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Topic: Visual magic
Message: Posted by: peppermeat2000 (Jul 16, 2007 12:13AM)
Many times we hear that our magic must be "visual". I was recently watching a DVD where it was stated by the featured performer that our magic must be visual in order to get the audiences attention. What would be some examples of magic that isn't visual so that I don't bore my audience with non-visual magic?
Message: Posted by: erlandish (Jul 16, 2007 01:53AM)
Mentalism isn't always visual. What the audience gets to see is the spectators freaking out to having their thoughts pilfered. Visual magic is good for attracting lagging attention spans, attracting attention, entertaining younger audiences, etc. The big problem is that frequently visual magic also betrays the moment where a secret method is being employed, which goes against some performers' philsophy of using as much time misdirection as possible without compromising the effect.

For instance, I pick up a ball, make a whooshing motion, and the ball disappears. It's natural for a spectator to believe that the whooshing motion has something to do with the vanish. Spectators might look at what was near my hand during the whoosh, and so forth, and discover the ditching agent. Now, if I pick up a ball, cleanly remove a hankerchief, cleanly tie up the ball within the hankerchief, snap my fingers, and toss the hankerchief in the air to show the ball has disappeared, I may have a less visual effect, but I have a much more mysterious one that is less likely to betray its inner workings.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Jul 16, 2007 06:31AM)
Perhaps they mean spectacular; Of the nature of a spectacle; impressive or sensational as opposed to humdrum.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jul 16, 2007 06:58AM)
The performer gets the audience's attention. The props and flash etc are venue specific.
Message: Posted by: kregg (Jul 16, 2007 07:42AM)
It would be better if we knew the name, or in the very least, the genre of the "stated performer" so we could understand what was meant by the word "visual." Sounds like something a manipulator would say.

Does your audience want to see it?

All magic is visual ... even mentalism. Only, the visual in mentalism is not usually meant to be glamorous, but, part of the business; which must be done out in the open (visual) without drawing suspicion.

Is it strong enough to keep them interested?
Message: Posted by: BH_Magic (Jul 16, 2007 07:48AM)
Visual material is nice for getting the attention of somebody, but I do not feel that it is sustainable for a whole set.

Take, for instance, a coin bend; there are handlings out there in which the coin bends in the open and in somebody's closed fist. I would (and do) take the second option every time - where your participant can [b]feel[/b] the coin bending in their hand. Now that is something else entirely and far more hard-hitting than a visual bend IMO.

So I would say that any material which connects with your audience, in which they play an active role and can feel the magic happen - either physically or in the atmosphere - will keep their interest. If they're getting bored, you're not engaging them - and a lot of magic that is out there can be made engaging if you apply yourself.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Jul 16, 2007 08:41AM)
Your participant can feel the coin bending in their hand... that sounds cool, I have not seen it. :)
Message: Posted by: enginemagic (Jul 16, 2007 07:55PM)
Moving your hands around manipulating a shiny coin(s) is very Visual while out at a fair,or other places can be fun to show some moves.Today I had some kids watching me while looking out of a car parked near where I was doing sleights while I was eating lunch outside at work & when they passed me in their parents car they said "that was really cool"
Message: Posted by: peppermeat2000 (Jul 16, 2007 08:33PM)
So...besides mentalism,are their magical effects that we can classify as not being visual or capable of getting an audiences attention? The performer I was referencing was David Stone. In his DVD he performed over 20 effects which from a laymens perception(as well as a magicians) would all be considered as visual and attention grabbing effects...but isn't that what we want all of our magic to be? Why open with a "bang" and then choose effects to follow that fall into what we would consider "non-opener" material? Wouldnt this be short changing our audience? As far a Kreggs question..does the audience want to see it...how are we to get the information from our audience as far as what it is they want to see? And if we find out what it is that they want to see and discover its not in our performance array,then what???Should I assume that just because the audience last week who I performed for was dazzeled by a coin matrix that this weeks crowd will be delighted by the same routine? I know this may sound like a wise-a^% response but it is becoming difficult for me to undersatnd some of the magicians logic that we encounter at lectures,see in DVD's,and hear at magic club gatherings. Anxious to hear the thoughts of the Café members who have some insight on this topic...
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jul 17, 2007 08:40AM)
[quote]
On 2007-07-16 21:33, peppermeat2000 wrote:
So...besides mentalism,are their magical effects that we can classify as not being visual or capable of getting an audiences attention?... [/quote]

Attention and mental imagery are not objectively "visual" phenomena.

Much simpler to discuss performing styles and audience focus.
Message: Posted by: peppermeat2000 (Jul 17, 2007 11:29AM)
[quote]
Attention and mental imagery are not objectively "visual" phenomena.

Much simpler to discuss performing styles and audience focus.
[/quote]
Hmmmm...OK. But don't performance styles and audience focus rely on a visual context? Maybe the term "visual" phenomena is throwing me off a bit...what exactly is the definition of the term?
Message: Posted by: tommy (Jul 17, 2007 11:43AM)
There are none so blind as them that can not see the phenomenal. :)
Message: Posted by: peppermeat2000 (Jul 17, 2007 11:46AM)
Now I get it...Thanks Tommy!
Message: Posted by: kregg (Jul 17, 2007 12:05PM)
Like I said, "All magic is visual." But, for any visual effect to trigger the brain and excite it with emotion it must be fresh, exciting and somewhat unexpected. A buddy of mine does a neat thing over the phone where he asks the person on the other end to touch an object on their desk, then, he goes on to name the object.
Were visual stimulation the most important aspect of magic, we could get away with pageantry by displaying the prettiest prop, show pictures of ourself performing magic or do a laser light show for hours untold. Nonetheless, now that you have their attention, visually, how do you keep them interested? With my dog all I have to do is give him a new toy and he's occupied for hours.
How does David Stone define visual?
Message: Posted by: tommy (Jul 17, 2007 12:22PM)
Everything or should I say everythink is visual as we think in pictures not words.

Magic is too invisible and think we need some Houdini spirit to let people know it's there. I mean I can out around the city today and not find any unless I know where to look. I see posters for bands and films and so on but hardly ever see such for magic.
Message: Posted by: kregg (Jul 17, 2007 12:47PM)
"Everything or should I say everythink is visual as we think in pictures not words."

That's why pop-up books are so much fun!
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (May 11, 2010 12:53AM)
Slydini's "Sweet Salt" is not visual. Tricks that are conceptual rather than visual in nature would be things like "Out of this World" "Pogo Ball" "Slate Writing," etc.

Levitations, penetrations, transformations, transpositions, appearances and disappearances are usually "visual magic." Finding a chosen card is usually not visual.
Message: Posted by: tommy (May 11, 2010 02:37AM)
I see.
Message: Posted by: funsway (May 11, 2010 06:40AM)
Juan Tamariz spend more than a year doing radio broadcasts of magic effects. Ture, each listener was guided through doing visual things -- the the presentation was not visual.

My wife is very visually impaired, and sees more magic in life than I will ever know. A lot of magic effects take advantage of our imperfect vision like "Inattention of Vision" in which our "look ahead" ability is fooled.

I do a coin effect called "Jingle" in which the magic is guided by the clinking of the coins rather than seeing them -- in fact, and 'Click Pass' is non-visual.
Message: Posted by: tommy (May 11, 2010 09:41AM)
So things that are visual are them things that one does not need to think about too much?
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (May 11, 2010 11:29AM)
Visual magic is where the magic happens "in front of the eyes." Levitation, animation, color-change, etc. Spikes through coin is not visual because the spikes penetrate the coin while it is hidden in a plastic box, Coin in Bottle is visual, because the spectators think they "see" the coin penetrate the bottom of the bottle. Linking Rings is visual, Spikes through arm is not.

The classic non-visual card trick is the 21 card trick. A visual card trick would be like Mental Photography, Phoenix Aces, color-change, etc. People "see" the magic happening, rather than just witnessing the result.
Message: Posted by: Alan Wheeler (May 11, 2010 11:58PM)
Tommy Wonder discussed "covered" and "uncovered" effects near the end of the _Books of Wonder_. I've shipped my books back to the US now, but if I remember correctly, he claims that the more visual the effect, the less mental the impact--and the less visual the effect, the more mental the impact. (I think that was called an "indirect relationship" in science class.)
Message: Posted by: funsway (May 12, 2010 10:44AM)
As this be true, Alan, then does the magic designed for younger audiences today have to be diffferent than for older ones? Many magicians cannot "imagine" how an effect will play without seeing it on a video, so how about an audience in which only limited visual glimses of the world by anothers direction serves as 'experience'? Are younger people capable of appraciating non-visual magic (or concepts)?
Message: Posted by: Donal Chayce (May 12, 2010 02:52PM)
[quote]
On 2010-05-12 11:44, funsway wrote:
As this be true, Alan, then does the magic designed for younger audiences today have to be diffferent than for older ones?
[/quote]

If by younger audiences you mean children, then in many cases the answer is "yes."
Message: Posted by: funsway (May 13, 2010 10:19AM)
Certainly those, but I meant to include those of the "computer native" cohorts whos elearning has been primarily technology assisted rather than direct experience.

I once had a class write on the subject "My first Butterfly" and discovered that 8 out of the 20+ students had never seen a live butterfly. If I used a butterfly silk in an effect everyone might recognize it, but the sense of awe and wonder will be different, methinks.
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (May 16, 2010 09:14AM)
[quote]
On 2010-05-11 12:29, Whit Haydn wrote:
Visual magic is where the magic happens "in front of the eyes." Levitation, animation, color-change, etc. Spikes through coin is not visual because the spikes penetrate the coin while it is hidden in a plastic box, Coin in Bottle is visual, because the spectators think they "see" the coin penetrate the bottom of the bottle. Linking Rings is visual, Spikes through arm is not.

The classic non-visual card trick is the 21 card trick. A visual card trick would be like Mental Photography, Phoenix Aces, color-change, etc. People "see" the magic happening, rather than just witnessing the result.
[/quote]

For me Visual Magic is magic where the actual cause for the effect happens at the same time as the alleged cause. As a result, people look for the cause (skill, gaff... and it's no longer magic)
Proper magic is based on a time distance and placing at least one short action between the actual cause and the alleged one. Then the after effect memory rewinding which stops at the alleged cause cannot encompass the actual cause.
Message: Posted by: Alan Wheeler (May 19, 2010 06:54AM)
Darwin Ortiz mentions the lack of time displacement as a problem of most visual magic. Floating objects might be a classic example.

But some effects that seem instantaneous are not truly visual, for example, Metamorphosis or Copeer-Silver-Brass. And there can be time displacement in truly visual magic as well: a rubber pencil can be rung in early while the warping of it visibly can be delayed. Also in spoon bending (a mental effect!) participants sometimes seem to see and even feel the bending after the fact.

Children do seem to require color and visual stimulation. But teenagers can be stunned by a purely mental effect, even today!
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (May 19, 2010 07:29PM)
Alan
Before we define if possibly there is or not time displacement in visual magic we need to define visual magic
Thus we will not confront analysis based on the fact that we use the same name do describe two different things.

I proposed a definition of visual magic in my previous post. Naturally it can be argued and fine tuned or discarded. Now since the defining criterion of visual magic in my proposed definition is precisely the time distance between the actual cause and the virtual one or its lack, consistency prevents claiming that there would be time displacement in visual magic tricks: by essence such tricks would no longer correspond to the definition of visual magic.

In your post you are just using a different criterion but you don't describing such a criterion.

Let's see what your own definition is and we'll, instead of a sterile semantic debate, try and build a definition, which we will be able to use in the future to refer to "visual magic". Then our analytical work (and its practical consequences) will be more progressive and more fruitful
Message: Posted by: Alan Wheeler (May 20, 2010 04:58AM)
[quote]
On 2010-05-11 12:29, Whit Haydn wrote:
Visual magic is where the magic happens "in front of the eyes." Levitation, animation, color-change, etc. Spikes through coin is not visual because the spikes penetrate the coin while it is hidden in a plastic box, Coin in Bottle is visual, because the spectators think they "see" the coin penetrate the bottom of the bottle. Linking Rings is visual, Spikes through arm is not.

The classic non-visual card trick is the 21 card trick. A visual card trick would be like Mental Photography, Phoenix Aces, color-change, etc. People "see" the magic happening, rather than just witnessing the result.
[/quote]

I was going with this definition.
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (May 21, 2010 06:56PM)
It seems to me that under Whit's definition every trick falls under the visual magic category.

Most versions of the 21 card trick have the same visual aspects which meet the criterion proposed by Whit.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (May 21, 2010 08:03PM)
[quote]
On 2010-05-21 19:56, Lawrence O wrote:
It seems to me that under Whit's definition every trick falls under the visual magic category.

Most versions of the 21 card trick have the same visual aspects which meet the criterion proposed by Whit.
[/quote]

He's talking about witnessing the effect itself, not just the result of the effect.
Message: Posted by: tommy (May 21, 2010 08:24PM)
? Things happen called causes and what happens as a result are called effects.
Message: Posted by: Michael Kamen (May 21, 2010 09:30PM)
Many of our illusions are never intended to be perceived by the audience. They are illusions of normalcy that occur between the initial condition, and the final condition that we call the effect. The more distant the illusion from the final condition, the less visual the magic.

In the case of what we call visual magic (I submit), significant amount of illusion is used quite close too, or even coincidental with the final condition, i.e., the perceived effect. I think this proximity of illusion to effect is the defining charcteristic of visual magic.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Mar 21, 2017 08:57PM)
Apparently, my definition of "visual" is just a wee bit different than most of those posting above! The one exception is Whit Haydn's two posts.

To me, if the effect happens out of sight, in a tube, box, or bag, etc., it's not visual. If the effect happens totally in view, it's visual.

Someone above said that one could not do a show with all visual effects! Well, I did, for 50 years. MOST of my show is/was visual effects.

The TipCee (hydrostatic) Bottle is/was strong enough to close my high school program. I used tricks like the Serpentine Silk, Silk thru Mike Stand, Grant's One Two One Rope, Ovette's Repeat Knots, Percy Abbott's Perpetual Ball, Bill Williston's Ball Penetration Thru Silk, Karrell Fox's Ball 0 Matic, Color Change Silk Thru Hand, Hull's Elusive Silk Vanish, 20th Century Silk, Needle Penetration of Inflated Balloon, Jastrow Area Illusion (the boomerangs) Linking Rings

Other tricks are "semi" visual. E.g.: Misers Dream. (Misers Dream is partly visual, and partly aural.)

I even did a tactile illusion, with no props, and the audience did it themselves.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Apr 2, 2017 11:04AM)
P.S.

I forgot to mention the Professor's Nightmare, my YOYO (really a juggling bit, not magic) and, Fresh Fish Sold Here Today. The Lazy Magician, and the Paper Tear to Hat were used to help pad the 45 minute assembly show, for occasional evening 60 minute family shows.

I did the Mardo/Sterling Egg Bag, but, don't consider it a visual, because the egg disappears from inside the bag. I did paper balls over the kid's head, and, a brief sponge ball routine, in high schools, in place of the egg bag.

Oh! the G.W. Hunter shoelace knot, was part of the rope routine!
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Apr 2, 2017 11:12AM)
[quote]On Jul 16, 2007, peppermeat2000 wrote:
So...besides mentalism,are their magical effects that we can classify as not being visual or capable of getting an audiences attention? The performer I was referencing was David Stone. In his DVD he performed over 20 effects which from a laymens perception(as well as a magicians) would all be considered as visual and attention grabbing effects...but isn't that what we want all of our magic to be? Why open with a "bang" and then choose effects to follow that fall into what we would consider "non-opener" material? Wouldnt this be short changing our audience? As far a Kreggs question..does the audience want to see it...how are we to get the information from our audience as far as what it is they want to see? And if we find out what it is that they want to see and discover its not in our performance array,then what???Should I assume that just because the audience last week who I performed for was dazzeled by a coin matrix that this weeks crowd will be delighted by the same routine? I know this may sound like a wise-a^% response but it is becoming difficult for me to undersatnd some of the magicians logic that we encounter at lectures,see in DVD's,and hear at magic club gatherings. Anxious to hear the thoughts of the Café members who have some insight on this topic... [/quote]

I would imagine, putting something (someone) in a box, closing it, opening it to show a change would NOT be considered "visual."

Before anyone brings up "Metamorphoses," the "visual" nature of that trick is increased by the lack of time the person on top of the box is behind the curtain. Doug Henning made it a much more visible trick by cutting down the time, the Pendragons made it even more so by making it appear there IS no time behind the curtain. (Toss the curtain up, rip the curtain apart in a split second.)
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Apr 3, 2017 07:01AM)
I agree, Ed! I met Doug when he was in his late teens. We corresponded. For about five years we would meet at Abbott's Get Together. Denny Loomis, Gene Anderson, Karrell Fox, et al, would stay with Jerry Conklin, and we had "our own little convention".

Doug really understood how to make his presentation, dramatic! TEMPO, TIMING, & TIME! Doug had done the sub trunk for a "few" years, before, he was "discovered"!

Being young and athletic, his TIMING, IMO, too, really made the trick "seem more visible"! ("It aint WHAT ya do, it' HOW ya do it!")

Ditto, the Pendragons!

The EFFECT is what the spectator(s) PERCEIVE! (The spectator's experience, intelligence and, IMAGINATION, are all combined to create his/their PERCEPTION! Therefore, everyone in the audience, perceives a "different" show!

Truly, the "magic" is in the spectator(s) mind(s)!!!