Discuss this post in our forums

19 Responses to “Is magic art?”

  1. Magnus Redin says:

    Is writing art? Sometimes it is, most of the time its crap.

  2. robertdee says:

    One of the defining characteristics of being an artist is that other people want to sleep with you, so I would say no.

  3. Fang Xianfu says:

    These conversations about “is this art?” or “can this be art?” are pretty baffling to me, really. The same question is often asked about video games. It seems like a medium of expression is only allowed to be unequivocally or uncontroversially “art” once it’s past a certain age, like it goes through some mysterious rite of passage when it reaches 200 and emerges from the woods a man, newspaper critic’s carcass across its shoulders.

    But I do love magic, so hopefully this series goes in a good direction :)

  4. technogeekagain says:

    “90% of science fiction — of anything — is crap.” — Arthur C. Clarke.

    Magic is certainly a craft. Whether a particular craftsman’s work is “art” or not is a matter of their intent and of the audience’s reaction.

  5. technogeekagain says:

    (Is music art? Not always; consider advertising jingles. And some music that is art isn’t good art, or — somewhat different thing — isn’t recognized as good art. Ditto acting, ditto dance, ditto other “performance arts”. Including magic. I don’t quite get why that should seem surprising, unless one has never considered the generalization before.)

  6. theophrastvs says:

    having associated with more than my share of art and art history majors, i have been brow-beat into accepting:  “any creation whose purpose is to elicit a thoughtful or emotive introspection is ‘art'”.  therefore (good) magic, inspiring mostly “wow, cool, how did they do that?!” is art, selah.   (note:  a dental visit is not art because it wasn’t intended to have that emotional response …maybe.  “who’s doing the intending? and can the intention be secondary?”  -sigh-)

  7. oasisob1 says:

    Some actual magic might have made this video into art. But I have to be honest, I didn’t watch it all the way through, so maybe there was some in the last minute?

  8. Fnordius says:

    It is so simple that I am surprised that this question is even being asked. OF COURSE magic is art. It is a highly specialised form of performance art, but still art. Arguing about this is not an argument about magic, but about art and how people argue about whether this or that picture or music is art or not.

  9. These “Is X art” questions are tough, because a lot of time we want to apply a value judgment to the idea of capital “A” Art. So if we say X is art then we are saying X is good or valuable. But you can be “Art” and still be bad, useless, uninspired. In this case it is tough, I think magic can be art, and other times it can simply be commerce. Even then much of the magic that I would qualify as Art would still be what I’d consider bad art, art that doesn’t have anything new to say or isn’t trying to communicate much of anything at all.    

    • TooGoodToCheck says:

       Possible answers to “Is X art?”, for any X

       – Maybe.
       – but what truly is Art?
       – If I say yes, can we stop talking about it?
       – only if I personally had some experiences of deep personal significance with X, preferably when I was at a strongly impressionable age
       – you kids get off my lawn!

  10. SedanChair says:

    Nope, until magicians reveal their secrets I’ll remain convinced it’s witchcraft

    • Listener43 says:

       Oh … you mean the black art?

    • endrest says:

       Now, David Copperfield never impressed me, but what’s up with that Dynamo?? That looks like he’s got straight-up Star Trek-tech…is it really that easy to put someone’s iphone into a bottle?? OR walk through glass?

  11. endrest says:

    While everyone debates whether magic is art, I have no doubt that art is magic. I couldn’t imagine life without it.

  12. timquinn says:

    Geez, it’s already magic, what do you want?

  13. David Rowyn says:

    I wrote a little post on the subject a couple of years ago. If you’re interested in reading a lot of words, here’s a link: http://david-rowyn.tumblr.com/post/26040764122/maximus-in-minimis

  14. togetherless says:

    i watched this whole thing, and now I can’t find my wallet or my keys!