Matthew Solomon published the essay "Trick automatons as media archaeology: Antonio Diavolo" in Early Popular Visual Culture (18:4). This essay considers the conceptual and historical implications of trick automatons, three-dimensional material simulations of lifelike movement that were both mechanical and performed, for an expanded vision of film and media history.

The essay offers a case study of the trick automaton trapeze artist Antonio Diavolo, a remotely operated marionette masquerading as an autonomous machine created by magician Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin and later purchased with the Théâtre Robert-Houdin by Georges Méliès, who sometimes presented Antonio Diavolo on the same programs as screenings of his films