I had the pleasure of talking with [3M] Jest after his last featured video dropped. Getting to pick his brain on his super advanced concepts & thought process during his shows was pretty awesome, and needless to say he’s definitely lightyears ahead of the rest of the gloving world when it comes to creative new moves. As one of the most established members of [C]oncept [C]reators, the crew who’s sole focus is creating new and exciting concepts for gloving, Jest has some serious clout in the light show scene. A (GGN) Global Gloving Network Leader for Minneapolis, he’s not only pushed the Art of Gloving forward with his insane style, but also helped grow his local community and has helped spread the love of light shows for years. Here’s what he had to say:
Let’s start with the basics – What is gloving to you?
- My definition of gloving is this: Gloving is a performance art that utilizes LEDs as focal points on the hands, which are then used to create persistence-of-vision illusions *as well as shape-shifting puzzles. These puzzles, when set to music, make the illusion that the visuals are “creating” the sounds.
That’s pretty heavy, how did you come up with that?
- It’s a very complex definition because gloving is a very complex art form. Gloving takes the raw skill and musical nature of dance and combines it with the impressive dexterity and wow factor of sleight-of-hand to create an incredible unique and visually stimulating experience.
So you mention that this stuff is basically a dance of Dexterity, do you think other Dancers feel the same? What do you think people who’ve never seen gloving before think of this complex artform?
- The most common way for people to learn about and pick up gloving is through dancing. We often see dancers cross over from other styles to learn about gloving, particularly dancers involved with electronic music. This makes sense given the nature of gloving, and how it spreads at festivals, Most everyone who attends EDM events are there for the music, and to express themselves to that music by dancing or flowing with props. Gloving falls somewhere in between.
I personally see gloving as more of a sleight-of-hand art than a flow art. I’m not saying that gloving doesn’t require a sense of flow, because it’s very apparent when flow is missing from a glove show. What I mean is that flow arts typically are characterized by manipulation of one or more props within the refined parameter of the object’s shape and dimensions. Solid arguments can be made that the gloves, or the individual lights are the prop that qualifies it as a flow art. However, the truth is that without the understanding of dexterity, how the hand itself moves, as well as how you can move your hands in space, the gloves are just really flashy hand warmers. This is why you’ll often hear more seasoned glovers say that the technology doesn’t matter at all.
You said something about using sleight of hand, what did you mean?
- The definition for sleight of hand, according to google is “manual dexterity, typically in performing tricks.” As in “a nifty bit of sleight of hand got the ashtray into the correct position”
Got it. What does Sleight Of Hand have to do with you and your show?
- Sleight of hand has been a part of my life for years. I had the stereotypical uncle pull a quarter from my ear at age six and I was hooked. At age 12 I was performing in the bustling downtown district of my hometown as a busker. During my teenage years, I learned as much as I could about sleight of hand and other aspects of the magic & performance industry, and took my street show to birthdays, schools and other expected venues for magic. In 2010 I learned about liquid dance through the old “Floasis” network, both on youtube and on their independent Floasis website. I began attempting at that point to merge sleight-of-hand manipulations to the dance art.
So what you’re saying is, you’ve basically been doing this for awhile?
- Exactly. I came up with a dance routine very similar to the manipulation trick shown in the youtube video below, although this video is relatively new compared to when the routine was created (video link is 3 years old, routine is almost 10 years old). This video link is also just the short video of the routine. The final climax involved each finger, covered with colorful caps, liquid dancing to music.
How did you jump from street magic to gloving?
- After a few years of doing “liquid dance conjuring,” I came across gloving and fell in love. I remember seeing it and thinking “That’s what I was trying to do!” in reference to my cap trick. Since then I have doing my best to bring a sense of sleight-of-hand magic to my glove shows, as I believe that to be the true nature of the art.
When I was invited to join the Emazinglights sponsorship program, I set a goal to create an Emazing Featured Video as a platform to showcase the similarities between sleight-of-hand and gloving, using the track that I originally used for the liquid dance conjuring routine.
I’m pleased to say that goal is achieved and that video aired on Emazinglights.com on January 25, 2017.
So besides the cool sleight of hand magic you do, I’m actually seeing a whole lot of new tricks from you, what are some new things you’re working on? And how are you developing your style with all these new moves?
- I’ve been pretty heavily focused on isolation points, “shrinking”, and changing my understanding of the grid. It’s basically all about figuring out your body proportions and how you can move and rotate and isolate given those proportions. A lot of the new tricks i’ve posted lately use a finger-sized grid and are based on a concept we have been calling “clusters.” The basic idea is that using the points that are highlighted by the glove lights themselves, you can create a miniature grid of up to 9 points that can move independently to form clusters, or in groups to form cluster movement patterns. It’s all very new, and hurts my hands and brain. I want to shout out John and Quinn Heeter for their work with the 9 point iso cluster grid, as well as Pilgrim, Cushman, Clum-z, and Pinky for pioneering the cluster concepts. These guys are some of the most dexterous glovers in the game today. Its actually really hard to explain it like this, you can put in a video link can’t you?
Sounds like some really advanced stuff. and the answer is Yes, Yes i can.
So what’s next for Jest then? Both as the Glover and a Community Leader.
- More traveling, both for EDM festivals and for Finger styles competition. I participated in C-Tuts last Dexterity Dance League in California last year. That was a great event and i’m currently planning to attend the next one taking place in Atlanta Georgia. But the biggest thing to look out for in 2017? That yung 2glove.com. Follow that link and sign up for the mailing list for more info.