A common scene at electronic music concerts and festivals is eccentric light shows. People have created an art form with that in mind, and it’s growing in popularity at UCF.
This trend is known as “gloving,” and it involves creating intricate patterns with your hands while wearing gloves with LED lights at the fingertips.
Gabriel Mouyal, a senior psychology major, has been gloving for more than four years. Mouyal bought his first pair of gloves while attending Dayglow, which is now called Life in Color. He bought them on the spot and has been gloving ever since, he said.
Gloving is a type of flow art involving interpretive body movement and a light-up prop — in this case, gloves on one’s hands. It is a form of self-expression and interpretation of music. It involves varying hand motions — and tons of batteries — which result in elaborate patterns of light.
“It's kind of like dancing, except with your hands,” Mouyal said.
What makes gloving unique is that it is 3-d, portable and transient. Unlike other forms of art, gloving is something that changes perceptually. Every viewer experiences a light show, or gloving performance, differently. No show is ever identically replicated. Mouyal describes it as creating a “world of light.”
“You’re making these crazy designs and patterns out of a light that people wouldn’t expect to be able to happen,” he said.
Cory Feldman, a junior health services administration major, considers the reactions of viewers part of the art.
“It's really cool when you're gloving for people to see their reactions, because they don't really know what to expect,” Feldman said. “It's a crazy feeling when you can hear the music, but gloving is a way that you can see it, too. It really brings the music to life.”
On the other hand, Mouyal said becoming a glover can lead to what he calls “glover’s syndrome.”
Mouyal is constantly creating shapes and movements with his hands as he listens to music. Feldman says he experiences the same “syndrome.”
“It's a great thing, but a horrible thing,” Mouyal said. “Horrible, because people think you're crazy; great, because it makes you so much better [at gloving]. It makes you practice actively.”
As a child, Mouyal recalls watching an episode of “Samurai Jack” where a cartoon glover performed. He remembers saying, “I could be a part of that later down the road,” even before understanding what he was watching.
Since entering the electronic-dance music scene, Mouyal says that gloving at events became a way for him to meet new people and make friends. People would come up to him and start talking to him at festivals after watching his light shows, he said.
In fact, it’s these reactions that make gloving so worthwhile to Mouyal. His favorite part of gloving: “When I make someone smile. That feeling … it’s so great.”
Want to see more? Check out photos of Mouyal and Feldman with their glowing gloving gear here.