Vulcan Tech Gospel, or VTG, is a method of codifying and describing all possible spin patterns with all possible combinations of direction timing. Fortunately for the spin world, the people behind this work are some of that dorkiest that the flow world has known.
Quite frankly, VTG makes my head hurt. I an attempt to wrap my mind around this extreme display of dorkdom, I sent Noel Yee a flurry of questions that I hoped would elucidate the subject.
If you find yourself getting wildly confused as you read, hang in there – over the next few months, I’ll be attempting to break these theories down for myself and as I do so, with any luck, I’ll be able to explain much of it clearly.
In the meantime, enjoy the responses of Noel, one of the founding fathers of VTG and perhaps its most prolific missionary. missionaries.
Wolf: Tell me about the process of creating VTG.
Noel: It began with transition theory over 6 years ago and a few conversations with Jordan Campbell
and Greg Maldonado
. I noticed that the timing and direction combinations seemed to bleed into one another, soon a transition theory video
was made… a few years later came the video and the charts. Timing and direction as a concept had been thought about before and beat ratio between flowers had been thought about but I think the transitioning of them together is what all were really after
. People were understanding and using transition theory long before it was discovered and made into a chart.
Thats what makes this gospel, we all work on it and pretty much the same truths and same discussions around differences come up. The hope is that we can all get along to create the solid basis of what the fundamentals of tech really mean.
: I designed from the work of mainly Brian Thompson
, David Cantor
and Lorq Nichols
. There is a last page that predicted the 144 atomic hybrids there on the last page that actually was based on all the work by Maiki Nope
… which turned out to be correct. It focuses on different logical ways to reach the same conclusion using the concept of hand and prop ratios being the same to maintain timing and direction.
: Was created by David “Tankboy” Cantor and myself.
Tank and myself sat downstairs in my space working for months, drawing pictures and generating all the charts… there is a lot in VTG #2 that is really awesome and clear. It probably, aside from transition theory, is my main contribution to the world of poi ever.
It clearly identified all the patterns and transitions between all the patterns in the 3:1 prop to hand ratio… which is basically the same logic as the 1:1. This time of creation was hard as my girlfriend was moving out… not just cause of VTG but I am sure it helped force the choice, where I’d rather work on tech then spend time with my lady.
Wolf: What is your ultimate hope for the future of VTG?
Noel: I don’t really know. I want people to actually understand this stuff. I am not interested in speculating tech as much. This core mantra that is laid out i believe is easy to understand. Through my many years of teaching children I have closed in on this goal more and more for flow and tech.
I also want some level of consensus about it. There are other areas of VTG that are still underway and working to make new things that are neat and furthering our understanding. I.E Lorq Nichols, Pierre Baudin, Cassie McKenney, Kory San and Doo dle.
Wolf: How does VTG apply to other parts of your life?
Noel: As an epic distraction. Also, it helps me realize when there are big changes in life, just like transitioning from one pattern to another, all we need to find is the right hand position for it and the right kind of direction change and soon enough we will be coasting into that new part of our lives or new pattern of living.
Wolf: Have there been any downsides to applying such a scientific lens to art?
Noel: Well it’s a very narrow lens that does not encapsulate the entire world of poi or even touch the amazingness of human existence. It’s a dual prop pedagogy where you swallow a few basic points and you are forced to admit the rest, at least from a logical perspective. You can learn a lot from a little in VTG and your understanding has to grow slowly. I do find it can be stifling if not seen in the right way. Nothing beats finding a pattern and making it your own -sometimes VTG makes people feel like many of the options are exhausted… I never wanted to do that.
Wolf: Describe the change in your spin style since describing transition theory.
Noel: I can intentionally transfer from one pattern to another without changing the aesthetic of my spinning. Its neat. Also, it applies to all props, even your arms when you are not spinning. It is a cool thing that is just a part of how I spin. It was there a little before any of this VTG came around , now its just been thought about a lot more.
Lets take the top left box on page 6.
The top image is a starting prop facings. The bottom three images ( an in some cases four) represent the ending prop facings possible in one quarter rotation of the pattern.
So in the example here we start with props out then move a quarter rotation in together same hands. But the props themselves can end in three ways. Props in, Props out or one in one out.
The images of patterns are that quarter section of pattern projected over the entire circle. the two letters with the slash under them are the prop timings.
On the left column we start with props out then in then one in one out and go to all of the possible positions. And thats 10 unique patterns.
Then there are four columns. This shows in total 40 patterns. It tricky cause one really has to understand the difference between prop and hand timings a little.
Also, this method proves there are 40 patterns ( for others in advanced VTG there are duplicates of spin and antispin hybrids become necessary to talk about transitioning which hands , but its not 100% necessary at the intro level )
Wolf: How do you explain VTG to non spinners?
Noel: It’s a mental way to represent Lissajou
patterns that exist. Its pretty easy and this totally makes sense to most physicists. But they’d prefer to attack these issues algebraically not geometrically. Thats the cool part, for everyone studying VTG – its still fundamentally geometry, always incorporating ratios as the way to understand the things at hand. The concept of a unit is relative….
Wolf: Who inspires you?
Noel: Humble people. People who work tirelessly in this flow world and rarely are recognized… the festival organizers, people who host spin jams week after week, teachers holding classes in their communities. There is so much recognition spent on the talents in our community but I feel the history of people who have thrown down for years is important. The roots of what we do are important, finding ways to include older spinners and finding ways for them to give back and contribute to spinning even if they don’t spin or hang as much anymore.
Noel: Seeing others tirelessly dedicated to this flow thing. Strong men and women who flow but also get stuff done. Cats. Snacks. Hitting myself really hard with a prop.