Joe, when you perform magic what feelings to you intend to elicit from your audiences?
I can't speak for you, but I just spent two hours performing today and presented an impromptu show as a guest at a party last night. Everyone had iphones. they had them out all night.
When people open an app and use it to call a cab, as amazing as that is if you think about it, at no time was anyone moved emotionally from that experience.
Yet when one opens one's hand, and the audience sees that the coin the KNEW was there is gone, they scream. Their eye widen. They gold their breath. Some jump up and down and scream, "no way, no way."
They do not scream when they uber.
I think your problem is two fold, Joe. First, you lack accurate understanding of art, art history, and its ideals. You use pieces and artists as examples of things you dislike, yet these pieces and artists were intended to support the arguments you make. You claim that modern art resulted because of photography, but abstract art was being explored before photography was anything more than a novelty, and photography ended up dealing with the same issues of limitations of representation which you claim suggest affected painting. In short, your knowledge of art is leading you to draw conclusions about what it is, what it does, and how it works that simple are baseless.
Second, and I think this is the big issue, is it seems you are someone who refuses to participate in the artistic experience and assume everyone acts the same as you.
I assure you, many if not most people who have experienced a successful magic performance would prefer NOT to know how the tricks are done - assuming the magician has given them something more to value than just "how did it work."
You could go to a production of Les Mis and spend all of your time studying the set, contemplating how the turn table stage works, and examining the acting a vocal techniques used by the performers. You might leave impressed, but not moved.
However millions of people have sat in that same room and been captivated, moved to tears. And the feelings they feel are just as real, just as deep, in spite of (and perhaps may be more deep BECAUSE of) the fact that these feelings are the product of an illusion.
You are confusing, Joe, the means with the ends.
If you are not willing to ride the ride, you cannot expect to experience the thrills.
I assure you, people crave riding the ride - more and more as technology becomes greater and greater. Humans thrive on the feeling that there is more to the world than its nuts and bolts. It is the essence of religion, mythology, patriotism, and love.
Technology gives us interesting things - but these are not transcendent. I don't know how my microwave works, and when it doesn't I am fooled. But this fails to fulfill.
The feeling one feels when something they know to be completely impossible occurs undeniably in their presence - that is foundation magic. Technology and puzzles have explanations. Mysteries do not.
Now, many magicians may fail to convince people that they experienced something, let alone something impossible - but many magicians can.
And that FEELING that creeps up on someone when it does happen - there is no greater rush.
When we as a magician give that rush a positive context and not a negative demeaning one, they will chose to protect that experience. YOUR audiences may seem magic only as puzzles. That's the fault of the magicians they have seen not with magic itself.
You are not interested in participating. You have closed your mind to anything more. It is not surprising then that you cannot see anything more. It is not surprising your audiences cannot either. You cannot give something you do not have. If you don't believe, they audience never will either.
But watch a real magician work sometime. Don't watch his or her hands. Watch the eyes of those who are in their midst. When that hand opens, and that coin is gone, you will see wonder.
Part of the art is maintaining that sense, shading it so it can be experienced as other emotions, giving it context so it has relevance. A bigger part is getting the audience to the position where they are willing and ready to have that experience.
But to say people don't crave wonder - - - -you have no idea what you are talking about