The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Seeing is believing » » Perception game or experiment (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Simon Bakker
View Profile
Special user
the Netherlands
587 Posts

Profile of Simon Bakker
Hi,

Beside my work as I magician I'm a (social) psychology master student. During my study I followed some courses on Cognitive Psychology and got really interested in perceptual processes (probably every magician is).

For some time now I've been thinking about and writing a presentation that revolves around the theme of perception. The act is about the oddities of our visual system and meant to be entertaining and educational as well. It combines magic, optical illusions, fun facts and popular science.

For the opening of this presentation I would like to play a perception game / experiment with the audience. Just a fun game, that immediatly shows that perception can be a tricky thing. Not magic, I want to slowly lead the audience to the magic, and I think a game like this helps a lot. Beau lotto does something along these lines in his wonderful TED talk
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mf5otGNbkuc).
It is essential that it is very quick, just a minute or so, and that the audience can stay in their seats.

Optical illusions are probably very good tools for a game like, I thought about the tabletop illusion myself, or the curved objects. But I found it very tricky to come up with a question for the game that does not immediatly tips the audience of that there is something wrong with the picture (I hope I make myself clear).

Any suggestions are higly appreciated!
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27037 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
There are things which once seen cannot be unseen. Like that cow's head in one picture or the dalmatian in another.

I can make a large farmyard animal appear here and now by use of words alone.

***************

But I ask you - directly - sincerely and here in public - to what positive end do you inform your audiences of the way their sense of real is painted by cognitive brushstrokes or how by logical extension their lives are likewise greatly affected by such things? Do you seriously believe such education helps your audiences?

Ordinarily one is expected to learn to keep secrets in this craft. To understand that such methods and tools are to be led into this craft and not revealed to outsiders. To what purpose to you show the dog its leash or the puppet its strings?

Posted: Dec 5, 2009 9:53pm
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......um=100&2

or perhaps just a NON such using a motor that spins a legit window set around ???

no harm no foul.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Simon Bakker
View Profile
Special user
the Netherlands
587 Posts

Profile of Simon Bakker
Thanks Jonathan for your response.

I actually plan to use the Dalmation (or in my case the hidden cowboy)example. I never thought of it in this light, thanks!

As for the educational part, I'm not sure I totally got the gist of your post, but I reveal no more than is written in a basic book on optical illusions. Basicly it is about the fact that what our brains shows us is not a mirror of 'physical reality,' and that this can lead to fun, interesting and sometimes magical moments. Maybe calling the thing educational is a bit of a stretch. More like fun facts that make up a framework for the act.

If I took it a step further I could tie the perception theme to social perception, which I think can be very educational for an audience.

Thanks again for your suggestion.

best
Simon
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27037 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
Simon,

Glad you liked that magical approach to the cow and dalmatian images presentation. You could put a face down playing card on top of part of the image and a frame around it - add the word 'prediction' to it and have it on the table in full view (use a red/blue DB card and DL to make the card trick work) to get that ball rolling. Then transition to the appearing cow (or dog) and continue to the perception talk.

There's a story by Peter Watts "Blindsight" that touches on some of the issues I have with teaching the mechanics of perception to those who are willfully ignorant.

Please consider what it means to others to see what they did not and to then have to live knowing what they did not wish to see. Part of becoming a magician is to acknowledge, accept and then abjure ones ignorance. Unless your audience has made similar choices - to see what is and let go of illusions no matter how dear or convenient in ones quest to know what is real - it is not necessarily useful to them to know just how much illusion there is in their reality. The usual example is what happens to a hypnotist who regresses and adult back to childhood only to find that person had a very unhappy childhood and was blocking out bad memories.

Play safe.

:)
...to all the coins I've dropped here
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Seeing is believing » » Perception game or experiment (0 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2020 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.13 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL