The Magic Lantern Society  

New Light on Old Media  

Welcome to Issue 20 of New Light on Old Media

Lumiere London recently took place from 14-17 January and was the capital's first major festival of light and projection. Similar festivals have already taken place in other parts of this country during the last few years. All have been organised by Artichoke who have been responsible for some of the country's major art happenings including the famous Sultan's Elephant which stalked London back in 2006.  In fact Lumiere London turned out to be so popular that on Saturday night various instillation had to be shut down for crowd safety reasons. Rather than show you something huge and speactacular I thought you might like to see this aquarium in a phone box from French artists Benedetto Bufalino and Benoil Deseille.
There are plenty of other great photos of the Lumiere London event here on the Metro site.
And here are more of Benedetto's - not all light orientated, but nevertheless illusory - wonders.

If you would like to learn more about the Magic Lantern Society and maybe join there is a link at the bottom of this page.


Mervyn Heard, Editor

In which art mirrors life

For centuries trompe l'oeil painting techniques have been used to create the illusion of 3 dimensional reality. The American artist Alexa Meade turns this notion on its head, taking an actual person and converting her or him into an illusory 2 dimensional painting
More transformation effects here on Alexa's website.


That's a Moire


Collectors of optical toys and moving books will no doubt be familiar with the moire effect. This new application of the idea is by Dutch fashion designer Anouk van de Sande. To see her motion garments move, follow this link 
If your eyes can stand more then go direct to her web site here 



The Book of Buchinger


The American magician and M L Society member Ricky Jay has a unique exhibition running at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, on the extraordinary achievements of Matthais Buchinger.  Buchinger was born in the late  17th century. Possessing neither arms or legs he still managed to become an accomplished magician, musician and to produce the most intricate feats of penmanship. The image shown above might seem to simply represent a man in an elaborately coiffured wig. But if you blow it up you'll see that the wig is composed of the entire text of the Lord's Prayer and seven psalms.

Wordplay: Matthias Buchinger’s Inventive Drawings from the Collection of Ricky Jay 
ends on April 11. 
There's more on the exhibition here.

Ricky Jay's new book on Buchinger is also now available from the publisher. Buy it 



Dans l'oeil du zograscope


 Sometimes it takes a little time to catch up with impending and ongoing exhibitions. Luckily this one, which opened at the Paul-Dupuy Museum in Toulouse last October is running until 3 April 2016
Dans l'oeil du zograscope, le 18e siècle à portée de vue is an exhibition of vues d'optique formed from two collections : the Museum's own, which was discovered by chance last year, and that of ML Society members Jean-Pierre and Lorraine Aressy.  Lorraine tells me that various prints and drawings have also been added on the theme of optical boxes and actual artefacts : the zograscope, polyrama panoptique and stereoscope.
There is more general information here and an excellent short film here

Jean-Pierre Aressy

And if you want to keep an eye on new projects from Lorraine and Jean-Pierre go to their site :
Machines du Fantasmagore 


Colour changing cake



Here's a little something miraculous to show the vicar when he come to tea - a colour changing cake.  There has been much discussion on-line about how the effect has been achieved - and indeed whether it was ever really achieved at all - beyond computer imaging.
You can view it in all of its rainbowesque loveliness right here.


Painted lady


Picking up on the theme of painted ladies here is an idea which offers a weird vaudevillian combination of classic character cartoon animation, face-painting and ventriloquism.
Christine Jenkinson is a make-up artist specialising in 'lip-art'.
See more of her gob-smacking work right 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:




New Light on Old Media Issue 20, February 2016
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