Results tagged “magic” from ARTicles

Lumberjack Friend texted from David Copperfield's magic show in Vegas: "His egos 2 big. Make him vanish..."

I can make a papier mache head levitate. (You can, too.) But disappear a whole body? Not in a heptillion.

When the text message chimed, I was reading the fantastic niche quarterly, MAKE, Vol. 13 - the Magic Issue. Captivated, engrossed I was, in this article about John Gaughan by David Pescovitz (co-editor of boing boing and researcher at Institute for the Future).

Check out the pictures...Do real people like this really exist? Gaughan is the "go-to maker for magicians," who - by pure, total coincidence - figured out how to create the illusion that makes Copperfield fly. He also designed the Android Clarinetist, whose image the Getty Center plastered all over Los Angeles for its unforgettable 2001 "Devices of Wonder" exhibition.

MAKE - and its fierce sibling magazine, CRAFT - are about artists as many artists would probably want themselves to be written about. These quarterlies do something different, but not so different. Old fashioned stock journalism that completely embraces technology. They have active Websites, chat rooms, RSS feeds, blogs...virtual community gone gangbusters.

Dig this -- MAKE claims a paid circulation of 100,000. That's a number almost unheard of in this day and age for a relatively new print publication. (We have something to learn from this model begat by star editor-in-chief Mark Frauenfelder and his constellation of other stars, including Carla Sinclair, ed-in-chief of CRAFT.)

But, as digitally conversant as these two publications are, they never lose sight of being for human beings, about human beings, who really like to make things with their hands. The pull quote from Pescovitz's profile of Gaughan, for example, is "I'm fascinated with how primitive the human mind still is. It can be misdirected so easily."

Time may seem to have sped up in this techno-crazy-anything-is-possible world, but apparently the brain is just the same old brain...susceptible to magic, illusion, persuasion and being told what to believe... Scary! ...but also sort of likeable in a simple, Australopithecus-friendly way. We likes tools, us humans. We also likes reading a good printed journal in our hands.

For the Floating Head trick, click!

March 2, 2008 10:44 AM |


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