The Magic Café
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » So Happy together... » » The Light & Dark Arts: A Radical Magic Show (5/28 - 6/7) Davis, CA » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

View Profile

0 Posts

Profile of tacmag
Hi folks,

I'm a longtime lurker, first time dining at the Café. I hope it's ok to introduce myself with an announcement of my theatrical show, "The Light & Dark Arts: A Radical Magic Show". (If there's a better spot to post it, please let me know!) We opened last night to an audience of 300+ people who were on their feet at the final curtain. I hope you can also make it to one of the next 7 shows. Here's a link: (more info below)



"Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business.” - Tom Robbins

What do you get when you mix together Snowden’s revelations, the story of Faust, and theatrical stage magic? When the curtains rise on The Light & Dark Arts: A Radical Magic Show something wholly unexpected unfolds. How are secrets embodied in today’s society? Economic manipulation, political deception, vanishing privacy, and social transformation are conjured in a grand battle between demonic forces and magical desires. The Light & Dark Arts: A Radical Magic Show pulls back the curtain and illuminates the most shadowed corners of today’s real-world “theater of conflict”.

A series of documents leaked in 2014 showed explicitly that the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) were actively exploiting magic principles in their daily operations. The most notable example is a formerly classified document titled, “The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations.” Many of the images from that document, as well as others are featured in the show. According to Aaron Gach, the writer/director of the show (and co-founder of the Center for Tactical Magic), “If intelligence agencies are actively using magic to access our private information, then it seems only fitting that we use magic to translate the technical details of their shadowy operations.”

In addition to magically translating the Snowden documents, the show also features a live metal band, prizes, a chance to win $1000, and brief nudity. The magic itself covers a range of original presentations of stage illusions, mentalism, and card tricks, including a unique presentation of 4CAAN - FOUR Cards At Any Number, freely selected by random audience members.

The Light & Dark Arts: A Radical Magic Show was conceived and devised by Mr. Gach as part of the Granada Fellowship at the University of California at Davis. It is directed by Aaron Gach and Josy Miller, and it features a 20 person cast, including Mr. Gach as the Magician. It opens Thursday, May 28 at 8pm and runs through June 7 on the Main Stage at UC Davis.

For more information:

Mary Mowder
View Profile
Inner circle
Sacramento / Elk Grove, CA
3649 Posts

Profile of Mary Mowder
Welcome tacmag,

This is where new members introduce themselves.

Introduce yourself and your personal interests in Magic.

You're so close to Sacramento that I'm wondering if we've met at one of the Grand Illusions Magic Lectures or some other event.

The "So Happy Together " forum in the General Magic Section would be a better place to post this notice.

That is where members look for these kinds of notices.

I hope you're one of the Lighter Magic persuasion.

-Mary Mowder
View Profile

0 Posts

Profile of tacmag
Hi Mary,

Thanks for your reply. I'm actually from the Berkeley area, but I'm in Davis as a Visiting Artist/Fellow with the Theater Dept. at the U.C. My other work as a visual artist often mixes themes of magic as it relates to a variety of social and political issues. The projects are authored under a collective identity called the Center for Tactical Magic ( Although not all of the projects look like standard magic performances I am always incorporating magic concepts and principles into my work. Sometimes this means aspects of illusion, forces, misdirection, or simply historical references. Other times I am mixing aspects of conjuring with aspects of the occult to address current events or contemporary concerns. For example, a large-scale, interactive public artwork for Toronto, called "Witches' Cradles" simultaneously referenced witch hunts, Houdini's Metamorphosis, and the current climate of state-sponsored torture that has occurred at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and elsewhere.

Despite the heavy topics, I always try to incorporate surprise, excitement and (often) humor into these projects as well. In my own magical interests, I tend to gravitate towards mentalism and the bizarre; however, I'm ultimately a fan of high-concept, situated, and contextual magic. Basically, magic with meaning rather than simply magic as a diversion. The biggest influences for me have come from Eugene Burger and Robert Neale (Magic & Meaning), Rogan Taylor (The Death and Resurrection Show), Maskelyne and Devant (Our Magic), and an appreciation for Derren Brown's ability to turn simple methods (like a change bag) into a miraculous audience experience - I loved "The Heist". I don't do much card work, but "Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants" is also one of my all time favorite performances.

The show I posted above is really about magic on multiple levels. It is about a magician trying to find his place in society; his struggle to situate his talents as he bounces between a theater show, a tradeshow, an intelligence agency, and a late-night talk show. It is also about how magic has been exploited by state power (the NSA primarily). And, as a personal conceit, it is an attempt to situate, contextualize, and hopefully redeem a number of magic tricks that many magicians (including myself) often dismiss as cliché, overused, or boring. For example, I spent a lot of time thinking about how to insert "Snowstorm in China" or a string of rainbow silks into a story where these things actually make sense and take on a degree of relevancy. (Before this project, I NEVER thought that I would EVER perform either of those in any context!) Lastly, it is an attempt to revisit the whispering imps that are so often seen sitting on magician's shoulders in magic posters new and old - a Faustian tale that deconstructs the false dichotomy of good/evil, black/white, Republicrat and Demublican.

So, in short, yes, I'd like to think that my magic brings light to the shadowed corners. But then again, Lucifer was also called The Lightbringer, so I guess I should leave it up to others to decide how to interpret my magic.

View Profile
New user
12 Posts

Profile of ericaMysterium
I just stumbled across this post on the day after your show ended. It sounds very interesting. I'm in the Bay Area and am always on the look out for magic, I didn't see it advertised anywhere Smile Please keep me posted on upcoming shows. Thanks!
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » So Happy together... » » The Light & Dark Arts: A Radical Magic Show (5/28 - 6/7) Davis, CA » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.18 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL