Written Blog

Soft, Hard, and Mixed Transition Theory

Given that Google Wave will be shutting its doors by the end of the year, I wanted to post a document that's long been gestating on it. I wrote up my theory of hard, soft, and mixed transitions in a rough draft form months ago and had shared it with a whole mess of people whose opinion I respect for feedback and clarification.

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Notes from my class on transitions

If you came to my class on hard, soft, and mixed transitions at Fall Wildfire, I promised I'd put a digital copy of the handout on my website and I'm a man of my word. Here is both the outline in math and in practice of what constitutes these transitions as well as the "cheat sheet" that maps out the transitions between common hand path sizes and their accompanying shapes.

Class outline
Cheat sheet

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The great Kenya adventure, Part 5

It's Friday afternoon in Mombasa. I surface in the Indian Ocean just off Nyali Beach, North of the city. The weather could not be more perfect: lazy clouds hang at the edges of the horizon as an unobstructed sun shines down on a seemingly endless corridor of white sandy beach. Three British tourists attempt to learn to windsurf several yards further out to see without much luck. Next to me floats Martin, one of the first street children who started working with Will when he created the Motomoto Circus School.

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The Great Kenya Adventure, Part 4

Saturday morning: last night was a magical mystery tour with Sarakasi and James. Today it's the hamlets kids we're going to teach. Will Ruddick has been on a bus from Mombasa all night and arrives before I wake up in the morning. There is a package waiting for us at the Post Office in town--the last pieces from the United States we need for the program. Already we've gotten a 100 foot roll of 2" wide kevlar, 40 high-quality fishing swivels, and 40 quick links. The hardware goes so fast as we build, so though all the numbers seem high, we're still budgeting appropriately.

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The great Kenya Adventure, Part 3

For just over two weeks we've drilled and run new concepts. We've played with choreo and fine-tuned what we already have. I can teach until I turn blue in the face, but ultimately what will prove the mettle for any performer is a big crowd and all the crazy uncertainty it brings. It can turn shy, introverted wallflowers into dynamic giants or leave outgoing extroverts weeping in embarrassment. Ultimately, you never know entirely who you are as a performer until you hit that stage.

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The great Kenya adventure, Part 2

Every teacher knows their job is not just as simple as telling their students what to do and leaving it at that (or at least, all good teachers do). On one level you have to keep those students who are zipping ahead of the class engaged while making sure that those who just aren't getting it don't get left too far behind.

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The great Kenya adventure, Part 1

Hello, all! I'm writing to you from the wilds of Kenya...well, okay...an apartment on Ngong Road in Nairobi, but I swear the wilds are merely an hour's drive away.

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Vector graphics of poi patterns

As I've played around with my soft and hard transition ideas, I've found it helpful to move around the hand and poi paths of some popular moves in Illustrator and other graphics editing programs, but my technique for doing so has left a lot to be desired. Essentially, I've been putting the proper variables into an online spirograph program (located at http://wordsmith.org/anu/java/spirograph.html and mirrored below), taking a screencapture of the result, and importing it into Illustrator using the livetrace function.

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Vesica Piscis charts

Whoops! I just rewatched my video on vesica piscis soft transitions and realized I'd promised to post the charts I'd used to work through these transitions and never did. Here they are, along with the original video--they depict a series of soft transitions from cateyes to triquetras and vice versa in which the overlap in hand paths between the triquetras resembles the vesica piscis pattern sometimes seen in sacred geometry. Enjoy!

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Hedgehogs vs Foxes in the Flow World

By and large I feel like people in the Flow Arts community fit into one of two categories: those that want to pick up all the props and those that want to get really good at just a few or even one.

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