NEAT Review (Issue Two) by Alex Hansford




Issue Two of The Neat Review takes us to New York City. This issue presents a stark contrast with Issue One, and with the opinions shared by our London group. With Asi Wind we discuss magic and art as time-constrained events, and blurring the line between the elements of magic that are seen and unseen by an audience. Tony Chang considers Ken Krenzel’s Mechanical Reverse in the context of performance, a study on examining the movements we make in creating and performing sleight of hand, and discovering a new challenge in magic’s instructional form. In a series of excerpts from her book Elements of Surprise: Our Mental Limits and the Satisfactions of Plot, professor of cognitive science Vera Tobin describes what goes on in our minds when we experience plot twists, and the nature of surprise as it relates to fiction.

Ricky Smith and Benjamin Pratt take us on a walking tour of New York City, as if you had travelled back in time to when Ricky worked at The Conjuring Arts Research Center, to learn of the history of magic in NYC, while Benjamin photographs the tour. Hacker Éireann Leverett chats about lock-picking as a sport, defeating “Anti-tamper” security screws, the parallels between hacking and magic, and the nature of deception, and underground magicians Eric Hu and Tatanka Tan talk about ‘pipe dream’ tricks, and the experience we can offer an audience. Ricky, Eric and Tatanka then share an eclectic mix of card moves.