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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » Magic as an Art Form (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

MagicSteve84
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Hey Guys,

I need your help again. As some of you know, you guys were an amazing resource when it came to my last college project. My teacher was so impressed on my report of "The Consumer Behavior of Magicians" that he recommended it and I am now in the process of going to Puerto Rico to present it so other business students (Don't worry...None of it involves exposure).

I decided to do another research paper for my Senior Seminar class on magic. It is a research paper where I must explain my position and use books to illustrate my points. My position is that magic is an art, just like dance or drama. Unfortunately I am having trouble finding appropriate sources to utilize. I know that many of you have huge magic libraries so I was hoping that you could recommend some books that would help me in my quest to answer why magic is an art.

Here are the books I have so far:

Magic By Misdirection - Dariel Fitzkee
Beyond Secrets - Jay Sankey
Hiding the Elephant - Jim Steinmeyer
Maximum Entertainment - Ken Weber
Shattering Illusions - Jamy Ian Swiss
Strong Magic - Darwin Ortiz
The Discoverie of Witchcraft - Reginald Scot (I am using this source because it is the oldest know publication on magic)

I have skimmed through most of these books and read Strong Magic cover to cover. If you can suggest any more that may be helpful in my research please post them. Also, if you know of some great passages in the above books, please post the page number. Other than that its back to research for me. I love doing a report on something I enjoy....makes the whole process so much easier. Thanks in advanced guys. Hopefully with your help I will get another A on this paper.
lekin
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Sometimes less is more so I only have
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You might look at Magic and Meaning by Eugene Berger and Robert Neale.
Payne
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Magic and Showmanship by Henning Nelms should be added to this list.
Also Discoverie Of Witchcraft is not the oldest text on the subject of magic. That title at the moment goes to Prevost's Clever and Pleasant Inventions which was translated (from the original french) and published by the Heremetic press a few years ago.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Mark Rough
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In addition to your list and those that others have added, it seems to me you REALLY need to read "Neo Magic Artistry" by S. H. Sharpe. There is also another book by Sharpe ("Magic and Art" I think) put out by Todd Karr that should probably be added to your list as well. Both delve pretty deeply into the subject you are addressing in your paper. I would go for Neo Magic Artistry first.

mark
What would Wavy do?
Uli Weigel
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In addition to all the above, you really REALLY need to read "Our Magic" by Devant/Maskelyne.
Mark Rough
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Oh yeah, what Uli said. How could any of us forget?
What would Wavy do?
Jonathan Townsend
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Magic as art.

Do you have a background in art to justify the assertion?

You could argue on the basis of theater. What distinguishes the ordinary theater from theatrical presentations of magic is the frame of reference of the audience and the extension of the theatrical 'setting' to include the entire theater including the audience. Closeup probably requires bringing in performance art to the argument.

Several of the books mentioned above presume some familiarity with the theater and not so many discuss issues of art itself. Watch out for the M&D argument about false art, normal art and high art as those terms cover the material from a behind the scenes perspective that has nothing to do with the audience.

If you were a painter, invited to a party to paint something small but special for the guests... and could paint an experience in a room the way painters paint upon canvas... having a palate of emotional and cognitive colors with which to create a moment of wonder... what would you offer?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
asmayly
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I saw this post and thought it interesting.

I'm not an authority on Art but my thinking would be based on Tarbell's discussion of magic in the first volume, that magic today is an extension of magic in culture as with shamans and other religious leaders.

If magic isn't art, then it must be religious. But it isn't that. It seems to me that magic today is therefore "representative" of religious magic and so that would make it an art by my way of figuring.

The fact that magic today involves the audience is part of the representation of when religious leaders involved people in their ceremonies.

From this all the books mentioned above come into play in terms how best to involve your audience, clarify your message and make the magic seem real.
Graymatter_Fireworks
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With all the other good sources named, I'm surprised no one has mentioned it, but Derren Brown has a very good essay on this subject in his book "Absolute Magic."

-Brandon
"The social world in which we live, determines our experience of what is real." - John Gager
Bill Citino
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"Showmanship for Magicians" by Dariel Fitzkee too, in addition to "Magic by Misdirection." Also, maybe the "Magic of Ascanio" book that just came out a little bit ago may help too. Good luck with the research!

-Bill
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RiffRaff
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How about The Poetics?
Bill Hegbli
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Fort Wayne, Indiana
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Microsoft's site on the encyclopedia has a good topic on magic as an art. Also I did a search once on work as a magician and the government classifies magic as a career. Do some searches and you will find things to back up your stance. If the government thinks it is a profession then it must be.
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