May 29, 2021 6:35 PM   Subscribe

“Perspective” by and featuring juggler Taylor Glenn. There’s something kind of hypnotic about the view from above.
posted by charmedimsure (14 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Thanks for that, charmedimsure! Can't help but smile watching that.
posted by storybored at 6:43 PM on May 29, 2021 [2 favorites]

I love how clearly this illustrates the way that juggling depends so much on reducing the degrees of freedom of the balls in motion; it's not that jugglers are magically capable of tracking things moving wildly in three dimensions (though in general jugglers are probably a lot better at that than most untrained mortals) so much as jugglers have managed to develop the muscle control and muscle memory to more or less isolate balls in motion to a one dimensional line, every time, all the time, without even really thinking about it.
posted by cortex at 7:02 PM on May 29, 2021 [9 favorites]

Yeah tracking stuff is way harder than just throwing it so it lands in the right place at the right time.
posted by aubilenon at 7:10 PM on May 29, 2021 [1 favorite]

So cool, especially the part with the blue and white balls in the middle. I don't know anything about juggling, but for a lot of that it ended up feeling exactly like what cortex said, that the balls were just moving back and forth along a single line.

These two were also sweet: Then vs. now, and talking about juggling as a mechanism for coping with depression
posted by Gorgik at 7:21 PM on May 29, 2021 [1 favorite]

This is hella cool and suddenly has me understanding why I can’t juggle. Thanks for posting!
posted by lepus at 7:22 PM on May 29, 2021

The trick is you have to grab the balls at their smallest. But don’t let them get too small, otherwise it’s hard to recover.

Juggled for the first time in many months last week, and I really forgot how much of a full body workout it is.
posted by nat at 8:00 PM on May 29, 2021 [3 favorites]

Okay I got home and watched it finally. The only thing I have to say is I can totally Mills Mess clubs. Most of the other stuff? Nope.
posted by aubilenon at 8:07 PM on May 29, 2021

The arial view was much more interesting than I expected it to be.
posted by tdismukes at 7:50 AM on May 30, 2021

so much as jugglers have managed to develop the muscle control and muscle memory to more or less isolate balls in motion to a one dimensional line

I think that's what separates the good jugglers from the not-so-good. When I juggle three balls it seems every few tosses one goes two feet to my left and I have to reach over and pull it back. I just can't seem to get the consistency down. Maybe, like a lot of things, it comes down to hours and hours of practice, but I've never been great at throwing balls with much accuracy.

One of Taylor 's tutorials was featured on the blue not too long ago. She's a very good juggler and an excellent teacher. I highly recommend checking out her videos if you want to learn to juggle.

Also this is so beautiful I'm really surprised nobody has done it from this perspective before.
posted by bondcliff at 8:58 AM on May 30, 2021 [1 favorite]

I like the part where she moves all the things around.
posted by flabdablet at 8:59 AM on May 30, 2021

Bondcliff, if you’ve ever seen somebody lay flat on their back and juggle over their face by pushing the balls away toward the ceiling, I expect it looks much like this video. That’s a bit above my pay grade as a juggler though!

Practice yes, but a couple years ago I took an evening class at the local circus school and it helped immensely. That much time on my own would never have accomplished as much.
posted by maniabug at 10:00 AM on May 30, 2021

When I juggle three balls it seems every few tosses one goes two feet to my left and I have to reach over and pull it back

Often a throw goes sightly off, you catch it without noticing much of a problem, but now your hand (probably both hands, if you twist your shoulders) is in the wrong position for the next throw, which because you haven't practiced from that position (and your timing is probably off now, so you're rushing) goes wild. If you're not comfortable in a pattern, and used to watching for this, it's easy to miss the initial tiny error that causes the chaos. But I've seen from watching others, and especially from filming myself practicing, that if you look backwards from a big error you can usually see a much smaller error 2-3 throws previously that compounded to cause it.

You can see a few times in this video (mostly in the 5- and 7-ball sections) Taylor catches a ball slightly wide, probably a bit high to give herself a bit of extra time, then carries it back to a neutral position before throwing it as a normal controlled throw. Because she's very good (and her mistakes are very small), you can see her shoulders don't move at all when she reaches out- a wide catch in her left hand doesn't change her right hand's throwing position.

Learning to do this kind of error correction for a given pattern can lead to sudden level-ups in your ability to run the pattern for a long time, as a certain kind of mistake becomes survivable.

Accurate throwing is important, and controlling your planes is part of that, but I think learning error-correction is a bigger deal than most learners realise.
posted by metaBugs at 6:07 AM on June 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

I forgot to say the important bit: this is a really cool video, thanks for posting it! The balls' weird movement from that perspective really is hypnotic.

bondcliff is right, her instructional videos are also great, and she has some fun videos where she curates/recommends other jugglers' videos to check out. It's well worth looking around her channel.
posted by metaBugs at 6:24 AM on June 1, 2021

Just coming back to the motion of the balls from overhead, to say something explicit that may be tickling people's brains in a way they don't normally think about: the reason the motion of balls from overhead looks so weird is that from this perspective they're moving without acceleration along short straight lines. We're so used to conceiving of thrown objects as moving in a curve, a parabolic arc, accelerated constantly downward by gravity, that viewing them from overhead and thereby removing that component of the movement feels eerie. It very precisely fucks with some of our expectations about viewing objects in motion in freefall.

From the moment the ball is released to the moment its caught, it moves, seen from above, like a ball on a smooth surface, or a puck on ice—steady and straight at constant speed, like something sliding, not something falling. We know from context that the balls are flying, and we can tell looking at the change in size of the balls as they move that they're getting closer and then farther away, but a lot of the mental hardware that processes "object flying through space under gravity" is put out of commission in this weird context. It takes a lot more work to perceive and make sense of the imagery.
posted by cortex at 9:45 AM on June 1, 2021 [2 favorites]

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