Learning Magic

Brian Rappert, University of Exeter

This project considers the possibilities for action associated with concealment, revelation, and deception through examining how they figure into entertainment magic. Through a self-study of skills acquisition, this project addresses questions such as: What skills and knowledge are required for dissimulation? What is concealed and revealed about the practice of magic through varied kinds of instruction? How do professionals define what should and should not be disclosed about their craft?


My most recent work, The Magic Of Social Lifeinvolves a series of of magic shows for the general public. In these sessions, I use the play of secrecy, disclosure and deception in magic to discuss the role of secrecy, disclosure and deception in art, science, war and everyday life. The Magic of Social Life employs magic as a way of illustrating theories and concepts in the social sciences as well as using those theories and concepts as way of appreciating magic as a form of social interaction.


Listen to Brian further discuss the details of his research on secrecy and magic here in SPIN’s featured podcast episode. Learn more about his recent work, The Magic of Social Life, and discover the wonder and excitement of Brian’s magic here.