From the thick of a Brazilian forest to the bustling streets of Taiwan, not to mention a lazy spot in the French countryside, here are three videos of extremely talented people spinning objects with their hands. The first is juggler Gustavo Ollitta who is manipulaing sets of striped blades (called buugengs and triple buugengs) that create a dizzying illusion that appears to warp space and time. The next is a recent video from performer Lindzee Poi who demonstrates something called an amelymeloptical illusion (which, Google as I might, I am unable to define exactly what that means, but apparently it’s this, and it’s amazing). Lastly, two young men from Taiwan take the mindless habit of spinning a pen on your hand to an entirely new level. (via The Kid Should See This, DDN Japan, Devour)
Update: An “amelymeloptical illusion” is a play on words. Blending the title of the movie Amélie (the video uses music by Yann Tiersen from the 2001 film) with the French word la méli-mélo which roughly translates to the “mish mash” or “hodgepodge”. Thanks Brigitte and Kevin.
As a person who’s spent more than a few hours at the seat of a potter’s wheel I can attest to the strangely soothing act of doodling around with wet clay sludge (called slip) before or after throwing a pot. As fun as it is, it’s still somewhat surprising to see the act elevated to this level of artistry by Michael GardnerMikhail Sadovnikov who blurs the line between performance and visual art as he creates pattern after pattern on an empty wheel. (via The Awesomer)
Splayed across a giant paper canvas with pieces of charcoal firmly grasped in each hand, Heather Hansen begins a grueling physical routine atop a sizeable paper canvas. Her body contorts into carefully choreographed gestures as her writing implements grate across the floor, the long trails resulting in a permanent recording of her physical movements. Part dance and part performance art, the kinetic drawings are a way for Hansen to merge her love for visual art and dance into a unified artform. The final symmetrical patterns that emerge in each pieces are reminiscent of a Rorschach test, or perhaps cycles found in nature.
At about two minutes in to this ten minute performance by beat boxer Tom Thum my jaw was already hanging open, by about six minutes I had nearly thrown my computer off my lap. The Guardian was absolutely correct when it stated Thum “appears to have swallowed an entire orchestra and several backing singers”. The performance was shot at TEDxSydney last May in the famous Sydney Opera House and was just released online yesterday. Excuse me while I step outside to show this to random people on the street.
The Top Secret Drum Corps is a 25-person drum corps and colorguard group from Basel, Switzerland who display incredible precision and choreography despite being comprised of performers who have separate day jobs. Formed in 1990 the group rose quickly to fame after being the fist non-military, non-British acts to perform at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, which they have now performed at four times (see their 2009 performance). I’m no drum expert but this is some of the best drumming I’ve ever seen. (via laughing squid)
When you first begin watching this clip from Japan’s Kamiwaza 2013 talent show, you’ll notice a fair amount of dramatic lighting, deep breathing, and plenty of showmanship from Swiss performer Mädir Eugster of the Rigolo Swiss Nouveau Cirque. He carefully rests the feather on a small tree branch and then grabs another slightly larger stick and another and another. Fast forward ten minutes and the act miraculously continues, sweat pouring from the top of Eugster’s head down his bare back until a series of 14 enormous sticks zig zags from the performer’s lifted arm like a massive wooden Calder mobile. If you have any doubt of how precarious this might be, wait until the very end when he removes the feather. I’ve also included another video above of Lara Jacobs (Eugster’s daughter!) of Cirque Du Soleil’s Amaluna performing the same act. Pretty amazing.
Earlier this month the 2012 Japan Juggling Festival was held in Tokyo, attracting juggling enthusiasts from around the world for three days of workshops, experimentation, and performance. To give you an idea of what JJF2012 was like participant Darren Wakefield captured some fun video highlights. However one of the most astounding moments was when juggler Yanazo took the stage to perform six minutes of contact juggling, where balls are maneuvered around the juggler’s body rather than being thrown in the air. The video is admittedly a little shaky however that doesn’t make it any less incredible, this is truly one of the best juggling performances I’ve ever seen and it landed Yanazo first place at the championship. (via neatorama)
Jason Eppink was recently invited to the Museum of Arts and Design in New York to speak about his involvement with Improv Everywhere. Instead, he instigated a spontaneous water gun fight between over a hundred participants. The world would be a much better place if this happened at every meeting. Read a quick interview about the incident over on Hyperallergic.