On Friday we welcome French artist Julien Maire back to Birmingham for Box of Light, three years after he last appeared here as part of Flatpack. On that occasion Julien drove all the way from Berlin and ended up sleeping in his car when he got here, thanks to a mix-up with his apartment. The next day he was in Central Library, magically making printed words appear from his fingers in a performance called Digit. The best audience feedback we had for the show was a woman who approached his desk, stared at what he was doing, and dropped all her shopping in shock. Then at the weekend he presented Demi-Pas, perhaps one of the most ingenious slideshows you're likely to see with a series of slides which contain moving parts and all manner of mysterious gizmos (pictured).
When Capsule asked us to put together a magic lantern-inspired programme for the new Library's Discovery Season, Julien's was the first name on our list. We've long suspected that if he was around a century ago he would be some kind of itinerant illusionist. He has a special knack for bending technology (analogue and digital) to his own ends, and creating spectacular effects that are also thought-provoking. On Friday he presents Open Core, a performance lecture which applies the techniques of live anatomy lectures in the 16th century; but happily to projectors and turntables, rather than to cadavers.
This would be worth the price of admission alone, but it's just one element of a variety show triple-bill which also includes Rod MacLachlan's Physioscope (below) and acclaimed lanternist Professor Heard.