We Don’t Know One Another, but we’re Moved to Do This: Flash Mobs

Posted: December 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

Flash mobs are the (pop-contemporary) phenomena of an organized group which has planned, and performs, a large scale action by members dispersed throughout a seemingly random crowd in a public location.

The flash mob was created by Bill Wasik in 2003 whose first attempt was unsuccessful, but a second try at Macy’s department store (Manhattan, NY) was carried out to perfection. The action was performed by approximately 100 people and revolved around the odd idea of the entire group collaborating on the purchase of a rug.

Two subsequent actions had 200 participants flooding into a Hotel Lobby and clapping for a quarter of a minute, and a wave of people converging in a SoHo shoe shop while acting the part of tourists debarking from a bus.

Wasik stated that the idea of the flash mob was a social experiment which was meant to critique the cultural pressures which resulted in mass movement and conformity.

The year of 2010 saw the explosion of the flash mob, whose performative spectrum includes pillow fights, freeze, pirate fights, finger pointing shoot outs, (and this one ate the Tate!) and air guitar strummings (to name just a few of the actions possible); as well as the more often used song performance or dance choreography.

Here is a typical Flash mob choral group performing for the holiday season in an American shopping mall’s food court.


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