Brad, your first attempt to interpret my viewpoints on exposure by relating it to my artistic output did come off as slightly patronizing, so I appreciate the clarification and the assurance that you meant no disrespect.
You mentioned that there will always be “grey areas” when it comes to exposure. But grey areas imply that there are black and white endpoints. So what are those endpoints, and who decides what they are?
Is the white endpoint a magic trick whose method is only ever known to the creator? And is the black endpoint what XX is doing? From Mahdi G’s proposed petition to Google, to some Chinese magicians’ formation of the League in Opposition to the Revealing of Magic Secrets, it would seem that XX is the black endpoint of the grey area of exposure; he represents the absolute worst of magic in terms of exposure. Or is there something/someone worse, moving XX slightly to the lighter area?
Let’s look at a comparison, the one you (and Jackpot) seek regarding what XX does vs. what P&T does. For specificity sake let’s look at P&T’s cups and balls vs. XX’s video of the two cups and walnuts trick (since both magicians reveal the method using transparent cups/bowls).
It’s obvious that P&T do their version as a magic performance (with Teller on record explaining the genesis of the routine, and how he wanted to show the beauty of the moves while understanding that it wouldn’t really spoil it for the audience). Even in this “grey area,” the trick elicited indignation from magicians (including the Magic Circle), and even you, Brad, claiming that while it is “intended to enhance the magical response,” it nonetheless has a “downside” of spoiling the future viewing of the trick for some.
On the other end, is XX’s video demonstration of the bowls trick (which can be seen from a link in the article provided by Jack S at the beginning of this thread). For this video and all his others, there is almost universal condemnation from the magic community (at least on this forum), albeit with a stern reprimand from Mr. Gilbert that the community’s response to this scoundrel is an unacceptable “TOTAL SILENCE.”
So who is this “exposer,” this “hack,” this “thief,” this “peep show” purveyor who just wants to “cash in on the most prurient of an audience's interests?”
To quote Mahdi G...*crickets*
That is, everyone who hurls insults at XX, hasn’t really tried to understand the person or his audience. At least that’s the impression I get. A guy has videos showing magic methods? He’s a jerk. Case closed.
Well, it turns out that Mr. XX is sincere in his belief that his videos are to help young magicians.
“In China's second and third-tier cities, there are no (magic) classes, while traditional masters only have one or two disciples," says Li, who is from a small town in the southern Chinese province of Jiangsu.”
His motivation is confirmed in the responses he gives in the comments section, and his comments to me after I contacted him (gasp!).
Who is the audience of XX’s videos? It turns out from my perusing of the extensive comments section of the bowls video (one of his most-watched), that yes, these are mostly young aspiring magician-types who do view XX’s videos as a form of...teaching. I know Brad, as a magic teacher, how repulsive that must sound to you, and that you think these kids should simply find the ‘appropriate’ resources and avenues to learn magic.
But what I’ve learned as a teacher (of both educational technology and a little magic), is that so-called exposure can sometimes be the beginning of learning. Not the end-all, but a beginning. And judging from the sampling of comments in XX’s bowls video, his audience of young aspiring magicians knows it too:
“The simpler the technique, the more skill you need.”
The bowls trick, “Can be applied to different sizes of large and small ways to benefit a lot!”
“In addition to the speed of the hand, it is also necessary to guide the audience to pay attention.”
“I use a transparent bowl, I feel... still amazing”
“Very clear, clear decomposition method, thank you, sincerely praise!”
“With decryption, the first step is to fully see when the left hand is changing the right hand.”
“The first time I put a walnut, there is a crisp sound. When I pretend it, there is no sound. So don't use walnuts anymore. Make a sponge.”
XX comment about the bowls trick: “A trick to play for 10 years, hard work”
“what is the problem of deciphering self-study?”
“You have to be very delicate and skilled. I can’t do it without practicing it.”
“Explained the problem that has been bothering me for a long time”
“The uncle who performed this magic is not saying that he wants to lose it? I hope more young magicians can learn.”
“Can ordinary people go to perform, can ordinary people see the performances of others? Still far away.”
And on the issue of revealing the method?
“The magic is mainly practiced, knowing the principle does not affect its charm.”
“The magical place is that the technical threshold is very high.”
“The principle is simple. The key is that you take it too fast.”
“Even if it is revealed, the scene is still very exciting.”
“I know the principle is still very admired.”
“Even if I have a transparent bowl, I still look dazzled... it’s amazing!”
“I use a transparent bowl, I feel... still amazing”
“Thanks for the decryption.
I personally don't think the decryption magic is bad. Because that would make people more aware of the skill level of technology.”
“Just looking at the speed is already amazing, the magic itself is not important, the method is not important, the point is that there is no flaw!”
“Support you, don't care what the sprayers say. At least I understand the magician more after understanding the principle. Even if I tell the principle, I won't change. It shows how many viewers can't see the magical work.”
“To me, revealing magic is more appealing than watching magic”
“How long ago was the United States doing a show that revealed large magic tricks, but did David’s large panoramic magic end?”
Brad, you said, “If one merely tells how something is done, nothing has been taught. No skill has been transferred. No empowerment has occurred.” I would argue, based on these comments, that empowerment is indeed occurring here. The pedagogy may be abhorrent to you, but it’s valid.