August 24, 2007

A Mob in Their Own Minds

Justin Katz

There's something fun about this, but there's also something just a bit creepy, too:

Our fourth Mp3 Experiment was our biggest mission to date. 826 people downloaded the same mp3, pressed play at the same time, and had a blast together on Lower Manhattan’s beautiful waterfront.

The video brings to mind the solitude in a crowd that technology is abetting. Once one might have asked somebody else what he or she was reading in public, for example. Or if a group of people were behaving in an curious manner while all reading from the same text, interested passers-by could secure a glimpse. Note the uninvolved guy about midway through this headphone-based group event who tries to get an answer as to the story.

Reading through a graphic murder scene in Richard Wright's Native Son for a college course, something almost felt wrong about the fact that my future niece was playing in the next room. I often wonder, when I see people in public with headphones, what world might be playing out in their heads. At least the MP3 Experiment folks were mostly smiling. Imagine if they were not.

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A "happening"? Flash mob?

Posted by: PDM at August 24, 2007 12:58 AM
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