Archive for May, 2015

Deep into Sleepers: Artist Oban Jones talks about how he designs a deck of cards

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Art needs to be free. Without borders or bounds. No rules, no regulations. An artist should be free to create whatever they want, in whatever form they believe it should take.

So when it comes to interpreting other works of art, there’s probably nothing more limiting than decks of playing cards. It’s an object that — depending on the buyer — carries a myriad of design expectations, from the colors of suits to the number of eyes on court cards.

But for Oban Jones, those expectations aren’t limiting. They are inspiring.

“I may be wrong in this belief, but to my knowledge, there is no other artifact that is so complex in its design and so quintessentially unchanged for so much of its history,” said Jones, designer of the Sleepers deck. “You could look at a deck of cards from 500 years ago, and yes, there would be differences, but their purpose and essential design would be immediately recognizable.”

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Magician Zack Mirza combines travel, history, performance in new show

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

mirza

Magic has worldwide appeal, so it made perfect sense for Zack Mirza to hit the road. Choosing where to go was just as easy.

In “Illusions of Grandeur,” on Canada’s OLN, Zack makes his magic journey the center of the show. In travels to New York City, Detroit, New Orleans, Las Vegas and nine other cities with strong magic connections, he documents his quest to be the next big name.

“That was a competely new experience to me,” Mirza said. “I’d only been to New York and a few other US cities, so being in all of these new places was incredible.”

Because of a surprising abundance of other magic shows, Mirza said he and his crew knew that “Illusions of Grandeur” couldn’t be just another show. The trip at the center of the show was inspired partially by David Blaine’s “Real or Magic” and HBO’s “How to Make It in America.” It pairs the history and stories behind magic with the struggle to make a mark on the world, Mirza said, while showing an honest portrayal of Mirza’s career. (more…)

Small videos unlock big magic: Wilber inspired by Instagram

Friday, May 1st, 2015

adamigAdam Wilber, general manager of Ellusionist, has a reputation of being one of magic’s most fearless performers. He’ll show magic to anyone at anytime. Recently, he brought his magic to the cameras of Syfy’s “Wizard Wars.”

These days, he’s performing in front of a much smaller camera in a much shorter window of time — and making an even bigger impact.

Since about February, Adam has almost daily uploaded a new video to his Instagram account. The videos range from simple card tricks to effects with coins, ropes, sponges, red Solo cups, lollipops, Peeps, Lego bricks, iPhones, balloons, anything he can get his hands on. The reaction has been tremendous, Wilber said — the videos have lit his social networks on fire.

So why put so much effort into 15 seconds of grainy video? (more…)