Seriously, if magic no longer fools you, you aren't watching good enough magicians and good enough magic.
We had an IBM Ring meeting last night, and I wasn't fooled very much. That's not why I go.
But I also watched the Peter Pelikaan video that was in a recent Forum thread. Fooled the crap out of me – I have absolutely no idea. I wish I could see it in person. Likewise most of the stuff that is in Lubor Fiedler's videos.
At the Genii Bash, I was consistently and regularly fooled. Samelson, Engbloom, Maven, Tamariz, Giobbi . . . I hesitate listing names because I know I'm leaving out some. If you watch these guys and know how they accomplish everything they do, you are much more well-read and perceptive than I am (and are most people who were laymen and get involved in magic – I'm square in the middle of the demographic you referred to).
Joe Mckay wrote:The funny thing is that this point of view [magic is not art] was completely unremarkable and commonplace 50-100 years ago. But in recent decades - there has being a fad to try and find meaning in magic.
Read Downs's introduction from The Art of Magic
(good title, that) from a century ago and tell me that he didn't distinguish between artistic and hack magic. The discussion was old then.
Penn and Teller do it best. I have seen most of their work - and very little of it is moving or truly artistic.
Damn, you are jaded. Their Constitution routine is Art with a capital A. The bit where they are handcuffed on a park bench. They have stuff to say, and they say it with magic. If that isn't art, what is?
And art . . . .
You want to be an artist? Tell me a story. You could use magic, a trumpet, ballet, black and white photographs, oily pigments and canvas, a stick drawing picture in the dirt, I don't care. Engage me. Tell me a truth about yourself, and let magic be the vehicle you use to do it. When I see a show, or even a routine, by a really good magician, I've seen more than tricks. Now I know something more about them and the world and me. That's art.