Magic is not inherently art. You can make it art, but in order to do so, you have to have very, very, very, VERY good presentational skills. You've got to be creative, original, and deceptive. Call your Tivo Transpo art, and people close your Youtube video. Show off your classic pass, and everyone shrugs and keeps going. But, actually present something - display something creative - put in the time and effort to look at this card trick and say, "Can this REALLY be art? Can I do that with this?" and you may have something. Paul Harris has Ladybug (or Paul Vigil had it originally, right? Whatever, you know what trick I mean) where you stab yourself and squeeze out blood. You then change that blood into a ladybug. You have shed blood to create life. One way to look at this, is it's a nice, visual trick, something to put in towards your closer. But you can also look at it as a metaphor. I repeat, "You have shed blood to create life." How can you not have a feeling about that? Pretend it wasn't a trick, pretend it was an actual ACTION. You literally sacrificed something of yourself to create life. Can you invest emotional, philosophical, and physical gut reaction into that? Of course! Such an effect has the easy workings of becoming art. Daniel Garcia, another brilliant magician (though I know you all know that) has Satisfaction Guaranteed. Basically, an all-backs routine in reverse - start out with a trick deck of double backers and change it into a regular deck. It's simple, and a great trick too, gets good reactions - but can we invest something emotional, philosophical, or physical into that? Maybe if we really stretch it. But, for the most part, no. It's just a trick. It's something you put in a routine with other tricks. This isn't a discussion about, Is magic art? Whatever you believe, just listen. Instead, we're asking, How do you present magic as art? We're assuming all of us participating agree that magic is so artsy you have to wear black and drink at a coffeehouse to perform it. So let's, please, go to the next step - How? Some tricks just aren't meant to be artistic. Some are just there to entertain. Magicians can display their craft as an impossible, bizarre display of art, or they can put a show together and give you a really great time. Good magicians - no, the best magicians - weave both together. Penn and Teller entertain the hell out of you, but Teller's got this one thing called Shadows, where he clips the shadow of a plant and the actual plant reacts, losing leaves and blood. He pricks himself on the shadow's thorn, then smears a long trail of blood across the screen that the shadow lives on. All without saying a single word. It's visual poetry, and it's beautiful. You might call that art. Doesn't matter. The point is, the show, all of it - artsy tricks, fun tricks, amazing tricks - all speaks to different parts of the audience, entertains THOROUGHLY rather than just entertains. Shows them that magic can be a really fun time, but can also be deep and soul-wrenching. Magicians are performance artists the way actors or singers are. We can present legitimate art - any emotional, well-acted performance, or any powerful, moving musical piece - but it's also got to be, you know. Good. If your movie sucks, or your album is crap, well, no one really cares. I'm saying, you've got to do both at the same time. Neither one is more important than the other. Daniel's Satisfaction Guaranteed, his all-backer trick? Not much artistic merit. But as stated before, it's not all about art. It's about entertaining. Your trick needs to either be entertaining or beautiful, and it can be good. Again, this isn't IF magic is art. This is HOW magic is art. How do we present something if we want it to be art? How are we on par with what painters do, or musicians? What's our device, our image? Instead, show off your Tivo Transpo as part of a routine. Routines are how magic was meant to be performed - a string of tricks in logical progression, each one either entertaining or beautiful. Reel the audience in so you can deliver your message. Know that, as a performer, you need to have something deep in order to have substance and not just be a hired attraction - but, at the same time, you need to be enjoyable, because it's not all about that self-indulgent "art" - you're, overall, there to give everyone a good time, challenging them mentally, emotionally, and by just doing cool stuff. Know that you NEED both to be unique, and that neither one is more important than the other. They are exactly 50 / 50. The transpo - which looks so good it's like video editing in real-life - falls under entertainment, and does a great job of it. Use that to your advantage. Philosophers don't just go to peoples' houses and scream what they believe. They present it. They reel you in with an idea or a thought, then saturate you with their outlook. A painter can't just throw paint on a canvas and be the best (well, actually, with today's outlook on painting...), he's got to show a theme or idea in what he makes, and also make it look good. Picasso is so identifiably Picasso, and Van Gogh, Van Gogh. But it's not just a fun color-by-number - there's something there to it. So what can you do to give the world this "art" you fight so hard to defend? This performance integrity, how do you make it manifest? How, how, how? How do you show the world art?