October 19, 2008
I have been thinking about crowds lately for a few reasons. First there’s the crowd pics I’ve been erasing faces from; I’m not sure why it’s so fun but it is. It also gives you perspective on the purpose of a crowd: support and/or appreciation. My image choice is limited somewhat by not being able to get shots from communal experience because there’s too much detail and/or I’m lazy, but it’s startling to realize that the crowd is there as much to perform there “crowdiness” as to be an audience. (In terms of the audience for this blog: people seem to read the working class/art school post the most, though I’m not sure why.)
I don’t like crowds because I don’t like people; I don’t like people because they confuse and alarm me.
Case in point: the recent/ongoing “lynch mob” Republican rallies, at which McPalin, having uncorked that particular bottle, is having a hard time tamping down on the cries of “kill him!” and “terrorist” and “He’s an Arab!” This is where a crowd turns into a mob. People seemed shocked and dismayed by this, and by the repub’s halfhearted response to it, but it scares me silly. This is the sound of people who have been whipped into a violent frenzy and told how to organize by PR. This is not good, and not to be taken lightly. I want to pursue crowds more in future work because they are so unnerving and, despite an ongoing and destructive US hat-tip toward Rugged Individualism, seem like a huge part of the American psyche.
On a different but related crowd note: I joined Facebook. I’m not really sure why I did, and that’s because I’m not really sure what its purpose is. I understand that it connects people, and I like the idea of being an accidental hub between populations that would ordinarily never come in contact otherwise, but I’m still not sure what to do with it. I’m sure as hell not going to put my own photo on it; I posted some work instead.
That’s it for tonight’s rambling. Here’s my favorite “crowd” pic so far; it’s a little messy but it’s the best source material: