“Like a Jedi Master.” Gesture Control, Tech Demos, and Magic

Author(s): Rein, Katharina

Analysing tech demos in conjunction with magic, this article interconnects three elements: the gestures of modern performing magicians, wearable gesture control devices for home application, and technoscientific demonstrations. The role of gestures in the first two cases is analysed through two examples: the historical stage illusion “Asrah” by Servais Le Roy, and the wristband remote control device “Reemo”. These serve to examine the relationship between tech demos, gesture command, and magic through analogies and points of intersection. In all three cases, this article argues, the respective effects are emphasized in the demonstration, while the underlying, complex infrastructure and the human labour involved in the production of these are made invisible. This interplay of simulation and dissimulation is at the centre not only of performance magic but

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Preferred Citation
Rein, Katharina: “Like a Jedi Master.” Gesture Control, Tech Demos, and Magic. In: Navigationen - Zeitschrift für Medien- und Kulturwissenschaften, Jg. 23 (2023), Nr. 1, S. 62-75. DOI:
 author = {Rein, Katharina},
 title = {“Like a Jedi Master.” Gesture Control, Tech Demos, and Magic},
 year = 2023,
 doi = "\url{}",
 volume = 23,
 address = {Siegen},
 journal = {Navigationen - Zeitschrift für Medien- und Kulturwissenschaften},
 number = 1,
 pages = {62--75},
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