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mob event horizon

From deep below the surface of Birmingham’s streets, we are working from our moberator bunker to bring a new series of events to the UK’s second city.  The ‘flash’ or ‘smart’ mob movement has exploded internationally in the last few months into a monster that ‘Bill’ ’ the organiser of the first mob in New York ’ cannot have even begun to imagine.  A new collective evolves in a new city every day; the very same communications infrastructure that brought the first group of individuals together has allowed the mob to expand its reach.

Note that we use the word mob in its singular form.  We are, after all, a collection of groups that stand together to represent the same, single cause.  It’s just a matter of scale.

After the event

The first mob consisted of a number of individuals appearing to act as one, each pondering over the same rug in the same store.  Whilst each individual was performing in subtly different ways, the same basic, pre-defined set of rules ensured that when viewed as a whole, the mob appeared to move as one.  If you were to widen your field of vision again you’d see that it too has become an individual that plays a part in a city wide mob, state wide mob, a country wide mob, a continent and so on.  The individual becomes a mob, the mob becomes an individual and so on.

Anybody who’s interested in topographical theories will tell you that this is called the object/field concept.  In the beginning you’re an object in a field of space, zoom out further and the field itself becomes an object in a greater field of space.  It’s just a matter of scale.

Here at the.mob_stirs, an understanding of scale and the recognition that our collective is a small part of a larger topography interests us for two reasons.  Firstly, if we all share the same surface of ideas/hopes, what would happen if each mob at each scale were to synchronise their movements? A global mob event horizon.

Secondly, a recent radio interview with the London moberator (there’s a link on our site to the mp3) gave the interviewer opportunity to wonder what would happen if two separate mobs ever met each other in the street.  Predictably, they decided that violence would ensue.  The truth is this; knowing we were all objects in the same field, it’s more likely that we’d just give each other a big hug and then disperse at the predefined moment.

Anybody want to give it a try?’

| Articles | Posted on Aug 01, 2003 | Permalink:
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