Thursday, February 4, 2010

Flash Mob/Spontaneous Art?

A flash mob is a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual action for a brief time, then quickly disperse. The term flash mob is generally applied only to gatherings organized via telecommunications, social media, or viral emails. The term is generally not applied to events organized by public relations firms or as publicity stunts.

Flash mobs, like this pillow fight flash mob in downtown Toronto, are designed to surprise passers-by.

How it gets started

"Hundreds of people hopped aboard the No Pants! train Sunday afternoon, showing off their skivvies to some startled Link Light Rail passengers."

Promotion stunt for a Belgian television program, where they are looking for someone to play the leading role, in the musical of "The Sound of Music".

On Wednesday 14th March, 2007 around 50 people attempted a mass freeze frame in a Manchester supermarket lasting four minutes. Five cameras captured the event.

100 Single Ladies stop traffic with Beyonce's famous leggy dance in Piccadilly Circus.

Flash Mobs can be highly choreographed...

Or completely silly and chaotic in nature, like this "spontaneous" pillowfight...

Some are done in the form of a tribute...

And of course when something "viral" gets really popular, the commercial world jumps on it:

And on TV (not exactly a flash mob, but kinda close - no one expected it...)

Interested in participating? Check out the Urban Prankster Network at: where you can watch more videos, get tips on starting your own group or get connected to other groups all over the world who are creating these spontaneous acts of fun and confusion in very public places.

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