‘Much of Travis’s thought concerns what he terms ‘the lost symmetry of the blastosphere’ – the primitive precursor of the embryo that is the last structure to preserve perfect symmetry in all planes… in his mind WWIII represents the final self-destruction and imbalance of an asymmetric world. The human organism is an atrocity exhibition at which he is an unwilling spectator’ (J.G Ballard, The Atrocity Exhibition) Imitative magic is the kind of magic whereby like produces like. Every sort of magic operates by contamination and a variety of operations, and imitative magic is no exception. Pieces and parts of the body, names and images of people, they all exert an influence according to the ethnographic doctrine of imitative magic. Perhaps we can see Chris Burden, who, as he had been mistreated by the secretaries at art school, cut their photos up and ate them with his breakfast, as the modern magician in this case. Imitative magic is, if I can utter blasphemy, economic, in the sense of inciting a return. It is expected in the world of economics that there are equivalences. Not necessarily between equal things, but something is exchanged for something, and they are, for a brief period, equivalent, even if they are not equal in value. This is the theory of poetry and magic as well: all are built on equivalences, or what Roman Jakobson would call the principle of equivalence or parallelism. Such poetry is even more in evidence in mathematics, domain of the ultimate equivalence searching engine – two parallel lines: = This lecture performance will invoke several characters whose differing perceptions on the problems of symmetry, equivalence, parallelism and economics and poetry will present a series of responses to the problems that these forms generate.