Media Advisory: Magic and Illusions to Headline at Fall Science and Art Cabaret

Release Date: November 21, 2011

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A sleight of hand. A twist of perception. How do magicians and artists deceive the mind to fashion illusions, to bring trickery to life?

That's the theme of The Prestige, a free, public event on Wednesday, Nov. 23, that features a series of conversations with scientists and artists on the underpinnings of deception.

The night begins at 7 p.m. Nov. 23 at Babeville at 341 Delaware Ave. in Buffalo. A cash bar will be open for guests who want to grab a drink.

The Prestige is the latest event in the Science and Art Cabaret series presented by the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences, Hallwalls and the Buffalo Museum of Science. The cabarets take place a few times a year, and each installation brings artists and scientists together to delve into a topic of public interest.

Scheduled presentations include:

--Prestidigitation Demonstration: How Magicians Create Illusion Through Psychological Science. By Bruce Adams, artist, educator, writer, skeptic, former Hallwalls president and former magician.

--Perceptual Illusions: How the Mind's Making Sense Leads to Nonsense. By Peter Q. Pfordresher, a UB associate professor of psychology, whose research interests include the way in which the mind organizes sequences of events in real time during production and perception.

--Photography and Illusion. By Biff Henrich, photographer and co-owner of IMG_INK studios in Buffalo.

In addition, Steve Baczkowski will perform on collaged vinyl and used turntables.

The theme of the Nov. 23 cabaret acknowledges that "wherever there is perception, there is illusion," said UB cosmologist and associate professor of physics Will Kinney, the co-founder and co-planner of the series.

"Our senses are proxies between reality and the interior world of our minds, and our senses don't always tell the truth," he said. "How does a scientist cope with this unavoidable fact of reality? How does an artist exploit it in the creative process? Can you always trust what you see with your own eyes? Why is magic so much fun? Everyone who appreciates a good magic trick, or sometimes wonders how real 'real' is, will enjoy this fresh and entertaining look at our minds, our senses, and our creativity."

Details on The Prestige and past cabarets--which have covered subjects from the physics of long-distance space travel to nanomaterials that create beautiful colors--are available online at

For press arrangements, please contact Charlotte Hsu in the UB Office of University Communications at 645-4655.

Media Contact Information

Charlotte Hsu
News Content Manager
Sciences, Economic Development
Tel: 716-645-4655
Twitter: @UBScience
Pinterest: UB Science