I share Jim’s* reservations about the Flash Mob thing. It seems to me like they are “the Reclaim The Streets actions it’s OK to go on”. Had a brief text discussion with my sister about this and felt a bit frustrated about the whole thing.
It’s obviously a widespread desire to do something spontaneous, someting dangerous and chaotic in the heart of commodity-land. But the London incarnation of Flash Mobs just seems to act as a sort of representation of that, a safety valve, a new trendy thing to check out for a few weeks. Judging by the descriptions of the first one, it’s all very SAFE.
But also, it’s something outside of the activist community (and believe me, I am ALL IN FAVOUR of things being outside of “the activist community”). But… it therefore doesn’t have any interaction with the discussions about urban space, about surveillance, about psychogeography as a way of contesting an area’s supposed function.
It smacks of something which is already sewn up. The next marketing strategy / Sunday Supplement Feature / story board.
*(Joel Biroco also has a load of good stuff to say about this – his blog is linked from Jim’s)