Black Art Illusions

Black Art, in the mind of the average person, is associated with the Black Magic of old, which I discussed in the beginning of the course under the History of Magic. Another aspect of Magic which is associated with Black Art is work done on a dark stage, such as the acts of Paul Kleist and other magicians. In this work, a row of electric lights shines out in the audience's eyes and thus creates even greater darkness on the stage. Suddenly white objects appear and disappear. The secret of the illusion is to expose white objects, which contrast with the darkness. This is accomplished by assistants clothed in black who move about, invisible to the audience, removing black cloths from the white objects and covering them again. Many strange effects can be created in this way.

In discussing Black Art Illusions in this lesson, however, I am not going into the above type, but rather into a semi-black type. This is a special type of illusion in which the color BLACK is used as the illusion principle to cause a person to appear, disappear, or change into someone else. The principle is utilized by having dark spots in the light to gain the illusion. The audience is led to believe that everything is done in the bright light.

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