The Magic Lantern Society  

New Light on Old Media  

Welcome to Issue 24 of New Light on Old Media

From 18 June until 8 Jan 2017 MOMA New York will be screening a new film Imponderable as part of a multi-sensory instillation by American artist Tony Oursler. Imponderable explores the interventions between technological advancement and occult phenomena over the last two centuries. Presented in a “5-D” cinematic environment it utilizises a contemporary form of Pepper’s ghost and a range of sensory effects inspired by Oursler’s own archive of ephemera relating to stage magic, spirit photography, pseudoscience, telekinesis, and other manifestations of the paranormal.  For further details of the MOMA exhibition go here with much more on Oursler's own site.
The exhibition coincides with Tony Oursler: The Imponderable Archive, on view at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York which runs from 25 June – 30 October 2016.

Mervyn Heard, Editor


The World Turned Upside Down

Abelardo Morrell is seen here next to one of his photographic works at the Beetles and Huxley Gallery in London. The Gallery recently staged an exhibition of his work which not only featured his trademark camera obscura images but some of his other original visual techniques. You can view a short film of the artist talking about these processes alongside some of his exhibited work here.  For more of his strange camera obscura images visit his own site here.

Endangered species

The species in question being 'the cinema projectionist'. Richard Nicholson is a British photographer who has been chronicling the work of this dying breed.
There is an illuminating and wistful article on 'The Projectionists' here, with various images of those facing imminent extinction in their natural habitats.


Starbucks One Shot


Those of you who have ever ordered a takeaway coffee fom Starbucks or some similar establishment purporting to sell coffee, may be familiar with the ploy of writing the expectant customer's name on the cup with a black pen to avoid confusion at the collection point. That's what happened here. Only in this case it's difficult to ascertain whether the beverage was intended for Anne or - when viewed from inside the cup - Julia.
Just one example of an unintentional ambigram.
The invention of intentional ambigrams - words which are so designed as to look the same when read rightside up or upside down or back to front - is usually ascribed to designer John Langdon c. the1970's. Some of his finest ideas, like this image produced for writer Dan Brown's book Angels and Demons, are to be found on his site.


Penny Slot

And finally here is a short film, produced by Israeli animation artist Uri Lotan, which features a small girl trapped in an old penny-slot machine.  This music video was made to accompany new release Ma'agalin by the Tel-Aviv based Jane Bordeaux BandBrilliant, sad, nostalgic, amusing and included here at no extra charge.

Trip Advisor

Suggestion - an ideal summer holiday location for 'New Light' readers.
The Swiss town of Vevey is situated on the north shore of Lake Geneva. A new museum has just opened there dedicated to the life and work of Charlie Chaplin and based in his old villa home and here's the link.  But here you can also visit the excellent Musee Suisse de L'Appariel Photographique and admire an extraordinary collection of cameras, play with optical toys and experience regular lantern performances for children. And there's more. The town also boasts a Museum of Games, a statue of Freddie Mercury and - oh yes- a splendid view of Lake Geneva.

Welcome to the Cinema Museum, Vevey

Invisible Men

Here is artist Carolyn Roper applying camouflage to an old soldier, Frank Simpson. What may seem to be a bit of hanky-panky has a far more serious intention. The aim is to mark the launch of a nationwide campaign,  'Count Them in',  introduced by the British Legion war veteran's association with an aim to ensure that members of the armed forces are recorded in the national census as veterans and not 'invisible men'.  Catch up on Carolyn Roper's commission here.

A Little Light Music

Back in April the European research project A Million Pictures, referred to in past editions of 'New Light' held a workshop at the Museu Del Cinema in Girona.
In a special public presentation the accomplished cellist Björt Rúnarsdöttir
and technology artist Alba G Corral offered a combination of music and projected lantern slide images drawn from the museum's Tomàs Mallol Collection. These were thrown onto the musician who controlled their appearance with foot pedals.   A sequence from A Taste of Nature - can be seen 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.
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New Light on Old Media Issue 24, June 2016
Copyright © 2016 The Magic Lantern Society, All rights reserved.

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