David Blaine / Mysterious
SYMMETRY. 180° rotational symmetry. DAVID BLAINE upside down becomes MYSTERIOUS.
INSPIRATION. Created for use on David Blaine’s recent DVD/Video Fearless, a compilation of three of his TV specials that is the best introduction to his work. The lettering appears printed on the DVD itself.
STORY. David Blaine is to magic as Yo-Yo Ma is to classical music or Tiger Woods is to golf — a superb performer who takes a venerable art form and makes it hip again, especially for younger audiences. David’s style takes magic off the stage and onto the street, performing closeup magic for innocent bystanders accosted by an ever-present video camera. Some of the tricks are classics, but his streetwise presentation, with t-shirt and menacing eyes, makes it all new again.
David’s hero is Houdini, who also took magic to the streets, creating major public spectacles such as escaping from a straitjacket while suspended upside down many stories above a public street. On the Fearless DVD you can see one of David’s recent public spectacles — standing inside a block of ice for a couple days. In our increasingly digital society such raw physical stunts have even more impact.
David originally contacted me about a puzzle book he was creating, in the spirit of the classic treasure hunt book Masquerade. I was pleased to pass the job of puzzle creation on to Cliff Johnson, creator of the superb computer story-puzzle game The Fool’s Errand. You can download copies of Cliff’s older games on his site, fools-errand.com. David Blaine’s book Mysterious Stranger will be available Oct 29, 2002, and offers a $100,000 prize to the first person to decypher the clues and find the hidden treasure. His fan site is davidblaine.com.
Although most of this inversion works very well, I had to cheat a bit on the initial D of DAVID, which does not correspond to anything in MYSTERIOUS. On the CD I printed it in a paler color. In this animation I have the letter fade out and in as it shuttles between top and bottom.