John H. Muse surveys the recent phenomenon of the flash mob—brief, participatory performances in public spaces, often advertised virally and lasting no more than a few moments. He discusses the work of Improv Everywhere, particularly their events Frozen Grand Central and No Pants Subway Ride, as well as Bill Wasik's flash mobs and International Pillow Fight Day, among others. Muse considers the many types of audiences—live and mediated—that observe flash mobs and uses their relationship to these new types of participatory performance as clues to understanding spectatorship in a digitized age.
John H. Muse; Flash Mobs and the Diffusion of Audience. Theater 1 November 2010; 40 (3): 9–23. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01610775-2010-005
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