I like flash mobs. They are simultaneously organized and disorganized. They spring seemingly from nothing and nowhere, and after a few minutes, they dissolve.
Although flash mobs have leaned corporate of late, most have more in common with performance art than advertising. There’s something inherently democratic about an event that encourages participation by amateurs and charges the intended audience not a penny.
The impermanence of flash mobs is part of their charm, but thanks to the Internet, people around the world can share them.
I’ve compiled a playlist of three dozen flash mobs with wide-ranging styles. Along with the plentiful Michael Jackson tributes, you’ll find a flash mob arranged by the family of a cancer patient who’d always wanted to see one. These flash mobs take place in New York City and Indonesia, in airports of South America and Beirut, in high school auditoriums and under the Eiffel Tower.