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This shouldn’t be the case, though. Magic has its distinctions. It is unique enough to stand out from other art forms.
Yet the confusion exists and persists. To some magicians the distinctions are blurred.
Take camera tricks, for example. Are the effects they produce legitimate magic?
After David Blaine burst into the scene via his street magic specials, his kind of magic gave birth to a generation of copycats and wannabes on TV.
They perform impossible feats like climbing up building walls, floating in the middle of the street and reading people’s mind. However, they can’t replicate these feats live on stage, in theaters or on the streets.
Are they doing magic?
“There are performers who have built their whole career doing magic on TV and can’t really perform live at all—don’t really have jobs and skills. And people watch those shows and seem to enjoy them. I don’t think it’s magic. I don’t think it’s valid and not because they’re doing camera tricks which they are, and not because they’re using plants, which they are. And not because they’re using editing tricks, which they are. The problem is simply that what you’ve seen on that screen, what you’re competing with… I mean, once you’ve shown ‘Avatar’ on video what does sleight of hand mean? It means nothing.”
For more of his thoughts on this and related subjects, head over to Camera Tricks Are Not Magic | Penn Jillette | Big Think.
- David Blaine Plans to Teach Baby Magic Tricks (omg.yahoo.com)
- Abracadabravision! The Year in Magic (tvsquad.com)
- The Weekend’s TV: Penn & Teller: Fool Us, Fri, ITV1 Arctic with Bruce Parry, Sun, BBC2 Dispatches: The Battle for Haiti, Sun, Channel 4 (independent.co.uk)