Strong as an oak

Aug 17, 2010
411
4
The moves themselves are esoteric. But create a real performance out of it and everyone can enjoy it.

This is my issue with cardistry; I have yet to see anything beyond an exhibition of skill, and nothing approaching a real performance with any theatricality, easily appreciable aesthetic value, drama or comedy.
 

Vinnie C.

cardistry moderator / t11
Aug 31, 2007
352
2
Los Angeles, CA
I always thought Flourishing was different from manipulation.
Manipulation is something like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVe7chIgn0w while flourishing is more like showing skill and card juggling without the magic, meaning and structure! of an "old school" manipulation act.
I could be wrong, but that`s how it is shown by the flourishing generation today. Well, most of what I`ve seen. Just go to a magic convention and see how much people are more enjoying card juggling instead of showing something meaningful.
Nothing wrong with that, just not what I enjoy watching. While a good manipulation act is really entertaining to me.

The word "Flourishing" isn't embracive enough - as it implies, simply, flourishes. Little accent moves or complimentary motions to an otherwise non-manipulation effect or performance.

"Card juggling" is just antiquated and silly. If you know the definition of the word "juggle", you'd know how silly it is to call someone doing a fan, an armspread, a charlier, a sybil, etc "juggling" - and spectators would look at you like you were nuts. x)

"Manipulation" is a more embracive term and, as Christopher pointed out, accurately describes any dexterous performance with the hands and an object (or objects).

Additionally, no part of the definition of "flourishing", "manipulation", "cardistry", "XCM" or god knows whatever else includes the words "without meaning and structure". We're having a civil and scholarly discussion on the topic, I'd please ask that no one enters with too much bias and with the intention of insulting or degrading another's art. Please excuse me if I come off testy, but these types of statements irk me in their absoluteness (stating such things, as above, as simple facts, rather than simply an observation or opinion) and ignorance of what is possible in any dexterous medium.

That said, yes, it's the vast majority of what you see in the online sphere. However, it's hardly all that is out there, and is very hardly all that is possible - as has been the subject of this thread for 3+ pages.

This is my issue with cardistry; I have yet to see anything beyond an exhibition of skill, and nothing approaching a real performance with any theatricality, easily appreciable aesthetic value, drama or comedy.

I can't blame you - those types of performances are extremely rare! That said, they exist, and people who work to craft those types of performances exist as well.

For example, right now I'm working with two musicians / singers / magicians / manipulators on crafting a cabaret-style show to pitch to the Magic Castle. The show - and at least my section of it - will be pure manipulation, but theatrically composed, choreographed, musical and comedic.

Best,
Vince
 
The day you put a working cardistry show up at the magic castle that doesn't suck is the day I'll publicly change my position on the art form as being something more than magical masturbation for a bunch of hobbyists.

Please make me a believer!
 

Colin

Elite Member
Jan 25, 2013
152
22
I agree with a lot of the things that have been said in this thread, on both sides of the conversation, but I also think it is important to consider who is posting the video before ripping into them over the common complaints most people have with the bulk of cardistry videos.

I am not defending the quality of these videos but I guess I am defending the new poster that asks what people think. A lot of these videos are made by kids, often with webcams and often by themselves in their bedrooms. Also when you look at the number of posts on the forum or the number of views they have on youtube the numbers tend to be pretty low. The reason I think this is important to take into consideration is, though we may have seen countless faceless card flicking videos set to dubstep there is a good chance that this is one of the first videos some kid has made after spending a considerable amount of time sitting by themselves practicing moves over and over until they get it.

There is a good chance no one has every taught them how to properly frame a shot or improvise a good lighting setup or explained why 45 cuts in a minute and half video is just too choppy. The thing is a lot of these kids are probably quite proud of what they have just done and no doubt give it there best effort with the skills that they have at that moment. So the 'oh great another crappy headless dubstep card video' response always bothers me a bit. They have a least had the courage to put them selves out there (well at least their hands and torso) and asked for feedback even if it is a 'crappy headless dubstep card video'

I don't mean to infer that we should be giving false encouragement but most times even the worst offenders as far as the filming side go are showing some pretty interesting skills with a deck of cards. I think it would be great if there was a sticky thread, and maybe there is in the cardistry forum and I just haven't looked, that people could be pointed to that had examples of well done cardistry videos and tip on how to properly film things. And before someone says there are any well done cardistry videos remember that if you scroll to the very top of the page one of the buttons says - Magic Tricks learn magic tricks and cardistry- the site we are posting on is partially brought to us through the sale of professional cardistry videos so the example are out there.

Some people are never going to be won over by that style of performance and that is fine but if you don't like like what you see you also don't have to respond to the question. Just remember the next time someone says this is my first vid what do you think? that the 'this is my first' part is as important at that stage as the video itself. Hearing I hate these videos and you suck is of course going to cause them to get in a huff, it is a natural reaction especially at the age of many of the card kids.

oh and all the dubstep just kind of makes me feel old but I am pretty sure if I was making these kinds of videos when I was 16 or 17 they would have been done to Future Sound of London or Spacetime Continuum and people twice my age would have found the music annoying.
 
Sep 1, 2007
3,786
15
Some people are never going to be won over by that style of performance and that is fine but if you don't like like what you see you also don't have to respond to the question. Just remember the next time someone says this is my first vid what do you think? that the 'this is my first' part is as important at that stage as the video itself. Hearing I hate these videos and you suck is of course going to cause them to get in a huff, it is a natural reaction especially at the age of many of the card kids.

Never let it be said that I'm an unreasonable man. Here's my attempt to move things up a notch.
 

Vinnie C.

cardistry moderator / t11
Aug 31, 2007
352
2
Los Angeles, CA
The day you put a working cardistry show up at the magic castle that doesn't suck is the day I'll publicly change my position on the art form as being something more than magical masturbation for a bunch of hobbyists.

Please make me a believer!

I'd ordinarily give a heavy dose of the benefit of the doubt to anyone communicating via text, since intent is so hard to get across, but it seems hard to take this any other way. If that's really your point of view, then there's probably very little I or anyone else could do to change it - and frankly I don't have any interest in appealing to anyone with such a stark, arrogant and insulting view of something I and my spectators enjoy.


Great post, and it brings up a very important point!

Never let it be said that I'm an unreasonable man. Here's my attempt to move things up a notch.

Holy crap mate, that's fantastic! Thanks a ton. I'll shoot a few PM's to General Section mods to get that stickied, and I'm also making a sticky thread in the Cardistry section that will link to it.

Best,
Vince
 
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Arrogant!? How dare you sir! I was trying to insinuate that if anyone was going to change the face of cardistry then I would hope it would be you. But if you wish to damn me for my current opinion of this hobby you enjoy, an opinion created not by my efforts mind you but others who carry your banner as well then so be it. Let me be damned! Arrogant my top hat.

No good deed goes unpunished.
 

Vinnie C.

cardistry moderator / t11
Aug 31, 2007
352
2
Los Angeles, CA
Arrogant!? How dare you sir! I was trying to insinuate that if anyone was going to change the face of cardistry then I would hope it would be you. But if you wish to damn me for my current opinion of this hobby you enjoy, an opinion created not by my efforts mind you but others who carry your banner as well then so be it. Let me be damned! Arrogant my top hat.

No good deed goes unpunished.

If that's the honest intent behind your post then that's fine, and I apologize. However, I don't think - regardless of intent - that it needed to be communicated so harshly. We're here to cooperatively raise our respective (and each other's) arts up and help one another. Insults and harsh condemnations of another's hobbies, interests, professions or pastimes does not accomplish this.

This thread already covered many of the issues in modern day manipulation as a standalone art - criticisms like yours do not forward the discussion in any positive way.

Best,
Vince
 
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Harsh yes perhaps, but sometimes people need a wake up call.

Contrary to what you believe I'm all for helping those who want to take this art seriously. I am all in for improving and bettering ourselves and each other.

I'll acknowledge your reply and given that I apparently have nothing constructive to add to this thread I'll back out of it and leave you boys to your own. I'm not the expert here Vince. I know that. I won't waste any more of your time.
 

Vinnie C.

cardistry moderator / t11
Aug 31, 2007
352
2
Los Angeles, CA
Harsh yes perhaps, but sometimes people need a wake up call.

That's my point, though: we're already woken up. We all know the issues this art faces. Constructive discussions on the problems with pure manipulation as an art in its current form have been going on for 4 or so pages - most of which are solution-oriented and leave room for discussion of how to fix these problems, not just "it's magical masturbation for hobbyists".

Contrary to what you believe I'm all for helping those who want to take this art seriously. I am all in for improving and bettering ourselves and each other.

I have no problem believing that - I'm just saying that we should all focus on helping and improvement in all of our engagement here. If you have a problem with the art, offer your observations constructively, or chime in with a solution or two. Just something like that.

I'll acknowledge your reply and given that I apparently have nothing constructive to add to this thread I'll back out of it and leave you boys to your own. I'm not the expert here Vince. I know that. I won't waste any more of your time.

No need to bow out, mate. I just want to keep this conversation as constructive and forward-thinking as possible. Feel free to stick around - the more the merrier!

Best,
Vince
 
It's okay. I'll pass. You've called me out on my shenanigans, which is fair. I'm going to go lick my wounds elsewhere. I'm not one to show disrespect or go roundy with a mod here, and I certainly don't want to start a practice of doing that with you. You've made some solid points and hold a better position in your argument than I. My opinion is jaded, and in light of your presented arguments undefendable. I'll admit that I can be an emotional stubborn ass when I dig in. I'm sorry for any hard feelings. I concede.
 
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Vinnie C.

cardistry moderator / t11
Aug 31, 2007
352
2
Los Angeles, CA
It's okay. I'll pass. You've called me out on my shenanigans, which is fair. I'm going to go lick my wounds elsewhere. I'm not one to show disrespect or go roundy with a mod here, and I certainly don't want to start a practice of doing that with you. You've made some solid points and hold a better position in your argument than I. My opinion is jaded, and in light of your presented arguments undefendable. I'll admit that I can be an emotional stubborn ass when I dig in. I'm sorry for any hard feelings. I concede.

Never any hard feelings, mate. We're all in this together. :) I hope I can help to "de-jade" your opinion with the plans I have for this art going forward.

Best,
Vince
 

Andrei

Elite Member
Sep 2, 2007
439
24
34
Las Vegas
www.youtube.com
This isn't aimed at anyone in particular but I'd love to see the people who have criticized cardistry show me something of theirs that I would be entertained by. I'd love to see the so called "objectively bad" "crotch shot framed" "masturbative" "highly produced videos that lack any emotional value" be replicated to any degree by any of you guys. I suppose you're all successful entertainers that have great show pieces that sell out every night though. Guess what? 99% of sponge-ball routines, cups and balls, and packet tricks are also boring - to me. I don't want to sit through 10 minutes of a made-up story with corny overused jokes that only you and your friends at the castle think are funny. I sound arrogant don't I? I think that's the point. That's how I feel when reading this thread. Just because you don't like it or aren't entertained by it, doesn't mean others share that thought. Nor does it mean that it doesn't have any objective value. Moreover, it's completely unfair to judge cardistry by magic's strengths. It would be like saying "well your cups and balls routine certainly has a good story to it that you probably made up but it totally lacks any sort of serious dedicated skill. Also, you didn't do a backflip at the end of it". Isn't that silly?

Lacking a story or emotional pull (since that seems to be what's "missing"), does not necessarily mean it's undeveloped or "not there". There are many things we watch and enjoy doing (performing, sports, etc.) that do not involve some deeper hidden meaning that teaches us something about life. Not everything has to have that element. If that's what personally entertains you, then that's awesome! That's why you do magic. Magic is amazing at that. I love it for that reason. Good magic is awesome. However, skill entertains me more but I won't judge someone or something else by those standards because they are subjective. It's totally possible to utilize a skill like cardistry (or any other "obscure"/"micro" skill) in a close-up environment or on a huge stage. Don't believe me? Come to Vegas and let's watch a few Cirque Shows together. Then you can tell me what they're missing and why they're bad.

/end rant
 
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Sep 1, 2007
3,786
15
I don't want to sit through 10 minutes of a made-up story with corny overused jokes that only you and your friends think are funny. I sound arrogant don't I?

I'd take that more to heart if I actually did any of that.

Just because you don't like it or aren't entertained by it, doesn't mean others share that thought.

If I don't like something, I'm going to say so. I'm still allowed to do that, am I not?

Nor does it mean that it doesn't have any objective value. Moreover, it's completely unfair to judge cardistry by magic's strengths. It would be like saying "well your cups and balls routine certainly has a good story to it that you probably made up but it totally lacks any sort of serious dedicated skill. Also, you didn't do a backflip at the end of it". Isn't that silly?

Lacking a story or emotional pull (since that seems to be what's "missing"), does not necessarily mean it's undeveloped or "not there". There are many things we watch and enjoy doing (performing, sports, etc.) that do not involve some deeper hidden meaning that teaches us something about life. Not everything has to have that element. If that's what personally entertains you, then that's awesome! That's why you do magic. Magic is amazing at that. I love it for that reason. Good magic is awesome. However, skill entertains me more but I won't judge someone or something else by those standards because they are subjective. Don't believe me? Come to Vegas and let's watch a few Cirque Shows together. Then you can tell me what they're missing and why they're bad.

Pardon the hell out of me for treating manipulation artistry as a legitimate art based in theater. I was under the impression that was a compliment, but apparently I was mistaken.

Andrei, I think what you're missing a lot of us saying is that we're not treating these card videos like pure magic. Hell, I'm not even technically a magician anymore. What we're explaining is that digital video and the performance arts have a long tradition of objective study and theory behind them. Yes, all rules can be broken, but be totally honest with me: how many people do you believe are registered here who are at the level when they intuitively know when to break the rules and achieve an even greater effect in the process? That's not a rhetorical question.

This is still theater. And theater has an order, a structure, a language. If you want to be really good at a skill, eventually you have to stop screwing around and really learn. And if you want to make your work public, you have to accept the fact that there will be people like me, Will, Christopher, Craig et al who don't want you to settle for "good enough." We love the arts and want to encourage people to do better. And sometimes that means getting tough.

You can either look at me and what I'm saying and think, "What an arrogant blowhard who doesn't understand me!" Or you can think, "Challenge accepted."
 

Andrei

Elite Member
Sep 2, 2007
439
24
34
Las Vegas
www.youtube.com
Pardon the hell out of me for treating manipulation artistry as a legitimate art based in theater. I was under the impression that was a compliment, but apparently I was mistaken.

Plenty implied it wasn't. Wasn't directed at you.

Yes, all rules can be broken, but be totally honest with me: how many people do you believe are registered here who are at the level when they intuitively know when to break the rules and achieve an even greater effect in the process? That's not a rhetorical question.

The answer to that question is simple. Not every kid who makes these "pointless videos" has the goal of being the David Copperfield of cardistry. The answer varies from person to person. I'd say in most cases for which the complaints are made against, the goal of the artist/creator/performer is NOT to tell a story or involve some emotion. Most just want to get noticed by their peers for the sake of respect or just for fun. The minority would be to get advice. Nothing wrong with that. Therefore, that would indeed classify judging most of them in accordance with magic's strengths or your own personal goals or set of guidelines. Sure you can dislike them, but don't tell me that harsh criticism without first understanding the goal/intent is warranted. Aside from you (albeit in your signature "tough" style), I haven't seen any above critics reach out to help individuals and understand them. It doesn't make sense if you simply "don't care". If you don't care you wouldn't bother writing pages of grammatical essays. If you did care, you would personally reach out to help. Otherwise... what option is there to go from "I hate cardistry, has no value, it sucks, masturbation at it's best, I'm 40 years old - I know what I'm talking about kids." Seems most of these critiques are coming from people who perhaps feel challenged or upset by not being able to keep up, or unwilling for whatever reason.

I applaud people who "get tough". Jeff McBride has helped kicked me in the butt for the past decade now, and I've encouraged him to do so from the start. He has helped a lot. Amazing Jonathan is another person I have much to be thankful for. However, neither of them have ever told me "you suck, I really don't like what you do, it's objectively speaking - masturbatory antics". If they did however, at least they've got careers, talents and successes to back that up.
 
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Sep 1, 2007
3,786
15
The answer to that question is simple. Not every kid who makes these "masturbatory" videos has the goal of being the David Copperfield of cardistry.

I'm not asking for David Copperfield or Lance Burton or Howard Thurston or Dai Vernon or Max Malini or PT Selbit or whatever other big name you care to dredge up. I'm just asking for something better than 15 Sybil variations in a row set to bad special effects and worse dubstep music. I'm asking for people to do something good and say, "I'm happy with this, but I bet I can do even better next time."

If something is worth doing, it's worth doing well.

The answer varies from person to person. I'd say in most cases for which the complaints are made against, the goal of the artist/creator/performer is NOT to tell a story or involve some emotion. Most just want to get noticed by their peers for the sake of respect or just for fun.

That's still an audience. And every audience is still asking themselves, "What am I looking at and why am I looking at it?" If you can't answer those questions, that's your problem.

I applaud people who "get tough". Jeff McBride has helped kicked me in the butt for the past decade now, and I've encouraged him to do so from the start. He has helped a lot. Amazing Jonathan is another person I have much to be thankful for. However, neither of them have ever told me "you suck, I really don't like what you do, it's objectively speaking - masturbatory antics". If they did however, at least they've got careers, talents and successes to back that up.

Oh for Christ's sake. Who has said those exact words? Who and where? Name names. If you're going to level this accusation, produce proof. Show me one person in this thread who said negative things without either asking to be proven wrong or offering advice on how to fix the problems they observed.

And that last sentence pisses me off because it reminds me so much of the millions of times I've had to hear, "How can you criticize the Transformers movies? I don't see you making blockbusters." As if I somehow need to produce the Lord of the Rings trilogy in order to recognize bad work in other people.

Again, the choice in how you react can be either to blow off everything said here or rise to the occasion. "Screw you," or, "Challenge accepted." If it's the former, put me on the Ignore list. If it's the latter, then I await the video that's going to make me look like a jackass when you give it your A-game and show me up. I welcome it.
 

Andrei

Elite Member
Sep 2, 2007
439
24
34
Las Vegas
www.youtube.com
I'm not asking for David Copperfield or Lance Burton or Howard Thurston or Dai Vernon or Max Malini or PT Selbit or whatever other big name you care to dredge up. I'm just asking for something better than 15 Sybil variations in a row set to bad special effects and worse dubstep music. I'm asking for people to do something good and say, "I'm happy with this, but I bet I can do even better next time."

If something is worth doing, it's worth doing well.



That's still an audience. And every audience is still asking themselves, "What am I looking at and why am I looking at it?" If you can't answer those questions, that's your problem.



Oh for Christ's sake. Who has said those exact words? Who and where? Name names. If you're going to level this accusation, produce proof. Show me one person in this thread who said negative things without either asking to be proven wrong or offering advice on how to fix the problems they observed.

And that last sentence pisses me off because it reminds me so much of the millions of times I've had to hear, "How can you criticize the Transformers movies? I don't see you making blockbusters." As if I somehow need to produce the Lord of the Rings trilogy in order to recognize bad work in other people.

Again, the choice in how you react can be either to blow off everything said here or rise to the occasion. "Screw you," or, "Challenge accepted." If it's the former, put me on the Ignore list. If it's the latter, then I await the video that's going to make me look like a jackass when you give it your A-game and show me up. I welcome it.

The discussion isn't about "video improvement" and "how much better can I get". No one is entitled to "explain" your questions of said intent. I don't understand how that's a problem. The discussion turned to cardistry and it's merits so I adressed it as such. The center of discussion is that cardistry lacks some "emotional value". All I simply said was, there doesn't need to be an emotional element. More or less.

I'm not asking you to do a 4 minute uncut cardistry routine Steerpike. Neither am I asking you to show me a feature film you produced. But if you're going to be a critic, then be credible. Otherwise, why should anyone listen to your golden opinion? But I will say this, being a critic sure is easy.

I'm all for a challenge. I still don't get what that "challenge" is exactly.
 
Aug 17, 2010
411
4
Nor does it mean that it doesn't have any objective value. Moreover, it's completely unfair to judge cardistry by magic's strengths.

I'm not sure that any art really has any objective value... it's highly subjective. Some are moved deeply by opera, some are bored to tears by it. Same for any art, making it subjective.

I don't dislike cardistry because it isn't magic, or doesn't share its strengths. For me, the aesthetic value of it is not quite enough, nor is the performance of it as interesting/involving/entertaining as other performance arts. I'm not sure why exactly, but juggling strikes me as more entertaining. Not sure if it's the scale of it (as juggling can go far above the performer, if that makes it more of a spectacle, whereas cardistry rarely has the hands more than a few inches apart and happens in a relatively small frame), or some other thing.

Lacking a story or emotional pull (since that seems to be what's "missing"), does not necessarily mean it's undeveloped or "not there".

I find most 'story presentations' in magic tedious and counter-productive, but that's for another time. What I find lacking in cardistry is anything theatrical enough to sustain my interest. I would guess that juggling would be the form to look to for how to further develop cardistry. They seem to have far more in common, in that it's also an overt display of skill, manipulating things openly.
 
No Andrei didn't aim that at Steer but it was aimed at me. To which extent pardon me if I'm not the slightly bit defensive over that. Andrei I can't do cardistry. If I had a 10th of your skill maybe I would. But I don't. If I tried to make a video it would be laughably bad.

Andrei you made your name in cardistry so if anyone has the room to talk here it's you. However since you're usually busy with what ever it is tht you're doing it usually goes to the open forums for the rest of us to chime in.

I know good theater and most cardistry videos aren't and we've been over the reasons as to why.

As for my credits: I AM an entertainer. I've paid my dues and I know what makes a good show. I'm not telling people they should listen to me. I am able to draw on my experiences though and define the weaknesses I see and what or why they are so.
 
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