Subtlemobs usually happen in public spaces and are not flashmobs but about trying to remain invisible. Subtlemobs were created by studio resident Duncan Speakman and the most first one "As If It Were The Last Time" was developed by Duncan in the Studio as part of his membership of the Vauxhall Collective

A full description of subtlemobs and details of performances past and future can be found at the Circumstance website

‘as if it were the last time’, Duncan Speakman 2009

 “Capricious and profound, the experience definitely captures what it is to escape from the world for a little bit – and then to return and find that you see things just a bit differently.” – the londonist

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.

'As If It Were The Last Time' 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.

Watch the video and find out more.


Information about the second subtlemob 'Our Broken Voice' can be found here.