The Magic Lantern Society  

New Light on Old Media  

Welcome to Issue 7 of New Light on Old Media

Lichtbende are a theatre company based in Amsterdam. Their work for and with children is a blend of magic lantern projection together with live and mechanical forms of music. They have been working with light and shadow for 15 years now, formerly as Musiscoop and Projectieproject. Their new show Tutu can be seen in early January at Eye in Amsterdam

Find out more about their blend of old and new imagery, their education work and their forthcoming festival tour dates in Estonia, Chile, Croatia and Turkey on the Lichtbende website.

Lichtbende exemplifies a growing trend internationally for this blend of exciting and innovative old and new projection-based theatre work and we will feature more companies in the months ahead.

If you would like to become a member of the Magic Lantern Society and receive our brand new quarterly journal The Magic Lantern you can find out more at the end of this e-letter.  

Mervyn Heard,




  While we're on the subject of innovative projection-performance work, I can personally recommend that of the London based company1927, who are staging their new show Golem at the Young Vic Theatre in London from now until 31st January. This company, who I first saw at the University of Ohio in 2013 carries the whole notion of projecting pictures on people to new and dizzying heights. The process which uses film animation is an extremely difficult technique for actors to master, requiring precise timing and accurate positioning.  Go and see it if you can or failing that you can see a short sequence on the 1927 website


In true fest!


 Karin Bienek, who is best known  as a co-founder of the Illuminago company has recently been touring a two-handed play in Germany, together with the actress Cornelia Niemann , which is based on the concept of two women rehearsing a lantern show at the time of the Great War. This is a highly original idea which explores the old German traditions in the shadow of the prevailing conflict. It features a series of lantern slides produced by the Liesegang factory and other evocative material.

Their tour continues into the new year with the next performances at the 
ars Vitha Kuturforum,
St Vith, Belgium
on 27 & 28 February



More About the
Magic Lantern Society


If you have an interest in research or performance events involving the magic lantern or other forms of vintage visual media The Magic Lantern Society publishes a regular quarterly journal.  Our members also meet on a regular basis in the UK and intermittently at other locations throughout Europe. Every four years we hold a major international convention.

For further information about the Society visit our website:  

We also have a sister organisation The Magic Lantern Society of the US and Canada who may be found at this website:


Digital media


Who'd have thought that flick-books or, if you prefer, flip-books were still capable of offering inspiring new techniques.  How about a flip-book with a secret compartment, for example? These have been created by Japanese publisher Mou Hitotsu no Kenkyujo and make use of negative space to provide a recess for - in the case of a Christmas version - a small bell as part of the sequence of movement,  You can find various sites featuring videos of these highly coloured finger-films, but one of the most entertaining can be found here:  Rocketnews 24.
This link will also lead you indirectly to the work of the Japanese comedian Tekken, whose emotional flick book films and exhibitions have aroused interest over recent years not only in the general public, but even in the Disney corporation, who recently commissioned him to create a short film based on his flipbook style.   You can view the film, together with a little more information on Tekken's growth in popularity on the Anime News Network


Still from Tekken exhibition, Tokyo, 2013

Finally if the whole history of flick/flip books interests you should visit the appropriately named Flipbook site for all things flip-book.


Sights for sore eyes

If you're still suffering from a Christmas or New Year's eve hangover, you might want to give this item a miss.
There are many books available and many images and videos on the internet featuring optical illusions. Most of them are the same old recycled examples you'll have seen many times before.
However, this 2014 retrospective, currently featured on Youtube has been compiled by MashUp Zone and
is refreshingly different in most respects.  I trust you will find it edifying, educational, scientific  and even convince you that the demon drink is the cause and that giving it up should be your primary new year's resolution.  
Cool Optical Illusions Compilation 2014



New Light on Old Media Issue 7, January 2015
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