Bible, but an almanac. “When I count the dots upon the cards, there are 365, the number of days in a year. When I count how many cards are in the pack, there are 52, the number of weeks. When I count the number of tricks won in a pack, I find there are 13, the number of months in a year.” This number seems off to us, but it might have related to the notion of an equal calendar, where each month is 28 days long.
There are few revamped elements of this routine and rest assured it’s still a killer.
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.
Marco Tempest demonstrates many of his techno-illusionist routines we’ve seen before and further explains how his open sourced magic methods help people “get to the poetry faster” by giving them a technological head start.
Marco Tempest has a long history of infusing his magic with cutting edge technology. In fact, he sent a letter to personal computing icon Steve Jobs while the Apple founder was exiled at his company NeXT.
Growing up in a working-class family, he didn’t have much access to computers, but was always fascinated by them. When Steve Jobs brought out the NeXT computer in 1988, Tempest, by then in his early twenties, seized his opportunity. “I wrote a letter saying that if I had one of those boxes I could create the ‘NeXT wave of magic’.” They sent him a $20,000 computer. “It didn’t do what I imagined it would do,” Tempest remembers, but he hooked it up to a VCR and pretended that it could “go a little bit past what’s technologically possible”.
Wow. We’ve seen Marco Tempest prove that he can perform these augmented reality demonstrations live. But what happens when it’s presented for video? Not only does it look fantastic, Tempest tells the tale of the Man Who Lit the World: Nikola Tesla.
iTricks.com Magic News, Magic Videos and Podcasts is proudly powered by WordPress.
Theme designed by Jake.
iTricks is the number one source for daily magic news on the web. Criss Angel, David Blaine, Penn & Teller, David Copperfield, and more! Magic videos, podcasts and free magic.
and Comments (RSS)