Flow Arts: A Journey of Self-Discovery
Years ago, if you asked me what a flow art is, I would give you a very different answer than I would today. EDM festivals can be a very transformative experience. For some people, going to them is a way of life. It’s the closest thing to being in a dream, without having to be asleep. It’s more than watching talented music artists perform live. To me, it’s part of an awakening of your true identity. Festivals helped open my eyes to the beauty that is inherent in humanity, and all forms of life. However, it was flow arts that opened my eyes to the beauty that is inherent in myself.
You are not the job you have, or the income you make. You are not the clothes you wear, or the mistakes you make. In a society polluted by judgment, our true selves are suppressed by labels and expectations. People either lose touch with, or have never even discovered who they really are. I am Kevin, and flow arts opened a door to a new reality with more possibilities than I could ever of dreamed.
Flow arts opened the door, but festivals pushed me through it. The minute you step foot into an EDM festival, you begin the process of discovering just how special you are. Eventually, something magical happens. You come to realize your true purpose – to spend every moment of your life being happy, letting love influence everything you do. It was at a festival when I realized that happiness is our natural state of being, not something you earn. Everyone experiences this realization differently at festivals, but in my case, it was with the help of my great inanimate companion, my LED Orbit that connected me to flow arts.
My metamorphosis began when I received my first GloFX Orbit in the mail. To give you an idea of what I was like, visualize an 18-year old who has never been to a rave or EDM Festival. I had no idea what flow arts were. I had an average life with average problems. I was unsure of my own value and oppressed by my own insecurities. I was unhappy with myself for reasons I didn’t know, and felt trapped in my own body. Nothing I said or did ever felt authentic. The longer this went on, the more I lost sight of who I was.
I was void of expression, drifting in a dark ocean absent of waves and lacking vitality. The first time I turned the lights in my LED Orbit on and started spinning it, something was different. I felt revitalized, empowered, and connected with it. I felt the flow. Orbiting became my favorite thing to do. I finally had a hobby I looked forward to doing every day. My orbit was my paint brush, and the space around me was my canvas. If I had seen someone spinning an orbit just months before, or was told to start orbiting…I would have unknowingly questioned: “What is Orbiting?”.
One thing I noticed about orbits was that they’re extremely fun to spin while listening to music, especially dubstep. I thought this was strange since other toys I’ve played with in the past weren’t enhanced by music. It took almost a year for me to see the significance of this, and what it means to be in the “flow state.”
Finding My Flow
The first time I spun my orbit in public was at a club three years ago. It was my first EDM show and Flux Pavilion was the headliner. I didn’t know what to expect, and feared I would have a hard time fitting in. If I had a list of places I felt comfortable being in, you wouldn’t of found a club or even a festival on it. Not having much of a background knowledge on EDM and raves, I hoped that educating myself on how to dance to EDM would help me blend in easier (desperate, I know).
When that didn’t work I decided that it was time for me to flow. At least now I didn’t have to worry about how my dancing looked because I was too distracted by how pretty the lights were and how much fun I was having spinning my orbit. Maybe dancing isn’t my thing, but flow arts definitely are.
Of course, now I know that flow arts and dance are the same thing, which explains why music compliments them so well.
After about a minute passed of me orbiting, a small crowd formed around me to watch and cheer me on…then something happened. I felt this incredible energy surge throughout my body as if the orbit was charging me with its spin, amplified by the thrill of entertaining people who wouldn’t have even acknowledged my existence if it wasn’t for my orbit. To think that I was able to enhance a person’s experience by simply expressing myself with my orbit is incredible. That night, two things happened that would ultimately change my life and introduce me to the people who I now call my family. The first being that I fell in love with the EDM scene and embraced the values of the rave culture. The second thing was I found a way for me to connect with other people as well as myself, all because of flow arts. This was the start of my journey of self-discovery.
A Distortion of the Truth
During my first year of raving, I wasn’t able to go over 2 weeks without going to an EDM show or festival. I was enchanted by the picture perfect image I perceived them to have. I desired nothing else but to be at a festival surrounded by beautiful people and feel the bass vibrating every molecule of my body. I would still bring my flow toys to use at festivals, but I was more focused on expressing myself through my appearance rather than with my orbit.
I used to my create own custom outfits to wear at festivals because, at the time, I thought that was the best way I could show people that I was unique. I wanted my clothes to be a reflection of my vibrant personality.
As time went, the lust I had for festivals began to fade. I came to the realization that the magic was never in the external environment, it’s comes from inside of you. I thought that if I dressed similar to other ravers, it’d be easier for me to connect with them. But connections only happen when both people reveal their truest part of themselves, and the best way for me show who I really am was through flow.
Once I did this, my experiences at festivals became so much better. My appreciation and love for EDM festivals increased profoundly. Even though I outgrew my infatuation with the EDM craze, I never did outgrow my passion for flowing. Flow – the harmonious sensation of mind, body, and spirit fusing into an explosion of pure, creative energy like a nuclear reaction. I realized that flow arts is all I needed to be happy, and what better place to flow than at a festival full of amazing music and even more amazing people.
Embrace Your Own Originality With Flow Arts
EDM festivals are never about following trends or doing what you think is popular. They are meant to celebrate the uniqueness of everyone and embrace our originality. This has nothing to do with standing out from a crowd. It’s about being genuine and identifying yourself to the person you want to be, not what you think others want. If the main reason you do something is because you think it will make you more visible to everyone around you, then you’re not being true to yourself (ironically, flow arts does make you more visible to everyone around you).
This self-discovery occurred only after I realized my source of happiness is inside of me, and not in the intimate exchanges of smiles, hugs, and kisses. Flow arts connects me with my higher power, and because of this I’ve had the most incredible times of my life at EDM festivals simply by flowing and being myself.
The Power of Flow Arts
Going to a festival now, I dress in comfortable clothes that allow me to move freely with my orbit. I still carry my steampunk-styled Kaleidoscope Goggles with me so I can let people try them on and blow their minds, but its more for their entertainment instead of mine. I’m usually somewhere towards the rear end of a stage because that’s the only area with enough space to dance. Dancing is extremely satisfying now that it’s become synonymous with flowing.
Whenever I’m around other flow artists, I see the same look on their face that’s on mine when I flow. It’s an expression that can only be obtained when your mind escapes the physical world and transcends inwards towards the soul, to a place where space and time don’t exist, where you literally lose yourself and merge with the flow of the universe. Losing yourself in flow is completely real and is one of the best feelings in the world. This is the power of flow arts. This is our escape.
Even watching someone else flow is amazing to do. It’s an amazing feeling because I understand how much passion and dedication it takes. It’s hard to appreciate this when you’re not a flow artist, although it is very possible. It’s easy for people to get lost in the beauty of the lights, especially when they’re looking through a pair of Rave Glasses. But whenever I’m watching a flow artist, I’m not looking at their lights. I’m looking at them, watching them have perfect control over their bodies, allowing them to gracefully manipulate their flow prop and use it as an extension of their own self.
If it wasn’t for flow arts, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Before I discovered flow arts, I was lost in the desert of existence. Now I’m bathing in the oasis of life. You know the saying, “Just because you exist doesn’t mean you’re alive?” It’s very true, and I urge you to think which state of living you are currently in.
If we ever meet each other at a festival, I hope it’s while I’m orbiting. I’ll be able to tell you more about myself in two minutes of flowing then I can tell you in an entire lifetime in words, thanks to flow arts.
Lifetime Orbiter and Flow Artist