My flashmob collection: ‘as if it were the last time’ – a subtlemob By Duncan Speakman (UK) in 2010

Title :’as if it were the last time’ – a subtlemob By Duncan Speakman (UK)

Date :Saturday 4th December, 2010 | 6:30 PM

Place: Tsuen Wan secret location

Audiences were invited to download an MP3 and turn up at a secret location to listen to the track at a specified time. On the soundtrack the audience would hear the composed soundtrack along with narration and instructions.Two MP3 files were made available, so the audience were divided in half. While one group was instructed to perform a simple scene the other group heard this described as if it were a film scene, but they could actually see it happening around them.

Throughout the piece these roles of watcher/performer alternated between the groups, ever increasing in pace until by the end they are all performing/watching simultaneously. The work was a snapshot image of contemporary Britain, allowing the audience to watch it, reflect on it, and live it. It explored ideas of how mobile technology can create social disconnection in shared public spaces. It also looked for ways to use those same technologies to create connections between strangers and friends, to savour the moment and the temporary space that was created during the performance.

It likes an invisible flashmob, ‘as if it were the last time’ integrates with it’s surroundings. making everything around the audience into a film.

Honestly, it was my first time to do flashmob in Hong Kong. I was attracted by its name because it is a very interesting statement when thinking of it ,”as if it were the last time”. It inspired me a lot and leaded me to think about life and relationship.

Once I got both the confirm letter and the MP3, I was very excited and curious that what the MP3 is about and what we needed to do during the event. This kind of activities is sort of mysterious to me because each of us may not know each other before, we got to do the same thing in the same time at the same place. Before the day came, we did not have any training and rehearsal , we would simply follow the MP3’s instructions.

When I arrived to the secret place , I was late actually, everyone started their “performance” already. I started to play my own MP3 too, so as to catch up their progress . I was separated away from my friends ,so I did not have a partner with me. Being alone is not a bad thing indeed because I could have more chances to communicate with myself and pay more attentions on others.

At the beginning , the soundtrack is a little bit depressed which scared me a bit . The whole MP3 is mainly a story (movie-like) , I am one of the actor of the story (in fact, every participant was the actor in the “story” too, divided into 2 main groups). The MP3 gives me every single detailed instruction which likes there was a person was monitoring us and then gives us the several well-planned instructions in particular time.

Some are inviting us to dance with our friends, hug our friends and even sing with our friends…those things that we do not usually do in our daily life. Hence, there were other participants in the place too, even though we did not know each other, we understand what our role is. We might smile to each other to show we are the same .Besides, such instructions provided opportunities to get closer with every participant , not only our friends, but also strangers. While we were completing the tasks , the watchers ( passerby ) surrounding us did not know why. It is fun to see there were many question marks showed on their face.  It seemed they did not belong to our groupmates but they might be one of our story’s character. Since the story is about the whole street of the place, it used every shops there as a character too. We had to imagine somethings did not exist or find there to complete the story. Those are my favorite parts.

After the event,I reviewed my life style and attitude and even thought about my personality . Beside getting involved in this event, I could also know and discover more about myself. Not afraid of being lost again! It’s because I strongly believe every time we lost, it is a way to find ourselves back! 🙂

Me and my friend, Zoe.


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