Projects

The Magician's Desk

Mercurial Wrestler

Take a seat at The Magician's Desk and discover the secrets hidden within. Enjoy magic and illusions, triggered as part of an intimate personal experience in this realm of trickery and intrigue. What lies at the back of the…


Sketch of a 19th Century Illusion

Made by

Jay Kerry

Jay Kerry is a trained actor, technician, project manager, performance artist and aerial acrobat.

Working with

Becca Gill

Becca Gill works as an independent director and producer creating multi-disciplinary arts events.

Take a seat at The Magician's Desk and discover the secrets hidden within. Enjoy magic and illusions, triggered as part of an intimate personal experience in this realm of trickery and intrigue. What lies at the back of the drawer?

This project brings back the grandeur of magic and illusion of the 19th and early 20th Century through investigating contemporary digital media technologies and comparing them with the original traditional mechanical and optical techniques. The Magician's Desk reinvents authentic early stage illusions with a magical modern element to produce new, original wonders. Magical feats and stunning illusions form part of this extraordinary performative experiment which creates mystery and intrigue in a modern world where secrets are hard to keep and magic is hard to believe.

The Magician's Desk is the result of the Pervasive Media Studio Artists Residencies, commissioned by Watershed in April/May 2010. Artists Jay and Becca - working together as partnership Mercurial Wrestler - used their residency to achieve a greater understanding of how to incorporate pervasive technologies into their performative practice and developed a set of tools to inform future work. They also worked towards the creation of a new performance piece that draws from experiments undertaken during the residency.

The Magician’s Desk is touring nationally and internationally, with an aim to end at Coney Island New York, where Houdini started his career in 1891. Recently installed at Watershed, Shift Happens and Bristol Old Vic, The Magician’s Desk is available as a sensor driven magical intervention to be installed in any location - The stranger the better!

See a short video of the installation.

About: Jay Kerry / Becca Gill