Seeing nothing

Pringle, P 2005, 'Seeing nothing', MESH, vol. 18, pp. 6-9.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

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Title Seeing nothing
Author(s) Pringle, P
Year 2005
Journal name MESH
Volume number 18
Start page 6
End page 9
Total pages 3
Publisher Experimenta
Abstract [article extract] Magic shows used to attract enthusiastic audiences to theatres and music halls. The simultaneous decline in their popularity and the expansion of cinema are well documented. Trick photography and later the movie camera were able to recreate visual illusions by manipulating time, and the editing process made the magician's techniques redundant. Magical performances themselves had no magic when captured on film, which by itself could fill the air with illusive thickenings and gatherings of matter. But one part of the spatial disturbance 'the magic that is lost by film' still lingers very close to us, for its cultural significance extends far before and beyond its manipulation in Victorian magic shows. It is the brief ecstatic (and possibly erroneous) sensation of lucidity that we feel when something draws our attention to thin air.
Subject Screen and Media Culture
Copyright notice © Experimenta Media Arts Inc 2005
ISSN 1326-8694
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