Abstract

The term magic has long been associated with both technology and art. Whether an illusion performed on stage or the search for the supernatural, magic is concerned with changing either reality itself or our perception of it. Each new technology takes on a magical role by increasing humans' power to manipulate the world around them. Similarly, magical practices are often labeled arts, and the manipulation of our perceptions by artists often creates quasi-magical experiences. Four approaches to magic in relation to digital art practice—illusionist, alchemist, necromancer and sorcerer—offer a mode of understanding the manipulation of perceptual reality by artists using digital technologies. The framework will then be applied to five such practitioners—Pascal Dombis, Anne-Sarah Le Meur, Antoine Schmitt, Dmitry Morozov and Zaven Paré—who demonstrate the quest for the unknown and the manipulation of knowledge to create a new reality.

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