Friday, April 17, 2009

The Liverpool Street Station has been the scene of arrivals other than those of the London Underground and the National Rail. “[In] April 1997, the British band Mansun used hidden cameras to film band members throwing £25,000 from the upper concourse onto City of London commuters below, for a promo video for their 'Tax Loss' EP. The video was filmed by Roman Coppola and the ensuing chaos as the crowd scrambled for the cash was intended to highlight human greed.”

Fortunately, it has also had its lighter moments. In January of this year, 400 actors, selected from an audition of some ten thousand, took part in a “flash mob” style dance spectacle, as part of the “Life’s For Sharing” advertising campaign for T-Mobile. They rehearsed for eight weeks, including on-site dress and technical rehearsals in the middle of the night. Ten hidden cameras captured the event, which was broadcast on BBC-TV Channel 4 within 24 hours. For less than three minutes, commuters were taken off guard, with some taking part in the festivity before it came to an abrupt conclusion.

As the first clip begins, watch the spot just below center, a guy with dark pants and a white shirt. It spreads out from there. “Well... you know you make me wanna...”

The public reaction was quite remarkable. When a work of performance art lightens the load for just three minutes, it leaves its sphere of influence better than it was found. People who think that public support for the arts is frivolous, fail to appreciate the effect upon those for whom it is not. It sets an example, one that proves to us that our lives, however short-lived they may be, can have their moments of light and magic. This has the potential to make it easier for us, not only to do good, but to be good.

This scheme has been attempted in other cities in the UK. “[In] February 2009, roughly 5000 participated in a Silent Dance.” (As I understand it, they all were steppin’ to their simulcast iPods.)

If you and several hundred of your close personal friends would like to pull off such a stunt in the local shopping mall, you’ve come to the right place. Our highly trained professional dance instructor is here to show you the moves of the eight-part dance party mix.

The first half of our two-clip tutorial consists of: 1) Lulu’s “Shout”, 2) Yazz’s “The Only Way Is Up”, 3) The Pussycat Dolls’ “Don't Cha”, and, for a change of pace, 4) Strauss’ “Blue Danube Waltz.” The second half provides the moves for: 5) Kool and the Gang’s “Get Down”, 6) Rainbow’s “Since You've Been Gone”, 7) Millie Small’s “My Boy Lollipop”, and finally, 8) The Contours’ “Do You Love Me?”

Now, if you are serious about pulling this off, it helps to have friends in high places, or in this case, the management office of the aforementioned shopping mall. Have a few key people who are adept at organizing large crowds and teaching standard dance-party moves. But most important, the management will want to know there is something in it for them. You’ll think of something.

And you’ll want to know that there will be more such events portrayed here in the weeks ahead, as part of the usual nonsense that we here at man with black hat like to call our Friday Afternoon Moment of Whimsy.

After all... “the kids are alright.”


Nod said...

W00t! Lots of fun. I'd like to see one in real life!

Anonymous said...

What is art?