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TEDGlobal 2011

Marco Tempest: Augmented reality, techno-magic

July 13, 2011

Using sleight-of-hand techniques and charming storytelling, illusionist Marco Tempest brings a jaunty stick figure to life onstage at TEDGlobal.

Marco Tempest - Techno-illusionist
Marco Tempest is a cyber illusionist, combining magic and technology to produce astonishing illusions. Full bio

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Double-click the English subtitles below to play the video.
So magic is a very introverted field.
00:15
While scientists regularly publish their latest research,
00:19
we magicians do not like to share our methods and secrets.
00:22
That's true even amongst peers.
00:26
But if you look at creative practice as a form of research,
00:28
or art as a form of R&D for humanity,
00:31
then how could a cyber illusionist like myself
00:35
share his research?
00:37
Now my own speciality is combining digital technology and magic.
00:39
And about three years ago,
00:43
I started an exercise
00:45
in openness and inclusiveness
00:47
by reaching out into the open-source software community
00:49
to create new digital tools for magic --
00:53
tools that could eventually be shared with other artists
00:56
to start them off further on in the process
00:59
and to get them to the poetry faster.
01:02
Today, I'd like to show you something which came out of these collaborations.
01:06
It's an augmented reality
01:09
projection tracking and mapping system,
01:11
or a digital storytelling tool.
01:13
Could we bring down the lights please? Thank you.
01:16
So let's give this a try.
01:22
And I'm going to use it
01:27
to give you my take
01:29
on the stuff of life.
01:32
(Applause)
01:37
(Music)
01:39
Terribly sorry. I forgot the floor.
01:48
Wake up.
01:56
Hey.
01:59
Come on.
02:04
(Music)
02:06
Please.
02:24
(Music)
02:26
Come on.
02:42
Ah, sorry about that.
02:44
Forgot this.
02:46
(Music)
02:48
Give it another try.
02:59
Okay.
03:07
He figured out the system.
03:09
(Music)
03:11
(Laughter)
03:18
(Applause)
03:21
(Music)
03:23
Uh oh.
03:32
(Music)
03:34
All right. Let's try this.
03:44
Come on.
03:48
(Music)
03:52
(Laughter)
04:12
(Music)
04:15
Hey.
04:40
(Music)
04:42
You heard her, go ahead.
05:16
(Laughter)
05:18
(Applause)
05:21
Bye-bye.
05:24
(Applause)
05:26

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Marco Tempest - Techno-illusionist
Marco Tempest is a cyber illusionist, combining magic and technology to produce astonishing illusions.

Why you should listen

The Swiss magician began his performing career as a stage magician and manipulator, winning awards and establishing an international reputation. His interest in computer-generated imageryled him to incorporate video and digital technology in his work — and eventually to the development of a new form of contemporary illusion. The expansion of the Internet and social media provided more opportunities for digital illusions and ways of interacting with audiences and creating magically augmented realities. Tempest is a keen advocate of the open source community, working with artists, writers and technologists to create new experiences and research the practical uses of the technology of illusion. He is a Director’s Fellow at the MIT Media Lab.

The original video is available on TED.com
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