Multimedia artist Carl Diehl's Misdirections ("A Serio-Comic Catalogue of Details, Detours, and Derivations from the Life of the Magician, Vaudevillian, & Comedy Emcee Werner 'Dorny' Dornfield") delves into the life of Diehl's grand-uncle Dorny, a popular stage magician in the first half of the 20th century. It's a history that includes Harry Houdini, the Magic Capital of the World, L. Frank Baum's window-dressing trade journal, and the American Museum of Magic.
But Misdirections is full of its own misdirections, a world bigger than the biography it appears to be. It's a think-piece on the concept of magic circles; a series of conversations with historians, performance artists, and magicians; and Diehl's own personal journey through video-art experimentations, noise bands, one-hour photo labs, learning how to learn, and the historic Experimental Television Center.
If this wasn't enough, the chapbook is also supplemented by an online trove of audiovisual content, including interviews, archival images, and original animations by Portland illustrator Bill Boyer. What a ride!
68 pages, half-letter size.