Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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illusion:black_art [2019/08/15 21:27]
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illusion:black_art [2019/08/16 15:15] (current)
stephenminch Added McKinven information.
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 The term "black art" was originally synonymous with necromancy and mystical sorcery, and later with recreational trickery in general, centuries before the magic world adopted the term for its now-common method-based definition; see //​Webster'​s Revised Unabridged Dictionary//,​ 1913, p. 150. Magicians were still using the term heavily to denote magical entertainment up through the turn of the twentieth century; for example, see the anonymous //The Black Art, or Magic Made Easy//, 1869; the anonymous //The Black Art Fully Exposed and Laid Bare//, 1874; and A. Anderson'​s //How to Do the Black Art//, 1895, none of which have anything to do with the black-on-black method of disguise. The term "black art" was originally synonymous with necromancy and mystical sorcery, and later with recreational trickery in general, centuries before the magic world adopted the term for its now-common method-based definition; see //​Webster'​s Revised Unabridged Dictionary//,​ 1913, p. 150. Magicians were still using the term heavily to denote magical entertainment up through the turn of the twentieth century; for example, see the anonymous //The Black Art, or Magic Made Easy//, 1869; the anonymous //The Black Art Fully Exposed and Laid Bare//, 1874; and A. Anderson'​s //How to Do the Black Art//, 1895, none of which have anything to do with the black-on-black method of disguise.
  
-Black Art, in its current form as a magical ​concept, is commonly said to first have been applied to stage magic in June 28, 1885, by Bavarian actor and theatrical manager Max Auzinger (stage name Ben Ali Bey), with the opening of his "​Indian & Egyptian Wonders"​ at Catan'​s Passage Panoptkon in Berlin. See //​[[https://​askalexander.org/​display/​9915/​Magic+Vol+06/​942|MAGIC]]//,​ Vol. 6 No. 9, May 1997, p. 56. Charles de Vere pushed Auzinger'​s performance of Black Art back to a show he witnessed in 1873 in Antwerp; see //​[[http://​askalexander.org/​display/​38780/​The+magic+wand/​133|The Magic Wand]]//, Vol. 5 No. 6, Feb. 1915, p. 97. But recently, evidence has been uncovered that documents earlier performances of Black Art by Dr. Lynn (aka Simmons). Mitsunobu Matsuyama has located newspaper ads in Japan and an article in the U.S. that show Lynn was performing a self-decapitation illusion, "Head Off", in those countries in 1863-4; see //​[[http://​askalexander.org/​display/​61575/​Gibeci+re/​37|Gibecière]]//,​ Vol. 10 No. 1, Winter 2015, p. 36. Lynn performed a later illusion called "​Thauma"​ in 1884 and possibly earlier. "Head Off" relied on Black Art to conceal Lynn's head. In "​Thuama",​ Black Art was used to make the lower portion of a woman'​s body invisible.+There is evidence to suggest that some fundamental principles used in Black Art were employed in religious theatrical spectacles of the 1400s and 1500s to enhance suspensions and levitations of actors. John A. McKinven documents some of these illusions in //​[[https://​askalexander.org/​display/​40175/​Stage+Flying+431+B+C+to+Modern+Times/​23|Stage Flying]]//, Chapter II, 1995, Meyerbooks, p. 7 ff. Darkness and the use of groups of numerous small bright lights in the foreground probably aided in concealing the ropes, chains and mechanical apparatus used to raise and lower actors to and from heights. 
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 +Black Art, in its current form as a conjuring ​concept, is commonly said to first have been applied to stage magic in June 28, 1885, by Bavarian actor and theatrical manager Max Auzinger (stage name Ben Ali Bey), with the opening of his "​Indian & Egyptian Wonders"​ at Catan'​s Passage Panoptkon in Berlin. See //​[[https://​askalexander.org/​display/​9915/​Magic+Vol+06/​942|MAGIC]]//,​ Vol. 6 No. 9, May 1997, p. 56. Charles de Vere pushed Auzinger'​s performance of Black Art back to a show he witnessed in 1873 in Antwerp; see //​[[http://​askalexander.org/​display/​38780/​The+magic+wand/​133|The Magic Wand]]//, Vol. 5 No. 6, Feb. 1915, p. 97. But recently, evidence has been uncovered that documents earlier performances of Black Art by Dr. Lynn (aka Simmons). Mitsunobu Matsuyama has located newspaper ads in Japan and an article in the U.S. that show Lynn was performing a self-decapitation illusion, "Head Off", in those countries in 1863-4; see //​[[http://​askalexander.org/​display/​61575/​Gibeci+re/​37|Gibecière]]//,​ Vol. 10 No. 1, Winter 2015, p. 36. Lynn performed a later illusion called "​Thauma"​ in 1884 and possibly earlier. "Head Off" relied on Black Art to conceal Lynn's head. In "​Thuama",​ Black Art was used to make the lower portion of a woman'​s body invisible.
  
 In the collection of Magic Christian is an 1844 newspaper article, published in //Der Wanderer//, that appears to describe an even earlier performance using Black Art, this by Giuseppe Pinetti while in Russia, for a special performance for Catherine II. A date for the performance is not given, but 1796 would be a likely guess, since Pinetti was in St. Petersburg in that year, and Catherine II died on Nov. 17, 1796. Pinetti is said to have performed a dismemberment illusion on the occasion, similar to one Thomas Tobin later conceived in 1872, "​Palingenesia"​. In the collection of Magic Christian is an 1844 newspaper article, published in //Der Wanderer//, that appears to describe an even earlier performance using Black Art, this by Giuseppe Pinetti while in Russia, for a special performance for Catherine II. A date for the performance is not given, but 1796 would be a likely guess, since Pinetti was in St. Petersburg in that year, and Catherine II died on Nov. 17, 1796. Pinetti is said to have performed a dismemberment illusion on the occasion, similar to one Thomas Tobin later conceived in 1872, "​Palingenesia"​.