- Sep 2, 2007
An art, field or subject that ceases to evolve, change and adapt. Once creation and continuation of it stops, it will stagnate and eventually decline. This "creation" and "continuation" manifests as progressive evolution in how individuals engage with the field and how their actions within it are conducted.
If we keep it "same ol' same ol'", we'll have this phenomenon start to pop up, as we already have seen.
I can certainly agree that the rapid expansion has slowed down significantly from a decade ago but that's inevitable with anything. I can't see "creation and continuation" of the art stopping. It will inevitably stop for some but as a whole, I'll have to disagree. The very nature of it's existence is due to constant evolution, progression, expansion, etc. which it's currently doing. Always growing to some degree.
The online scene is absolutely an indication of the health of this field - as those not actively participating online are either no longer engaged in the field or begin to drop off in due time. I only say this based on experience of speaking with a lot of "old school" people since I've come back, and researching where people who were active even 1 or 2 years ago are now.
About growth, however, I'd have to disagree there. Are you saying that the manipulation scene is bigger, more active, and more productive now than it was when Decknique, Handlordz, Dan and Dave and United Cardists were all active?
It's certainly more disjointed. We've always had ups and downs in terms of activity. A lot more people certainly are doing cardistry now than back in those days. Sure, they don't all upload them to decknique. It's all on youtube and various other sources which cumulatively form the larger sum than that of the past. The proof is in the tons of videos that get submitted, it's certainly the reason this thread got my attention. Apparently there is an overwhelming amount of mediocre videos.
I don't think that any art can hit a point where it has grown "as much as it needs to". What if Fine Artists decided that the current methods of painting were enough? What if they thought that 300 years ago? We wouldn't have advanced to our current level. The inherently beautiful quality of any artistic pursuit is that it is evolving, advancing, living and breathing on a continuous basis. That's what makes it creative - people creating it, adding to it, changing it.
Sure it can in the right context. Perhaps I wasn't as clear as I should have been. I meant it's easy to point fingers and say "I keep seeing the same old stuff, the art needs to evolve". However, in order to take that next step "forward", it boils down to personal goals to go out and apply the art. The reason I'm hesitant to say "moving forward" is that moving the art forward is considered a mutual progression. If you were to put on a show tomorrow for several thousand people for the next 20 years, you still wouldn't have moved the art "forward". You'd certainly help it expand and get more people excited about it. However, in order for the art to progress as a whole, the majority of cardists would have to get to your level (or at least attempt it) which is a pretty big commitment. A shift in that direction if you will. Henceforth, what I'm saying is the tools are ultimately there, it's up to us to figure out how to apply and use them at this point. I never stated nor implied "it's good enough now guys, let's stop progression now and forever, let's keep it same ol' same ol''. I did say "for all intensive purposes" it's evolved as far as it needs to get to that next step - whatever that may mean for you personally. Definitely comes down to what you think the next step might be. Perhaps that's where we disagree and that's a good thing, going in opposite directions can only lead to expansion.
Of course it's personal - but that doesn't change the fact that more people holding themselves to that standard would improve the art as a whole. It'd make the videos quite a bit more interesting to watch.
Also bear in mind that this is a gradient thing - it's not "either this video looks like a $100 million production, or it looks like my uncle filmed it with a cucumber". There are plenty of ways to make large and small improvements to the way you (the general "you") present your art and the media that you produce. Any improvement is always awesome, it doesn't have to be massive.
I'd love to see more people hold themselves to higher standards, in cardistry and life in general. However, current standards or lack thereof do not indicate stagnation or lack of progression. More people making pretty videos that look high budget is not my definition of moving the art forward. Why? Because our presentation abilities through the medium of cinematography and video production has nothing to do with the art of manipulating cards, nor it's progression or evolution. Unless you want to be the Marco Tempest of cardistry and base your show around that - for which I have never seen any attempts at. Improvements to our personal productions are certainly welcome and encouraged though.
I discussed this above, but I want to mention again that I feel it is very limiting to think that the art, in its current state, is as good as it's going to get, as "moved forward" as it needs to be, etc. There is so much more that can be done with it.
Correct. So much more that can be done. Up to cardists with those goals to apply themselves and the art. Never stated nor implied "let's stop progression here guys". Addresed above.
Granting that juggling is inherently less variable (in the number of unique individual motions possible) than card handling, it is also something that the average layperson is used to and can understand - and thus can enjoy it all the more. Card manipulation has not reached that point. But, with the ideas we've been discussing in this thread, it could.
Give it more credit. Skill based crafts are enjoyable and understood because they are all easily relatable. You don't need to watch a breakdancer present himself with some emotional story, you've already tried dancing and miserably failed. It's the same with a gymnast. It's the same with a cardist. Everyone has a deck of cards at home. Everyone has seen a bridge shuffle and has tried to build a house of cards and failed. It's precisely why cardistry has that strength in being able to be appreciated for face value without the need of any "emotional" presentations or patters. Magic cannot at a fundamental level. No one can relate to a magician without a story. Magic is inherently perfect, and no one is perfect. Hence why magicians need to create stories and characters with flaws, so they can be relatable and likeable. That's why magicians have been and forever will be telling me that I need a story and some character development. Don't think like a magician. You're not trying to be one.
Certainly good to draw inspirations from magic, but it's not the only route to "progression". Yes, don't stop there.
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