A magician and illusionist for the 21st century, Marco Tempest blends cutting-edge technology with the flair and showmanship of Houdini.

Why you should listen

Marco Tempest’s imaginative combination of computer-generated imagery, quick-cut video and enthusiastic stage presence has earned him a place in the pantheon of great illusionists. At 22, the Swiss magician won the New York World Cup of Magic, launching him into international prominence. Tempest's award-winning television series “The Virtual Magician” airs in dozens of countries worldwide, while his lively phonecam postings on YouTube, done without post-production and video-editing tricks to astonished people on the street, get millions of views (search on "virtualmagician"). His Vimeo channel showcases his artistic side -- like his recent hypnotic series "levitation," using a high-speed camera. At the MIT Media Lab, Tempest is researching the link between magic and technology as a Director's Fellow.  

Through his art, Tempest creates a highly entertaining way to be entranced by the reality-bending tech magic that surrounds us all every day. Watch more Marco magic courtesy of Scobleizer ... or see Marco profiled on CNN.com's Next List.

He says: "I blend the line between what is incredibly real and what is incredibly not."

Watch a video on the making of his augmented-reality illusion >>

Watch a video on the making of his Nikola Tesla pop-up book >>

What others say

"I don’t know what magic will be like in 50 years, but I suspect that it will look a lot like Marco Tempest." — HSH Princess Stephanie of Monaco

Marco Tempest on the TED Blog
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Live from TED2014

Meet EDI the Robot: Marco Tempest at TED2014

March 20, 2014

Techno-illusionist and veteran speaker Marco Tempest returns to the TED stage with a new friend: EDI (pronounced “Eddie”) the robot. EDI, which stands for Electronic Deceptive Intelligence, is Tempest’s latest techno-aide, a friendly Baxter robot who ponders the difference between artificial and human intelligence. “Robot,” the newly awakened EDI interrupts, was coined in 1921 in […]

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Live from TED2014

Hacked: The speakers in session 8 of TED2014

March 20, 2014

What does a hacked future look like? What will our bodies — and minds — be capable as bioengineering becomes more and more ubiquitous? In Session 8 of TED2014, speakers take on the hacked world of tomorrow. Here are the speakers who appeared in this session. Click below to read a full recap of each […]

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Entertainment

Marco Tempest to work with Baxter the Robot

July 22, 2013

Illusionist Marco Tempest (watch his cyber card trick and his electric take on Nikola Tesla) has a new assistant — Baxter the Robot. The star of this talk from roboticist Rodney Brooks, Baxter is a life-sized robot that has eyes that glance where he is about to move and arms that react to human touch, […]

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Quotes from Marco Tempest

Art is a deception that creates real emotions — a lie that creates a truth. And when you give yourself over to that deception, it becomes magic.
Marco Tempest
TEDGlobal 2011 • 4.7M views Aug 2011
Fascinating, Beautiful
The Chinese general Sun Tzu said that all war was based on deception. Oscar Wilde said the same thing of romance.
Marco Tempest
TEDGlobal 2011 • 4.7M views Aug 2011
Fascinating, Beautiful
About three years ago, I started an exercise in openness and inclusiveness to create new digital tools for magic — tools that could eventually be shared with other artists to start them off further on in the process and to get them into the poetry faster.
Marco Tempest
TEDGlobal 2011 • 854K views Nov 2011
Funny, Ingenious