The Magic Lantern Society  

New Light on Old Media  

Welcome to Issue 4 of New Light on Old Media

Since we are fast approaching the witching season you will notice that this month's e-letter has a particularly phantasmagorical feel about it. The above image shows the company Perforons conjuring up images of what may lie ahead for some of us, at a performance in France, and there is more about their activities below.

BTW - if you'd like to join the UK Magic Lantern Society and receive regular paper newsletters and attend our lively quarterly meetings in the UK, details are at the end of this e-letter. 

Mervyn Heard,



Lorraine and John-Pierre Aressy's company Perforons is based in Toulouse. For a number of years their interest in all things optical and more broadly connected, such as toy theatre and mechanical music, have led them to create a number of interactive public performances and exhibitions in a variety of venues.
Their latest project is linked to an 
Exhibition of Vue d'optique
which is currently taking place in the Chateau de Flaugergues in Montpelier, and has been organised by the library of the University of Montpelier.
There is an accompanying free pdf publication which you can download here : 
Direction des Affairs Cultural Languedoc-Roussallin
A paper version is also available on request.

Perforons were live at the Chateau on 20/21st September and the exhibition runs until 31st October. You can visit the Perforons site 
Machines du Phantasmagore  
for more information on their work past and future.

Coming to a Cemetery Near You


Grave of music teacher Gladys Spencer, City of London Cemetery

There seems to be a bit of a vogue in the UK at the moment for the use of cemeteries as centres of entertainment and lantern shows in particular.
The Travelling Light Magic Lantern Company stage regular performances at the Arnos Vale cemetery in Bristol. Their next show is on 28th November. Last year they performed at Highgate Cemetery in London, where you can catch Professor Heard  this year on December 11th doing his own particular thing.
And if you're a true afficiando of cemetery performance you might like to know that October is officially the
London Month of the Dead
when you can visit some of the oldest and finest graveyard venues in the great acropolis of London (sorry, that should be 'metropolis') and see shows like this one:
Seance in the Catacombs
on 26 October at Brompton Cemetery, together with a free gin cocktail.

More Phantasmagore


The Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University are presenting their Gothic Manchester Festival from 23-26 October 2014. This and many similar delights, will comprise
Gothic Romance and the Phantasmagorical
- 'a fantastic night of talks and wonders'
on the night of the 23rd at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation Centre, when David Jones will be presenting his illuminating presentation on E G Robertson, Prepare to Enter the Phantasmagoria



And if you miss David there you can catch up with him at the 
Bram Stoker International Film Festival
in Whitby on Sunday 26th October when he'll be introducing audiences to Grimani the vampire-lanternist for his mixed-media show.


Oxford Bag



As part of the nationwide Being Human Festival of the Humanities in November the University of Oxford are staging The Shock of the New . The aim is to showcase their vast collection of tens of thousands of unseen lantern slides which have been amassed by the University over the last 120 years.  There will be a linked series of workshops, exhibitions and a Victorian lecture with live music. No further details yet, but there's more overall information on the University of Oxford site.

In the meantime if you are within spitting distance of Oxford you are encouraged to take a look at Discovering Tutankhamun at the Ashmolean, an exhibiton which runs until November 2nd and exploring Howard Carter's discovery in 1923. Many of the photographs featured are based on the rarely seen contemporary lantern images produced by the Harry Burton and housed at the Griffith Institute in Oxford.  The exhibition also highlights the impact of the discovery on the fashion and popular culture of the period.  A catalogue is available from the Ashmolean shop and on October 31st Egyptomania will feature, for Halloween. an Egyptian-themed 1920's style Magic Lantern Show, which will materialise at various times during the evening.


 New Publications


Before the Movies, the long awaited book from America's foremost lantern showman Terry Borton and his wife Debbie is now finally available worldwide.  It traces the story of America's first great screen artist, Joseph Boggs Beale and offers a formidable gallery of original images.
Copies of the book are available from the publisher iup press in the USA or from
Amazon books


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 combined printed quarterly journal and newsletter. 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:


Now you see him...

Recently the Martinka Museum of Magic and Magic Shop in New Jersey reproduced an item from an auction -  a Stanhope bearing the image of escape artist Harry Houdini.  The replica 1910 Stanhope, is currently available in a limited edition of just 225 at around $195 or $375 if you want the deluxe version - that comes with a little box.  A bit pricey - yes - but you should be aware that Houdini memorabilia collectors are mostly crazy. If you can't live without one visit the
Martinka site

Follow Up

You may recall in last month's issue we had an item on anamorphic designs on buildings.
Nick Hiley sent me this amusing follow up story which appeared in the New York Daily News concerning a dispute between 
Apple and the band OK Go

And last but by no means least,
to return to today's lively theme, here is my favourite gravestone


New Light on Old Media Issue 4, September 2014
Copyright © 2014 The Magic Lantern Society, All rights reserved.

The reason you have been sent this e-mail is you are a member of the Magic Lantern Society or have subscribed to this list from the Magic Lantern Society Web Site

Our mailing address is:

If you no longer wish to receive this e-letter click on the unsubscribe link below

unsubscribe from this list | update subscription preferences