This a question I have often pondered myself. I believe there will always be some form of each individual category of magic being actively practiced.Stage illusion or close-up will depend not upon the existing technology, as technology evolves so does magic. It will depend upon the magician or magicians that will bring magic to the populous. What is their performing preferance. During the 70's & 80's thanks to Mark Wilson, Blackstone, Doug Henning, S&R, and David Copperfield, stage illusion had enjoyed wide spread public recognition and thus popularity. Now thanks to David Blaine, and Chris Angel close-up and street magic are seemingly enjoying their moment in the sun. If you asked a layman to name a magician ten years ago, most likely the name given to you would have been Copperfield. Why? Because he was the guy everyone was seeing on television and as such his magic (illusion) was what was widely recognized by the public. Not only was it what the publicreadily recognized but it is what budding magicians aspired to be.
Try that now. Chances are the name your going to hear is Blaine.And judging by the top selling effects in magic shops around the country, I assume this is what todays students of magic aspire to. My point is that who ever is gaining television exposure and enjoying succesfull ratings, it is their brand of magic that will be popular for that specific point in time. So, where does this leave magic in the future? Will it come full circle by the year 2050? Magic will be wherever the creative minds of tomorrows magicians have the vision to take it.
Ronald R. Romiski