The finger on the sore spot

 

Ricardo Rodriguez pours his decades of experience as a performer and as a teacher to share reflections on fundamental points of artistic magic: the great masters and the reasons for their importance, the role of theories in magic and the comparison of some with others, the hierarchy of the different components of a magic trick, the genesis, creation and philosophy in magic... Whether you have been ten minutes —it's never too early!— or ten lustrums in magic —it's never too late!—, let Ricardo tell you the things he would have liked to know if he had to start all over again.

Episode 4 · Technical Genesis and Creation in Magic

Ricardo addresses in this episode the technical genesis of magic and the related issue of creation in magic from materialistic rather than idealistic assumptions. Inspiration is not understood as the gift left by the visit of the muses, nor is it accepted that artists create from the unconscious, nor is it assumed that new ideas are somewhere mysteriously accessed by the artist. The magician does not create from nothing. It is something more along the lines that after spending hours on techniques, on understanding the principles, on bringing the magic tricks to the public, confrontations begin to arise and also ways of resolving them that are likely to break with the material from which they start.

00:00 · Intro.
01:06 · Technical genesis of artistic magic.
01:47 · The reflection on the art of magic is always subsequent to the exercise of the operations.
02:30 · Creation in magic from materialistic assumptions.
06:00 · Often there is no intention on the part of the artist to break the material from which he starts.

You can watch it on YouTube (with English subtitles):

ATENCIÓN: estos vídeos de YouTube tienen subtítulos en inglés, pero están grabados en castellano (también puedes traducir esta página web al castellano o de vuelta al inglés usando la pestaña de la parte inferior izquierda).

And listen to it on Spotify:

Episode 3 · Magic and subjectivity

Subjectivity —things like the artist expressing his inner world or following his intuition— seems to have taken on too important a role in the arts these days. In particular, this is beginning to affect magic. Ricardo analyses some of the causes and consequences of this and, after studying the many aspects of the subject, proposes, in defence of the objective elements of works of artistic magic, the restoration of the subjective components that appear in them to their correct hierarchical order.

00:00 · Intro.
00:58 · The discourse of radical subjectivity in which the young magician settles today and its causes.
02:15 · Origins of the idea that subjectivity should be the fundamental axis around which human life should revolve.
02:47 · The moment when the distortion of the objective elements of the work of art in favour of subjectivity takes place.
03:18 · Placing subjectivity as the ontological centre of reality: drawbacks.
04:32 · The magic trick comes from the conscious act of an individual who creates it and interprets it objectively.
05:29 · The philosophical basis for this content is to be found in Gustavo Bueno's Philosophical Materialism.
06:00 · Consequences of the disappearance of all normativity.
07:25 · Subjectivity and the analogy of “the hammock”.
08:07 · The masking of poverty in the artistic result.
11:48 · Representation and exercise.
12:50 · Absence of normativity and impostures.
14:12 · The fact that artistic magic will follow a course identical to that followed by other arts is a myth.
14:54 · The fact that an artist has created great works does not give him the authority to talk about them.
16:20 · When someone accepts that a work has been created from the unconscious, he has been “sold” a rationality disguised as irrationality.
16:48 · The restoration of the subjective components that appear in all magic plays to their correct hierarchical order.

You can watch it on YouTube (with English subtitles):

ATENCIÓN: estos vídeos de YouTube tienen subtítulos en inglés, pero están grabados en castellano (también puedes traducir esta página web al castellano o de vuelta al inglés usando la pestaña de la parte inferior izquierda).

And listen to it on Spotify:

Episode 2 · Apology of Ascanio II: Strong Magic

Ricardo continues to defend Ascanian theory, this time comparing the highly recommended book “Strong Magic” by Darwin Ortiz, which has become very popular, with the work of Arturo de Ascanio. The criticisms noted are examples that illustrate how he believes one should approach reading a book on magic theory (or magic in general).

00:00 · Intro.
00:34 · Why “Strong Magic” is far inferior to “The Magic of Ascanio”.
01:39 · Drawbacks of the absence of systematic criteria to coordinate concepts and Ideas.
02:52 · On argumentative weakness, contradictions and the frequent practice of renaming concepts.
06:56 · Recipes in magic and notes on “clarity” and “anticlimax”.
09:22 · Giving solutions to problems that don't exist and considerations about Darwin Ortiz’s claims about the “Sympathetic Clubs” effect.
13:18 · “Triumph”: Two effects?
16:54 · On the claim that asking a spectator to name a card is a bad idea.
17:52 · The claim that Elmsley’s “Between Your Palms” is a trick that is not good for lay audiences.
18:15 · The gratuitousness of many statements that “Strong Magic” contains.
18:52 · The practice of avoiding giving certain credits.
23:20 · Values of “Strong Magic”.
24:00 · Conclusions on the comparison between “Strong Magic” and “The Magic of Ascanio”.

You can watch it on YouTube (with English subtitles):

ATENCIÓN: estos vídeos de YouTube tienen subtítulos en inglés, pero están grabados en castellano (también puedes traducir esta página web al castellano o de vuelta al inglés usando la pestaña de la parte inferior izquierda).

And listen to it on Spotify:

Episode 1 · Apology of Ascanio

Ricardo talks about the fundamental basis of Arturo de Ascanio’s Structural Conception of Magic for artistic magic and about his interpretation of it and the way in which he understands that theory in magic should be conceived and practiced.

00:00 · Intro.
00:38 · Ascanio’s theory as something that maps the territory of artistic magic.
04:24 · The impertinence of taking theory in magic as a recipe book.
05:08 · Analogy between Ascanian concepts and the generalization of a theorem.
07:12 · A theory that is based on a whole tradition.
08:02 · Perplexity, Jeff McBride and Mystery School.
10:07 · Systematic thinking and eclectic thinking.
10:59 · The concepts of Ascanian theory in dialectical relations.
12:02 · Ascanio’s Structural Conception, a theory that possesses the potential to question itself. Indiscriminate use of In-Transit Actions.
16:45 · Taking the Structural Conception as a basis, the conceptions of greater qualitative value of today were developed.
17:00 · There are theories objectively less powerful than others.

You can watch it on YouTube (with English subtitles):

ATENCIÓN: estos vídeos de YouTube tienen subtítulos en inglés, pero están grabados en castellano (también puedes traducir esta página web al castellano o de vuelta al inglés usando la pestaña de la parte inferior izquierda).

And listen to it on Spotify:

Credits

Original idea and recordings: Ricardo Rodríguez
Editing: Benjamín Cáceres “Benja”
Typography and designs: Carlos Vinuesa
Subtitles in English: Marcos Olivero “Marcus”
Photograph of Ricardo: Christian Zapata
Music: “Rondeña”, composed by Ramón Montoya and performed by Alejandro Hurtado

English