In our feature story this week, we explore the phenomenon of “gloving,” in which folks don white gloves with LED lights and wave them around frantically at raves. It may sound corny but it's become a phenomenon, in part because it looks really cool when you're high. Apparently that's part of the problem, however, as big-time promoters like Insomniac have banned the practice from their raves (including Electric Daisy Carnival and Beyond Wonderland). However, advocates of gloving including Brian Lim — pictured above, and the owner of a gloving retailer called Emazing Lights — insist that it's an art form in itself, and that you don't have to be high to enjoy it.
Don't believe him? Try it out for yourself with the below gloving videos, assuming you're sober. These clips come courtesy of California's top glovers; the final one, from someone called Gummy, has 2.5 million freaking YouTube views.
Munch (team [e] and team [PM])
Last year's IGC champ Munch (a main player in our feature) is a master of the sleight-of-hand technique called conjuring. He uses just one or two lights to create a variety of illusions and misdirection tricks. He also uses color and shadow in ways very few glovers have the skill or creativity to even attempt. And he's smart enough not to take himself or this gloving stuff too seriously — check the move at the 1:24 mark.
Northern California's Julian “JayFunk” Daniels is most famous as a practitioner of a hip-hop-inspired precursor to gloving called finger-tutting — no lights, no gloves, just his hands and arms, forming precise geometric shapes that sometimes look like the arm gestures in ancient Egyptian art — hence the term “tutting,” after King Tut. But once in awhile he likes to light up and show the gloving kids how it's done.
Blitzen (team [e])
Although gloving remains something of a brofest, more and more girls have started to get in on the action. Arguably the best among them is Blitzen, who is justly famous for her whips, a technique that combines a basic move called the finger roll (seen here at about the 1:00 mark) with dramatic, complex arm and hand movements (seen immediately thereafter). She's also a master of a whip-like move known as tunneling, which you can see several variations of here.
Thumper (team LOL)
A lot of novice glovers try to start with the fluid, full-arm movements known as liquid, a close cousin of “waving” in hip-hop dance. At the start of this video, Thumper makes it look easier than it is, which is probably one of the reasons why he won this year's International Gloving Championship. He also incorporates tutting at around the 1:15 mark.
Gummy (team [e] and team [PM])
You might think this kid has the most popular gloving video on YouTube (2.5 million views) mainly because he performs wearing a giant bunny mask. But he's also a glover's glover, able to execute simple moves like finger rolls and digits (where individual fingers move in isolation) with such precision that many other glovers obsessively study his videos.