MARIANO TOMATIS

WONDER INJECTOR

Italian writer and magician
working for a better Rule #34:
«If it exists, there is magic of it.
If not, let’s make it!»

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mariano.tomatis@gmail.com

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 2014 (36)

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WHAT IS SCI FOO?

Science Foo Camp (or “Sci Foo”) is an invitation-only gathering organized by Digital Science, O'Reilly Media, and Google, with support from Nature. The 9th edition of Sci Foo takes place on 8-10 August 2014 at the Googleplex in Mountain View, CA. Lord Martin Rees has defined it as “a sort of mini Woodstock of the Mind”. Participants include researchers, writers, educators, artists, policy makers, investors, and other thought leaders, all doing groundbreaking work in diverse areas of science and technology.

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Magic & Contemporary Art

Becoming Spider-Man? Yes, in London you can

Posted on wednesday 18 june 2014, 51 days before scifoo14 • Written by Mariano Tomatis

…and I suffer from vertigo! I have almost reached the top of the building, but there is something that makes me stick to the wall with safety. No radioactive spider bite: it is the force of gravity. I’m crawling on the floor, where Leandro Erlich has installed the facade of a late 19th century building: the Dalston House. A huge 45 degrees mirror is projecting my image above, where everyone can see me as I climb like Spider-Man.

The installation is in London, Dalston district, and has been commissioned by the Barbican to the Argentinian artist. To build the facade, Erlich was inspired by Victorian architecture of the surrounding buildings, further strengthening the illusion.

Erlich is known for his ability to transform ordinary situation in exceptional experiences through simple but striking illusory mechanisms.

Leandro Erlich, Dalston House (2013)

He quotes Hitchcock, Polanski and Lynch as sources of inspiration for having

used the everyday as a stage for creating a fictional world obtained through the psychological subversion of everyday spaces. (1)

I lose my balance and risk of falling. My friend Ferdinando, meanwhile, is balancing on a door knob.

I capture with the phone two Eastern tourists. I duplicate the photograph and I rotate it. The result seems to come from an engraving by Escher.

Mirrors have become a classic element of Erlich’s poetics. In his “El Living” the viewer does not see his own reflection in a mirror — as it only happens to vampires. The trick involves two specularly furnished rooms, separated by a framed glass. Who walks into a room is the only one not reflected in the false mirror.

Leandro Erlich, El Living (1999)

You may have the same feeling in front of his “Broken Glass”, a typical toilet with a sink, a shelf and what looks like a cracked mirror. Impossible to use it to shave: also in this case, it is just a transparent glass, behind which there is another room. The crack and the presence of two specular toothbrushes on the shelf make the illusion irresistible.

Leandro Erlich, Broken Glass (2005)

I fell in love with Erlich’s work, and I totally share the faith he expresses through his works:

I believe that Art and Science nourish each other. Both disciplines require Creativity to deal with Mystery. (2)

_________________

(1) Emily Gosling, “A surreal, David Lynch-inspired design for Dalston House” in Design Week, 3.6.2013.

(2) Jacopo Crivelli Visconti, “La invención de Leandro”, Catalogue “Fragmentos de una casa”, June 2009.

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The biggest drawing in world

My magic celebration of the TV series Lost

From Turin to Bay Area for the funniest Mesmeric Act ever

Working for a better Rule #34