Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Flash! Mobs in the Age of Mobile Connectivity
What i found most interesting about the flash mobs article was the participation and communication from people using mobile technology as their mode of communication. Judith Nicholson makes the claim that this flash mobbing was enhanced by the use of mobile phones and how this was shaped by participators who began using their mobile technologies for more than just private use and began using them for collective communications through text messaging. She calls this "mobile mass communication" and this form of participation that allowed one person to communicate with many changed the way these people organized and participated in this movement. I also found it interesting in the section target mobbing that Nicholson quotes McClelland: “Officials always tried to prove the existence of some form of criminal conspiracy in the heart of the mob, to show that something important enough to justify their fears was going on. These were fears of a very generalized kind, fears of order, or for the world as we know it, threatened by subversion.” I think that by pointing this out Nicholson makes it clear how important this movement was not only for the participants but for the new media community, how they participated and communicated. It is interesting that although there were no violence that the flash mobs were being held under high surveillance as it became more and more popular. Lastly i thought the part on public performing was very interesting because it points out the parallel to art like surrealism and dadaism. She furthers this claim by saying "If mobile mass communication was generated in response to social, political, economic and technological conditions of the late 1990s, can flash mobbing, which was also called ‘guerilla art’ (Merritt, 2004) and ‘swarming art’ (Morrison, 2003), be considered a response to the social and political conditions of 2003, particularly conditions that existed in New York where the trend was started?"This shows how the use of mobile texting, influenced mobbing and public performance and protesting that made flash mobbing so significant and how continues to be meaningful in different political, cultural, and intellectual medias.