160mc: Cabinet of Curiosities: Looking back

Five weeks ago we were given the brief of creating a missing person’s profile, to conclude in a presentation involving several types of media. The missing person was to be developed around the idea of each member of our group’s Cabinet of Curiosities. To inspire ideas for our ‘cabinets’ and to explain a bit about the history of collecting our lecturers talked to us about The Pitt River’s Museum. The museum was originally founded to house Augustus Pitt River’s collection of unusual objects from around the world and has grown from 22,000 objects to 500,000 after other travellers and missionaries donated their collections too.

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So we began to put our cabinet ideas together:

  • Adam – beer mats dj-ing
  • Rosie – gig and show tickets
  • Tara – vintage books
  • Alex – concert and band memorabilia
  • Neel – cars and tech
  • Miriam – recipes, love london/new york shirts
  • Sisi – old letters, horses and sausage dogs

We soon noticed that many of our interests seemed to link quite nicely together. Mainly around performance, travel, time and text. The idea of a magician disappearing while doing a magic trick was soon decided upon. But as the idea has been seen before we wanted a new twist on things and to include a few more of our cabinet influences. After some research we started looking into the magic circle, possible links to the occult, time travel and romanian folklore.

Here’s what we came up with.

Vlad Strigoiescu

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  • From the village of Sinaia, Romania
  • Birth date unknown, looks approx. 24
  • Tall, blonde, handsome
  • World famous magician renowned for his disappearing act
  • Has been documented to be sighted from 1827 until the day of his disappearance on 24th June 2016
  • He has links to Maria Moroaica, possibly a magician’s assistant, possibly a power magician herself. Their relationship is unknown
  • Disappeared from the Royal Theatre, Dury Lane, London while performing, with nothing to explain his vanishing but a crown of flowers left in his place
  • Possible links to the occult and supernatural
  • His surname includes the Romanian word for vampire

Although a lot about Vlad is mysterious i still feel we have developed a solid character and i can imagine how he’d behave in most situations.

What would i do differently?

I think if i had the chance to redo this project i would definitely try and speed up the ideas and research time. We spent so long looking at influences and developing the whole idea that we didn’t leave enough time to get everything filmed. i love the levitation footage we shot but as we could only hire out four go pros, on the day, we didn’t quite have enough angles to edit together to make it as smooth as a time slice should look. We also had to scrap a really interesting seance scene we were planning to film.

Technical issues with lighting and screen mirroring slightly spoilt our presentation today but i am still really proud of how well we all worked together as a team and of the multi faceted character we created.

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