Is misdirection really at the root of all magic – distracting and deceiving us to create a feeling of wonder? With Scott Penrose, Aliette de Bodard and Kevin O’Regan.
Are we too technologically advanced for magic to cast a spell on us, or is there a significant place for the enchantment it can generate? Tim Marlow asks the stage magician Scott Penrose, the fantasy novelist Aliette de Bodard and the experimental psychologist Dr Kevin O’Regan for their thoughts.
(Photo: Magic cards. Credit: Shan Pillay)
Scott Penrose is an award winning stage magician, and President of the Magic Circle, a British organisation dedicated to the craft of magic. Scott is also an illusion consultant and has worked extensively in theatre and film designing magic effects. He was magic consultant on the Edward Norton film The Illusionist, and he taught Woody Allen magic for his 2005 film Scoop. Scott argues that being a successful magician is all about having charisma and personality, rather than technical mastery.
Aliette de Bodard
Dr Kevin O'Regan is an experimental psychologist and a former director of France’s largest psychology laboratory, Laboratoire de Psychologie de la Perception. He is also well known for ground breaking experiments which have exposed the limitations of our vision. With magic in mind, Kevin explains how misdirection works and why we only see what we are interested in seeing. He argues that seeing is actually as poor as imagining, and that we see much less than we think. His most recent book is Why Red Doesn’t Sound Like a Bell’.