Science vs Art

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Bliff, Aug 26, 2018.

  1. When a performer starts his performance with, "let's try this experiment", the first thing that comes to my mind is that I am in a science class. I get that mentalism is about plausibility, but that doesn't mean it has to be presented as a science. I have also seen some performers call their participants 'subjects'. In my opinion what we do needs to inspire the question "what if?", Because, if what I am performing is a science, I need to be a in laboratory. The other problems with this approach is when most people hear the word experiment, they will assume what you are about to say after that will be a fact but in context of performance, no one will believe what you are saying because you are not a scientist.
    Your thoughts are welcome.
  2. I would say that it depends on the effect that is being performed. Sometimes when it comes to mentalism, the effects are often conveyed as social experiments, or the performer attempting to prove or disprove a theory. I do agree that participants shouldn't be referred to as subjects. Just like with illusions, I feel that it's best if the performer and the spectator are taking part in the effect together, so that it just becomes two human beings experiencing a moment of astonishment at the same time. I dislike when the performer claims to on any kind of higher level than the spectator.
    People want to be amazed, not tricked or degraded
    Brett Hurley likes this.
  3. Agreed with sk1ndeep ^^

    When I think of "experiment" I first think of a mentalism trick. Don't really think of a scientific experiment in that sense.
  4. I think you bring up a good point, that we should pay attention to how our audience views what we say about our magic. I think the word "experiment" is used most often as a replacement for the word "trick". As an introduction I don't think that either word is all that special or creative. You can get a lot more engaging by saying something else.

    As an introduction I like to make it more interesting rather than, "Let's try something", "For my next trick" or "In this experiment I will need a volunteer". Some intros in my actual repertoire are "I'm going to throw a deck of cards at one of you", "I need two people for this next piece, you'll get a hundred bucks each for helping me out", and "Let's talk about chicken sexing". Hopefully that's a bit more interesting.

    For me when I'm referring to a trick I usually call it a trick (some magician's don't like this, but I can defend my reasoning) or a piece (as in, "a piece of theater", "a piece of music" or "a piece of art"). If someone else uses the word experiment, I think they should be aware of the thoughts that the word might invoke.
    Brett Hurley and RealityOne like this.

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