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Magic & Science

Perceptual engineering and the beguiling finesses within compositions of legerdemain.



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butterfly
butterfly

“Armando Lucero, in addition to personally being my favorite magician, is beyond question the foremost sleight of hand performer and magical thinker in our profession. In 80 years, he is the only magician I have ever seen whose effects look like real magic.” — Johnny Thompson



About

thinker
FULL TIME THINKER by JOZSEF HUNOR VILHELEM. iStock


Perceptual Engineering

I do magic and teach others how to do magic. A perceptual engineer can bamboozle an observer by delivering information covertly for them to perceive what does not exist. Like an infectious distortion of reality, it then germinates without their awareness — influencing their every thought until the mind assumes the unreal while the real (whatever that is) remains hidden.

John Dee


Beginnings

As a performance artist I have had the opportunity to travel the world and appear in various shows: The Illusionists 1903 show, IMAGINE; a Las Vegas show by Dick Foster productions, Cruise Ships, Le Plus Grand Cabaret Du Monde TV show in France, TV shows in Japan and China, several Universities, various theaters and much more. Every performance was an opportunity to experiment so after much education, and proof of concepts, I began teaching and soon noticed that beyond entertainment these tools were valuable for improving self-awareness.

For the past sixteen years, I have had the privilege and honor of sharing what I learned about the mind with people from all walks of life. Magicians of course, but also physicists, artists, doctors, mechanical engineers, psychologists, neuroscientists, teachers, bankers, and businessmen. We discuss theory and composition regarding perceptual engineering as it applies not only to magic but all facets of life. The concepts can seem esoteric, but magic offers a way to immediately experience them. Then you know.


Art & Science

In my search for truth by intuition and reason, I developed a box of metaphorical tools from which I use to compose. These ideas both inspire and guide me to push forward, not only to discover but create. These tools were earned amidst experimentations, experience, and an extensive database of choices. Like music, I have the freedom to go one way or another, but once I choose a path, there is a definite sense of scientific reason to make it the best journey.

I was six when my older brother introduced me to magic. He vanished a marble from one hand, which then reappeared in his other hand. I was astonished and hungry to learn. More than the sleight of hand it was the sleight of mind which intrigued me the most. The concepts of magic can be shown in politics, advertising, public speaking, war, law, and various tactical designs, from architecture to the essential strategies of social media. In fact, social media is now using experts known as attention engineers; who have more in common with a magician than most people would suspect. They even use the same terms. Except with a magician, you know it's a trick; how ironic.

Magic, by way of perceptual engineering, is an excellent tool for doing live interactive experiments that can reveal much about us. Ponder this; some Generals have won wars with less depth of deception than a magician at a birthday party. Many discoveries about the human mind were known, published, and used by magicians long before scientist put labels on them; Change-Blindness, Information Interference, The Paradox of Choice, Heuristics, Primacy-Recency, Proactive and Retroactive Conditioning, etc. etc. Magic is a way of exploring that elusive conundrum of a black box we call the mind by eliciting triggers that yield predictable responses.


Sincerely, Armando Lucero


I recommend the following book: Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. One of the best magic books written though not intentionally. For his work, he was awarded the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (shared with Vernon L. Smith).



The Workshops

More than entertainment, Magic, by way of perceptual engineering, is a mental martial art for critical thinking — an indispensable tool for any academic investigation about the mind. Here below are my credentials. It represents one of many possibilities that can be accomplished using the ideas in these workshops. As you watch, bear in mind that there are only four cards and four coins used.




Essays

The Hungry Imagination Logo

The Hungry Imagination newsletter is a way to share my passion. Each month I write an essay about all things related to perceptual engineering and post it HERE — for free — part art, part science, but for anyone fascinated by the peculiarities of the mind.


Become a supporter and receive essays monthly.
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Workshops



Menu

  1. Metal Quirks
  2. Pasteboard Devices
  3. Coin Menagerie
  4. PD & CM
  5. Paper Cuts
  6. The Annex

In Las Vegas or
by internet.

Go to Las Vegas for a group workshop when one becomes available, or take a one2one iWorkshop by internet now. Each has different advantages. Though nothing can replace experiencing it in person, one2one iWorkshops by internet offer tailored scheduling with time in between to absorb the information, the convenience of home, and the personal guidance given by Armando; so just you and him.

Metal Quirks

Metal Quirks
$500

Metal Quirks is a study of perceptual engineering using just three coins; two silver dollars, and one odd. Metal Quirks is Armando's take on the classic coins across routine. Open by vanishing a coin from spectators hand, then perform phase one with three iterations — interlude with a coin appearing in person's hand, then complete step two with three variations. Finally, present a 1 to 2 and 2 to 1 coin transposition between your hand and the spectator's hand.

Las Vegas workshops for Metal Quirks will soon be scheduled. Please check back later. Or reserve a one2one iWorkshop now.

iWorkshop for Metal Quirks is 5 separate Internet sessions of 60 minutes each delivered in intervals of two days per week until completion. Scheduling of dates, time, and connection-test, are arranged and confirmed after deposit. Hours to choose from are between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM, Las Vegas time.


Blue Queen

Pasteboard Devices
$1400 : reserve with 25%

Pasteboard Devices reveals special sleights along with some tangentially related artifices. Participants have the opportunity to witness Armando demonstrating them within original compositions of legerdemain; Divination Gone, Betwixt Me, Inscrutable Pocket, Empanada, and others. These routines can then be performed as a show or individually. At least three years experience in the use of advance card sleights is recommended.

Las Vegas workshops for Pasteboard Device span two days, from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM each day with a lunch break in between. The workshop is held at https://www.evovegas.com/. Reserve early for cheaper flights and hotels. If you stay at the New Orleans hotel in Las Vegas, then a ride to the workshop will be provided.



iWorkshop for Pasteboard Devices is 6 separate Internet sessions of 60 minutes each delivered in intervals of two days per week until completion. Scheduling of dates, time, and connection-test, are arranged and confirmed after deposit. Hours to choose from are between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM, Las Vegas time.


king of hearts

Coin Menagerie
$3500 : reserve with 25%

Coin Menagerie is a comprehensive study of perceptual engineering with four coins and four cards. Coin Menagerie is considered to be Armando’s quintessential work in magic. While skill is certainly important, the main focus is on theory, composition, and the underlying philosophy. This piece may serve as a template to anchor all important concepts so that long after the workshop is over one can reflect upon them later. Prerequisite: basic knowledge in sleight of hand and more than three years of experience is recommended.

Las Vegas workshops for Coin Menagerie span five days, from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM each day with a lunch break in between. The workshop is held at https://www.evovegas.com/. Reserve early for cheaper flights and hotels. If you stay at the New Orleans hotel in Las Vegas, then a ride to the workshop will be provided. Price is $3500 : reserve now with 25%.



iWorkshop for Coin Menagerie is 16 separate Internet sessions of 60 minutes each delivered in intervals of two days per week until completion. Scheduling of dates, time, and connection-test, are arranged and confirmed after deposit. Hours to choose from are between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM, Las Vegas time.


Blue Queenking of hearts

Both
$4800 : reserve with 25%

Pasteboard Devices reveals special sleights along with some tangentially related artifices. Participants have the opportunity to witness Armando demonstrating them within original compositions of legerdemain; Divination Gone, Betwixt Me, Inscrutable Pocket, Empanada, and others. These routines can then be performed as a show or individually. More than three years of experience is recommended.

Coin Menagerie is a comprehensive study of perceptual engineering with four coins and four cards. Coin Menagerie is considered to be Armando’s quintessential work in magic. While skill is certainly important, the main focus is on theory, composition, and the underlying philosophy. This piece may serve as a template to anchor all important concepts so that long after the workshop is over one can reflect upon them later. More than three years of experience is recommended.

Las Vegas workshops for PD & CM span seven days, from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM each day with a lunch break in between. Two days for PD and five days for CM. The workshop is held at https://www.evovegas.com/. Reserve early for cheaper flights and hotels. If you stay at the New Orleans hotel in Las Vegas, then a ride to the workshop will be provided.



iWorkshop for PD & CM is 22 separate Internet sessions of 60 minutes each delivered in intervals of two days per week until completion. Scheduling of dates, time, and connection-test, are arranged and confirmed after deposit. Hours to choose from are between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM, Las Vegas time.


eye of spades

Paper Cuts
$1400 : reserve with 25%

Paper Cuts is a personalized study of essential card sleights such as double-lifts, false shuffles, shifts, steals, visual changes, switches, palming, etcetera. Begin with basics and progress to the more challenging sleights like double-deals, bottom deals, table-hop pass, or the one handed swivel-change. For the novice and the professional interested in basic to advance card sleights.

Las Vegas workshops for Paper Cuts will soon be scheduled. Please check back later. Or reserve a one2one iWorkshop now.

iWorkshop for Paper Cuts is 6 separate Internet sessions of 60 minutes each delivered in intervals of two days per week until completion. Scheduling of dates, time, and connection-test, are arranged and confirmed after deposit. Hours to choose from are between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM, Las Vegas time.


eye of spades

The Annex
In Las Vegas or by internet.

The Annex is provided to all alumni as an extension course to refine and enhance previous studies. A continued exploration of theory & composition regarding perceptual engineering and the beguiling finesses within compositions of legerdemain. Use it to advance your knowledge and skill, or to simply refresh it. Consider it as the graduate studies program of this humble university, but minus the bureaucratic paper chase.

Just you and Armando on the days you prefer. $1000/day Private one2one workshops in Las Vegas. 11:00 am to 4:00 pm per day with a lunch break in between. Confirm that your dates are available with Armando.


Group Annex in Las Vegas: $2800. PD & CM four day workshops on July 28, 29, 30, & 31 of 2020. Just before Magic Live on August 2-5, 2020. ITINERARY — Get the $400 discount by making a payment in full before the end of December, so by January 1, 2020. Coupon code: JGN66

iWorkshop for The Annex is $255/session; six for $1400. Take one, two, or more separate Internet sessions of 60 minutes each — sessions delivered in intervals of two days per week until completion. Scheduling of dates, time, and connection-test, are arranged and confirmed after deposit. Hours to choose from are between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM, Las Vegas time.

iWorkshop Equipment Requirements
Computer : Mic : Webcam : Internet
A tip about camera exposure
Position your webcam

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What People Say








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Mostly, we are oblivious to the artifices, but we are especially prone when we succumb to our own bias. The beauty of perception is that it always entails self-deception. However, education can help free the mind from locked perspectives. Therefore, this site is devoted to the artistic and scientific exploration of perceptual engineering.


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From a study by Michigan State University; entitled Artistic Scientists and Scientific Artists, Nobel Prize winners were dramatically more likely to be involved in the arts than less accomplished scientists. In particular, those who practiced magic rated 22 times more likely. As the article states, "A scientist was counted as having an artistic or crafty hobby, 'if they described themselves or were described by biographers as being a painter, photographer, actor, performer, composer, poet, dancers, craftsman, glassblower, and so on after entering college; if they took lessons in an art or craft as an adult; or if there was direct evidence of artwork, photographs, sculptures, compositions, poems, performances, and so on." The article also noted how many artist and scientists share common ways of problem-solving.

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The essays traverse many subjects such as psychology, math, business, poetry, military strategy, law, advertising, performance, etcetera. And oh yes, magic included, with one common thread binding them together, perceptual engineering. After more than forty years of research, it is my pleasure to share what I have learned with you.

See Essays at The Hungry Imagination now.


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Personal Guidance: What is often missing in the sharing process is a rite of passage; a continuity of strong impacting experiences that gives us our foundation of who we are. These emotionally-charged life-changing transitions are affirmations that solidify our humanity, our core. When we acquire knowledge and wisdom, the change could be significant. There is a sense of dignity that comes to us when we put forth great effort to earn something. Anyone who has struggled to reach something extraordinary knows this. Learning can be profound. Personal guidance may help make the difference, hence the workshops.

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Explicitly designed for accessibility, Metal Quirks is an introduction into theory and composition for the novice and professional. There are no pre-requisites required since the focus is more about the concepts than the moves. It may also serve as an excellent primer before enrolling in the Coin Menagerie. See review.


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ITINERARY for Pasteboard Devices & Coin Menagerie. The Annex workshops in Las Vegas on July 28, 29, 30, & 31 of 2020. TIME: 11:00 am to 4:00 pm for four days, with a one-hour lunch break in between. If you are staying at the Orleans Casino, then you may join others at the Orleans Java Coffee and share a ride by way of Uber or Lyft. After arriving at EVO wait by the reception, Armando will guide you the rest of the way.

PLACE: EVO Apartments 8760 W Patrick Lane Las Vegas, NV 89148: MAP


https://armandolucero.com/ : (702) 330-5298


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John Dee Performing an Experiment before Queen Elizabeth I.

Painting by Henry Gillard Glindoni. a Public Domain work of Art.


Book: John Dee and the Empire of Angels : Enochian Magick and the Occult Roots of the Modern World by Jason Louv

❝ John Dee is the original Elizabethan mage-scientist, who invented the British Empire and invested it with magical power. He is to Elizabeth what Merlin was to Arthur, except he was real. Here's the original technology of weaponized memes, psyops, and empire building in a gripping, authoritative account of how and why we became an occult society." -- An editorial review of the book above by Douglas Rushkoff, author of Aleister and Adolf and Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus.


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Use a computer, mic, webcam, and internet (5mb upload and download speeds), and you are set to go. Fortunately, modern computers already come fully equipped. However, for better quality, you may prefer to invest in a different webcam, mic, or headset. Find what fits you, but if you are curious, then here is what I use:


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Webcams have auto-exposure, which works fine when the target does not change much. However, bring playing cards into the picture, and the auto-exposure adapts, but the cards look entirely white. Bring your hands in and out of frame, and the exposure changes constantly. It can be annoying. Fortunately, if you use the Brio or any Logitech webcam then Logitech Webcam Software offers exposure control for PC. If you use a Mac as I do, then the following app will be most helpful: Webcam Settings Control


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Position your webcam to capture you and the close-up pad set on the table. If your webcam sits on top of your computer screen, then place it about four to six feet away from you and adjust the height and angle. With a Close-Up Pad between you and the camera, experiment until your face, hands, and mat, can all be seen by the camera. If you are using an external webcam like the Logitech Brio, then you may prefer securing it on a tripod for stability.


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