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Author Topic: Flash mobbing
Doug
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posted 08 August 2003 07:02 PM      Profile for Doug   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This sounds like a lot of fun.

A bunch of people seemingly at random (but not really) show up somewhere, do something strange and then leave.


From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 09 August 2003 09:59 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I finally found this thread again! I've still got the news story but I had closed the browser that had this thread in it.

This seems SO NEAT.

I'd be tempted to put text messaging on my phone just for something like this, but text messaging doesn't appear to be very popular in Canada, and I don't really know anyone else who uses a cell phone as their main telephone the way I do. Besides it's $5 a month, and, well, $5 is $5.

I love this quote at the end of the article:

quote:
On Saturday, a flash mob collected near the American Embassy in Berlin, and far from deriding Iraqi policies or some other momentous topic, they wore silly hats, waved flags and popped Champagne. "Here's to Natasha!" they toasted, before vanishing.

Tobias von Schönebeck, a tour guide, shook his head when he heard about how the phenomenon was traced back to Macy's. "This is just the sort of thing that happens when you forbid New York to smoke."


Hee hee hee.

Seriously though, this sounds like a lot of fun! Has anyone heard of anything like that happening in Canada anywhere? How would you go about getting on a notification list?


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
rob.leblanc
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posted 09 August 2003 06:19 PM      Profile for rob.leblanc     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That sounds like a lot of fun! We should organize one here in Toronto. I would seriously love to do that. heehee.....
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Performance Anxiety
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posted 09 August 2003 07:03 PM      Profile for Performance Anxiety        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Why not mix the Flash Mob with Invisible Theatre and make it more political?

See this article from the Optative Theatrical Laboratories for more details:

Invisible Theatre in Code Orange NYC


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Performance Anxiety
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posted 09 August 2003 07:13 PM      Profile for Performance Anxiety        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Here's a Flash Mob Sitethat has a lot of traffic & updates. Happy Mobbing...


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Performance Anxiety
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posted 09 August 2003 07:14 PM      Profile for Performance Anxiety        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Flash Mob Credo

Rules for a Healthy Flash Mob
A flash mob event is supposed to be quirky, whimsical, and motivated totally by a desire to produce the sort of fun that comes from engaging others into a sort of surreal moment of wonderment. It is an event that is supposed to leave the participants as well as the observers with smiles on thier faces; flash mobbing is supposed to be fun for all involved.

To live up to and foster this type of spirit, I encourage all interested individuals to help forge a "Flash Mob Credo" in the below comment section.

Once enough comments have been posted I will set up a seperate page to enumerate the "Flash Mob Credo".



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Doug
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Babbler # 44

posted 09 August 2003 08:11 PM      Profile for Doug   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm so sorry - I never would have started this thread if I thought Optative Theatre was going to be mentioned.

Anyway, it looks like there is supposed to be a flash mob in Toronto next Saturday. One is apparently supposed to look for a man in a skirt at noon in Nathan Phillips Square for further instructions.

See here


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Willowdale Wizard
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posted 09 August 2003 08:19 PM      Profile for Willowdale Wizard   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
A flash mob event is supposed to be quirky, whimsical, and motivated totally by a desire to produce the sort of fun that comes from engaging others into a sort of surreal moment of wonderment

if it's so spontaneous and so new, why is it already so defined?


From: england (hometown of toronto) | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 09 August 2003 08:23 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Good point.

I think it's neat. And I think it would be a shame for it to turn into a big political statement or something. Why not just leave it at silliness? We don't have enough silliness in our lives, you know?


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Performance Anxiety
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posted 09 August 2003 10:52 PM      Profile for Performance Anxiety        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Here's an excellent article on flash mobbing & swarming. I must say, I am tickled by this new phenomenon, and have already seen a surge in interest by theatrical activists and activist theatricians!

Yes, flash mobs can be quirky and apolitical, but could also be used politically. Lets see if we can get some good ideas out on this board!


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Performance Anxiety
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posted 09 August 2003 11:00 PM      Profile for Performance Anxiety        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This from cheesebikini.com:

quote:
Last night's New York and Toronto flash mobs both targeted outlets of the same giant multinational toy store chain. That's an ugly coincidence.

Organizers: consider steering clear of the large corporate retail stores; these places get enough business as it is. Participants: remember that a corporation could easily create fake flash mobs designed to spur more business to its retail outlets. Don't be a sheep! Consider the consequences before following any flash mob instructions. Avoid purchases during, after, or on the way to a flash mob.

Meanwhile in Germany, folks are still going absolutely nuts over flash mobs. Over at twoday.net there are flash mob groups assigned to dozens and dozens of German cities and towns, and people are joking about a fictional flash mob in Iraq.

Still, no mob organizers have taken this to the next level. The sarcastic creativity behind the Antimob Project might spark some ideas:

While the Mob Project seeks to materialize a mob of people at a place for a brief period of time, the Antimob Project seeks to create the opposite effect. In a given 10 minute period with the participation of everyone in the world, we will create a ghost town atmosphere in a famous public space… If we can get everyone in the world to participate in our non events, we can produce some dramatic results.

"Tom" seems more organized in his flash mob backlash; he wants to hack the events. Who knows what he's cooking up at flashhack.blogspot.com, but it smells good from here.

The folks at flashmob.com are working to build what sounds like a group of open-source community-based Web tools designed to power evolving flash mobs. They've opened the flashmob-dev mailing list to serve as a discussion forum for people developing flash mob related applications.


It is quite amazing the idea that corporations might begin creating their own flash mobs to generate product interest: "remember that a corporation could easily create fake flash mobs designed to spur more business to its retail outlets." This is consistent with the idea of "Stealth Marketing" in King's essay as a co-opted Invisible Theatre.

Ahhhh...the games we play....


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Performance Anxiety
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posted 09 August 2003 11:03 PM      Profile for Performance Anxiety        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What about this corporate prediction?

quote:
Future History Of Flash Mobbing

Flash Mobbing Time Line
How Flash Mobbing went from an abursdist passtime to a hit Broadway musical in 12 short months

May 2003
Flash Mobbing begins in New York City.

July 2003
Mobbing makes its way to large cities around the world.

August 2003
Mob Mania! It seems the whole world is mobbing by the end of August.

September 2003
Street vendors begin showing up at Flash Mob events, selling only food and refreshments at first. Then the bead vendors come, followed close upon by t-shirt vendors whose products proclaim "My parents were mobbed and all I got was this lousy t-shirt!"

Retailers begin to understand the implications of mobbing, and announce Flash Mob Friendly policies at all outlets. Meanwhile, Homeland Security agents compile dossiers on known mobbers.

Mob Wars! Aesthetic differences splinter the mob world into factions of Absurdists, Goofyites, and Pranksters.

October 2003
Drunken mobs take over Downtown Dallas...oh, nevermind, that's just Texas-OU Weekend.

November 2003
Sponsored Mobbing. Manufacturers sponsor huge Mob-Ins, where large mobs are featured wearing, using, or otherwise displaying their products, usually with prominent labels bearing the manufacturer's name. Oh wait...that's called a mall, sorry.

A rap group comes out with a song with the lyrics,

Well, they'll mob ya when you trying to be so good,
They'll mob ya just a-like they said they would.
They'll mob ya when you tryin' to go home.
Then they'll mob ya when you there all alone.
But I would not feel so all athrob,
Everybody must get mobbed.
Etc.


December 2003
Commercial Mobbing. Advertising agency stages a fake mobbing in an ad for Coca Cola. Oh wait...I think that's been done already.

It's a Mob, Mob, Mob, Mob, Mob World, and Mob Rule! magazines debut with ads for hundreds of items of mob paraphernalia, including those goofy plastic glasses with the big nose, bushy eyebrows, and moustache.

January 2004
Mobbing: The Movie. Two independent filmaker brothers make a movie about flash mobbing, where two nerdy mobbing addicts meet, find love, and save the US from slavery at the hands of rogue Homeland Security agents who propose to make a mob event in Seattle look like a terrorist plot in order to justify taking control of the US government. The "nerdy" leads are played by Jessica Biel and Orlando Bloom in glasses.

February 2004
Disney Mobbing. Disney makes a mobbing movie in which Hilary Duff goes to Paris to make a hit video, then meets a gorgeous Parisian boy at a flash mob event under the Eiffel Tower. He's hopelessly smitten, and so is she, but he's homeless, feels intimidated by her fame and stature, and disappears at midnight after their glorious day together. She braves the horrors of the Parisian underworld to find him, and then during a wild chase scene involving an MV Agusta, a Bateau Mouche, a Smart Cabrio Brabus, and a fish market, they discover he's actually Louis XXIV, rightful heir to the throne of France.


March 2004
MTV Mobbing. MTV sponsors the hugest flash mob event ever in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. They call it Spring Br...oh, wait...

Comediality Mobbing. Comedy Central starts a new show, Jumpin' Jack Mob, featuring such antics as mobs of people dressed up in bunny suits pretending to pee on fire hydrants. Each show ends with mobs of young women jumping on trampol...no, wait, I'm thinking of something else.

Jackass Mobbing. Flash Mobbing takes an ugly turn, as mobs of fans of the TV show Jackass commit unspeakable horrors while bystanders look on with guilty pleasure.


April 2004
The Death of Mobbing. Christopher Guest makes a mobckumentary, A Mighty Mob, about the Golden Era of Flash Mobbing, starring Eugene Levy as "Bill", and featuring Catherine O'Hara, Parker Posey, Harry Shearer, and you know, that whole crew.


May 2004
Broadway Mob. Andrew Lloyd-Weber writes a smash hit Broadway show, Up With Mobbers!


Are we doomed to commodify EVERYTHING???


From: Outside of the box | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Performance Anxiety
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posted 09 August 2003 11:06 PM      Profile for Performance Anxiety        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh my god! This just in from MONTREAL! It sounds like the folks there are quacking up!


quote:
Montreal Mob #1
Yeah, so... holy shit. MOB#1 went over way better than we could have hoped! Here is a rundown of what happened:

2003-08-09 13:00:00
At four different bars and restaurants, four different people stand up and open their umbrellas. People come to them, as instructed via email, and ask for instructions. Short pages of instructions are handed out (en français aussi, bien sur!) and the mobbers are each handed a few plastic ducks.

Tension and excitement rises.

2003-08-09 13:19:00
At Place des Arts, in downtown Montreal, people start getting randomly approached and asked: "Quack quack quoin quack quoin?" Reactions, of course, range from the confused "um... żhablas inglés?" to joyously chiming in.

2003-08-09 13:22:00
The quacking has reached a frenetic pitch, and mobbers start placing or hurling their ducks into the large fountain-pool.

2003-08-09 13:24:00
The mobbers have dispersed, leaving 200 plastic ducks bobbing in the fountain. Onlookers, especially children, throng to collect them up.



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Michelle
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posted 10 August 2003 12:30 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Christ almighty.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Willowdale Wizard
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posted 10 August 2003 05:28 AM      Profile for Willowdale Wizard   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
August 2003
Mob Mania! It seems the whole world is mobbing by the end of August.

kind of like kevin bacon and footloose:

everybody go everybody go flash mob flash mob kick off your sundance shoes.


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Performance Anxiety
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posted 10 August 2003 10:37 PM      Profile for Performance Anxiety        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Watch the video HERE. Can you spot any members of the OTL???


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'lance
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posted 10 August 2003 10:48 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Why ever would we want to spot you, Donovan?
From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Performance Anxiety
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posted 10 August 2003 11:34 PM      Profile for Performance Anxiety        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Dude, King wasn't there. However, some members of the OTL did go - look for the Optative Glasses. Happy hunting "Lance"! Enjoy!


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Performance Anxiety
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posted 10 August 2003 11:39 PM      Profile for Performance Anxiety        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Statica discusses marijuana "flash tokes" HERE.
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DrConway
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posted 11 August 2003 12:15 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Somehow I just knew you'd have a figurative orgasm over this, PA.
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spatrioter
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posted 12 August 2003 01:14 PM      Profile for spatrioter     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Apparently toronto's first flash mob (at yonge and eglinton) was dumb and embarrassing.

I heard it was cancelled at the last minute because of the police and media presence, so no one gave out the directions. Everyone was just standing around so some girl stood up and told everyone to hop like frogs. How... fun.

Regarding the meeting the guy in a skirt at Nathan Phillips Square... I just happened to be there around that time and about a dozen people ran through Nathan Phillips Square... men and women... wearing dresses. It was Filipino Day or something at the Square though so they weren't that noticeable.

I'm embarrassed to be from Toronto if this is the best we can come up with.


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Mr. Magoo
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posted 12 August 2003 01:27 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
They showed it on the news. A small group of embarrassed and uncomfortable people hopping like frogs in the hope of being in on the "next big thing".

This is cool how again?


From: ĝ¤°`°¤ĝ,¸_¸,ĝ¤°`°¤ĝ,¸_¸,ĝ¤°°¤ĝ,¸_¸,ĝ¤°°¤ĝ, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
spatrioter
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posted 12 August 2003 01:34 PM      Profile for spatrioter     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It was cool in New York because it was funny and a novelty.

It's not working because

a. It's so old. You know it's old when suburbanites are in on it.

b. It's not being organized well.

c. There's more media than participants.

d. The ideas are completely unoriginal and lacking inspiration... and humour. Hopping like frogs? WTF?


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Michelle
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posted 12 August 2003 08:44 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I thought this whole idea was a suburbanite thing anyhow. I mean, it's supposed to attract the yuppie text message cell phone and internet crowd, right?
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Courage
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posted 12 August 2003 11:48 PM      Profile for Courage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Doug:
This sounds like a lot of fun.

A bunch of people seemingly at random (but not really) show up somewhere, do something strange and then leave.


Dadaism for the masses?!?


From: Earth | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Performance Anxiety
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posted 15 August 2003 06:29 PM      Profile for Performance Anxiety        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:

It's not working because

a. It's so old. You know it's old when suburbanites are in on it.

b. It's not being organized well.

c. There's more media than participants.

d. The ideas are completely unoriginal and lacking inspiration... and humour. Hopping like frogs? WTF?


Sounds like the Toronto mob SUCKED, whereas the Montreal one was HILARIOUS! Too bad the Montreal Gazette only got on it 5 DAYS LATE, but did manage to put it on the FRONT PAGE.

Put it up to Toronto's MONOCULTURE versus Montreal's CULTURAL DIVERSITY and JOIE DE VIE. Let's face it - Flash Mobbing doesn't have to suck. If anything it should be used as a tool for activists and theatricians to spice things up a little...

Dada for the masses? Who knows? Maybe we need a global Cabaret Voltaire...

ps: Dr. Conway, please get OUT of my sex life!


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'lance
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posted 15 August 2003 06:50 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
a. It's so old. You know it's old when suburbanites are in on it.

b. It's not being organized well.

c. There's more media than participants.

d. The ideas are completely unoriginal and lacking inspiration... and humour. Hopping like frogs? WTF?


e. Donovan King has got in on it...


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
kuba walda
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posted 15 August 2003 06:54 PM      Profile for kuba walda        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Who is Performance Anxiety, why does everyone think he's Donovan King, and why does PA continually deny this.
From: the garden | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 15 August 2003 07:05 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
PA appeared immediately after King was bounced for spamming the board with long, repetitive, self-absorbed screeds about how he'd been persecuted by the Montreal Fringe Festival and the University of Calgary drama department, both of which were too corporate and/or conservative to recognize his obvious genius, blah blah blahbity blah.

PA's style and obsessions are identical to King's, with the exception that he's learned to cut way back on the open letters and such like.

As to why PA denies he's King -- only he can tell you that. You could say that he shares exactly one characteristic with Humphrey Bogart's Richard Blaine from Casablanca -- "no-one knows what he'll do or why." Except that, over time, he has become drearily predictable.


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kuba walda
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posted 15 August 2003 07:15 PM      Profile for kuba walda        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thank you for the explanation 'lance - Its puzzled me for quite awhile - as much as say, Performance Anxiety's posts themselves - which I can NOT understand.
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'lance
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Babbler # 1064

posted 15 August 2003 07:19 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well that's a sign of mental health on your part, kw. I'd almost become fond of the old windbag -- he can be entertaining, in a sort of motley-fool way -- did he not use pompous jargon like "theatrician."
From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Performance Anxiety
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posted 18 August 2003 11:54 PM      Profile for Performance Anxiety        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I repeat - King has never flash mobbed in his life, and I repeat again, I am NOT King. King is banned from this board, the University of Calgary theatre, and the Montreal Fringe Festival.


From: Outside of the box | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged

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