Share, Listen, Think

Performance Art & Flash Mobs

In Art, Life in Society, Music on December 1, 2011 at 12:38 pm

The Hallelujah Chorus in the Food Court one.  The “Doe, a Deer” one, dancing in the train station.  What is it about these flash mobs that moves us?

I think part of it is a breaking through of the disconnect that we experience in large public spaces, or maybe in life.

Also, it’s a gift.  From the participants to the watchers.  A raw, pure form of art in that way.  Free, meant to give pleasure.  The participants (artists) practice and refine their creation.

The other thing that I can figure out , is that it invites involvement.  Formal boundaries between “artist” and “audience” are blurred if not obliterated.  There’s an implicit invitation to participate.

The watchers are a part of it.

People are free to smile, videotape, cover their mouths in shock, or dance.

Some people run away, too, I think.  Or are confused and leave.

What do you think?

What about the sneaky, surprise element?

The second one of these was a kind of publicity stunt.

Food Court Hallelujah Chorus

Train Station Do Re Mi

Plus there’s the element of the unexpected — both location and activity.

Or are these “smart mobs?”  Which are “mobs” and which are performance art?

What about the disruption of business or normal public activity?

Evidently Germany has outlawed them.

~ HR

By Spike Dolomite

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  1. It’s the gift. The surprise of the gift. It stops the day for a moment. I am sure there are those who become annoyed with the interruption to their mission of the day but they miss the blessing. There is always something that moves me when I hear a chorus of voices singing together. Maybe it is because I am lacking in that area! But it is beauty. The sound of many voices, the unexpected performance of talent sitting/standing around you – to be entertained unexpectedly. To loose the craziness of the world if only for a few minutes, or become a part of it.

    • I thought of something else: it’s also the willingness of people to make a fool of themselves, I think! To be a spectacle for others’ enjoyment. This disarms us.

  2. Check this out! This group got together a number of identical twins. They all dressed the same and performed a “mirror” effect on the NY subway. http://improveverywhere.com/2008/07/06/human-mirror/

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