Nihil impossible est.

Me and David Copperfield, October 30, 2021

Do nonhumans experience wonder – or something akin to it? An assertion: for any given phenomenology, one might design a ‘vanishing act’ based on the nature of the specific sensorium.*

I half-jokingly describe gravity spoofing as “a magic trick for machine gods”, but there is something seriously wonderful about the idea of making a thing disappear in different ways depending on what’s looking at it.

David Copperfield’s huge, private museum of magic on the outskirts of Las Vegas is an open secret. One day, after gravitationally spoofing the disappearance of Michael Heizer’s Double Negative (a piece I should definitely not call Quadruple Negative, or even Double Positive), I hope to get research access to its stacks.

In any case, if I ever do have a chance to speak with Mr. Copperfield again, the first thing I’m going to ask him is what he thinks of F for Fake. I forgot to, somehow.

*A correlate: one might also cause things to ‘magically’ appear. For instance, I want to harness the atmospheric conditions of a Fata Morgana for a general-purpose projection system – and use it to raise an illusory drowned city from the sea (of course, I have a mind to uplift an actual submerged city too, but by a very different mechanism). I also want produce a giant hole in the Earth, but only in certain channels of perception.

In some sense, the world is constantly performing such tricks – obscuring and revealing itself (or, rather, aspects of itself), at all scales, for various phenomenologies. Whether by “world”, I mean as divinely revealed, made sensible by human inquiry, merely – and indifferently – constituent of nature/cosmos, whatever, I’m not sure. Honestly, if you are, I suspect you are also, at least partially, mistaken.

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