The Magic Lantern Society  

New Light on Old Media  

Welcome to Issue 21 of New Light on Old Media

This outdoor scene from the Adelaide Fringe Festival, which has been running through February, features a sequence created by South Australian projection artists Illuminart and is displayed each evening on the wall of the South Australian Museum and State Library.  Part of an ongoing celebration of aboriginal art and story-telling, TANGKUINYENDI YABARRA (A Dreaming Light), is the largest ever architectural projection project in South Australia showcasing aboriginal culture. You can discover more about the work of Illuminart here and the background to their current project here.

More information about the Magic Lantern Society and how to join can be found at the bottom of this page.


Mervyn Heard, Editor

Muybridge the Movie

One of the more way-out productions receiving its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah was a short feature film from animator Drew Charles. The Emperor of Time tells the story of Eadweard Muybridge as if experienced through a handheld mutoscope device. It has all the feel of a Western and even stars an 81 year old actor Richard Evans, who was a regular in the 50's TV series Gunsmoke and Bonanza. This is Drew's third project for the Festival. You can see the trailer here. For more information about this idiosyncratic artist you might like to read this article in the Seattle Times.

Enough with the zoetropes already!

It seems that everyone has suddenly become fascinated by zoetropes.  Even major commercial companies have begun to feature 3 dimensional zoetropes in their advertising campaigns.  Stella Artois and Coca Cola  have spent small fortunes on constructing and filming complicated versions of this early Victorian optical toy. Stella Artois has even paid Matt Damon to front their finished glass-terpiece.  But taking the biscuit is a joint enterprise by Airbnb  and TBWA\Singapore, a small corner of which is shown above. This construction is almost 12 metres in circumference with 1,256 moving parts. You can view the completed Airbnb advertisement and, better still, 'Behind the Scenes' footage here at Adnews. And if you're not too giddy afterwards you might like to check out the two other versions for Stella Artois and Coca-Cola Fuze Tea.


A Long View of the River Thames


In 1829 Samuel Leigh published his hand-painted panorama of the River Thames. The panorama was 60 feet long and remarkable, not just for its length, but for the extraordinary detail it contained, even down to the labelling of the residents and buildings occupying the river bank. 
Now, as a result of a lengthy digital conservation project undertaken by John R Inglis and Jill Sanders a book has been published, Panorama of the Thames - A Riverside View of Georgian London,
offering an overview and sectional reprint of the original.   You can see a video showing the restoration of the panorama on their specially dedicated project site here.  And you can buy a copy of this very beautiful book here.



 More About the

Magic Lantern Society

If you have an interest in research or performance involving the magic lantern or other forms of vintage visual media  you might want to consider joining The Magic Lantern Society. We publish a regular quarterly printed journal and meet on a regular basis in the UK and other parts of Europe.
For further information and back issues of this e-letter go to  

You will find our sister organisation The Magic Lantern Society of the US and Canada here:


 Starkers was commisioned for Museums at Night by the Williamson Art Gallery and Museum in Liverpool. A mixture of projection mapping, shadow show and spoken narrative from the statuesque model herself, Pauline, who looks remarkably like Canova's Venus.  Her performance is viewable here

This is one of the latest creations from Davy and Kristin McGuire, whose work we have featured before.  This British couple never fail to come up with new and always elegant presentations. You can take a look at their latest projects here  


Benjamin Pollock and the Juvenile Drama



Benjamin Pollock's Toy Museum  has been in existence in London since 1856.  Originally based in Hoxton, when it was a print shop specialising in Toy Theatre or the 'Juvenile Drama', since the 1960's it has occupied a location in Fitzrovia. Recently I came across an excellent on-line tribute to the Museum from an American visitor, Garrett Epps, a Professor of Law at the University of Baltimore (but don't let that put you off, ha ha).  Since it is now precisely 160 years since Benjamin Pollock opened for business I thought I'd include a link to the article here.  There is also a splendid independent Pollock's toy shop in Covent Garden where you can purchase not only toy theatres but various optical toys and all manner of related gee-gaws.  Go here for a stock check and virtual tour of the shop.


 Cutting Edge Literature


We have an artisan market here in Bath (City of Dreams) and a couple of weeks ago I came across Alexander Korzer Robinson huddled round a steaming hot cardboard cup of coffee.  Alexander turns old books into 3 dimensional works of art (see above). The cut-out images are all taken from whatever the featured book happens to be and are then re-assembled as a dioramic display. I later discovered that this is not all he does with printed books. You can check out more of his work and his international CV  here. 

In a similar vein you may wish to wonder at the extraordinary carved sculptures of Canadian artist Guy Laramée.  Guy uses chainsaws and similarly lethal implements to recreate geological features and ancient sites from broken books.  His latest collection re-creates  aspects of Brazil's serra do corvo branco region. You can discover more here.



New Light on Old Media Issue 21, March 2016
Copyright © 2016 The Magic Lantern Society, All rights reserved.

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