In this episode we dive in and talk about magicians as artists. Our point of view of art is very simple, and is not tied to the quality of the work. What I mean by that is if someone performed an awful magic trick, or makes an ugly painting, it is still art. It might however be bad, or not well thought out, but it is artistic by nature. I think since we’re both very analytical, the lack or looseness in definition of the word “Art”.
Many magicians want to say that some things are artistic if they say something about the world, but I don’t think that’s a great definition. Magicians can be very artistic in what they do without speaking about the world. Much like a comedian, experiences can have a ton of creativity and direction, and intent without having the point of saying something about the world.
It can just be a well thought out show and artistic, without being provocative.
Since we’re chatting about creativity, and making magic better or more “artistic”, we gave some ideas and tips as to how to make the performance of magic not a negative experience for your audience. It’s so easy to perform magic and act like a god, while we do impossible things. The problem is it’s often not a positive experience.
It’s like the first half of a riddle, with no solution. Or a joke without a punchline. It’s the job of the magician to make sure that the experience of impossibility is framed as something positive (or at least not of arrogance).
Another idea that we brought into play is the idea of a magician as a dream guide. I think that it’s a nice lens to view a magician as, when thinking about what we do.It’s a view that allows a recipient of spectator to want to go on a journey that they know is only pretend. It’s not as extreme as a doctor (giving a placebo), since they know we are only pretending to read their mind. They are signing up to our show to allow us to take them to a world they would not otherwise be able to be in
One of the best parts of the viewpoint is the new job of the magician. You are creating new impossible worlds for people. Time to get more creative, and do things that people will care about.
Finally, one of my favorite parts of the episode is a realization that we had. So many magicians get into magic because they are fans of puzzles, math and secrets. But as time goes on they learn that to be effective they need to be more artistic. It’s almost as if many of us analytical people were tricked (not actually tricked) into the art of magic, and this is how we must learn to be more artistic.
Overall it was a fun episode to record, and we gave some hints and ideas about the upcoming month, and magic as an art.
If you have any opinions about things we mentioned in either the episode, this blog post, or anywhere else feel free to leave a comment and share your thoughts1