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The Great Yawn – twerformance art?

Now that iTunes shuffle has changed it’s name to iTunes DJ it’s refusing to play half my stuff, won’t take requests and keeps skinning up in my house because it thinks “it can get away with anything in the DJ booth”. It’s also demanding poncy cocktails, telling me it won’t get out of bed for less than £3,000 and my house is now filled with trainspotters. And Amazon and Apple are having a price-off too: iTunes tracks from today cost £0.59, £0.79 or £0.99 – the older, the cheaper. In an apparent marketing ploy, Amazon yesterday extended the £0.29 Christmas promotion from merely the top 10 songs to newer songs. The price comparison is more tricky though, as some Amazon downloads can cost up to £2.89… anyone’s head spinning yet? YAWN.

And as the masses come to Twitter even weirder stuff is happening. [For a start My Mum!!!!!! forwarded me (the ever wayward Minister’s daughter) @twitturgies – beautiful, inspiring pieces of Bible scripture, meditations and prayers that are 140 characters in length. It fits into my life a bit more easily than 2 hour services at set times (which I still go to mum) and seems to be a great platform for sharing moments of faith, rather than a yawn inducing test of concentration span].

The Great Yawn
For seconds, artists – as well as the church – are beginning to recognise the twitter community as a social and performance space – like real life public spaces – where participation and performance would happen, and engage those around. An Xiao, an artist with a great following/community/collective of individuals interested in the power of public art carried out in the digital megacity of social media@platea, essentially organised a twitter Flash Mob. Called The Great Yawn, she encouraged 350 of her followers to yawn at 5.15pm GMT. The results are tracked on An’s blog, but it looks as though there were lots of yawn tweets and twitpics of the yawns/people trying not to yawn. even as I write this stiffled yawns are trying to emerge. Yawning was a great subject because of course – it is viral. Are you yawning yet?! that’s the point according to An:

I chose yawning because of its interesting parallels with Twitter and the way it breaks past the boundaries of digital space and into physical space. As traditional flash mobs’ effectiveness comes from their physicality, this latter part was key. It’s a basic psychological phenomenon that when you see someone yawn or even when you think about yawning, you can’t help but yawn yourself (are you yawning yet?). As I described this concept to @Platea members, a number of them told me they were yawning just thinking about it. And yet, the purpose of yawning is mysterious. Like Twitter, it has an unclear usefulness for human beings, and yet, like Twitter, it is highly contagious and spreads rapidly in social circles.

Monumentous and mundane all at the same time. Just what twitter – and yawning – feels like. :-0

Finally, my own personal musical heroes Metallica and Aerosmith get special editions of console games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band. But it seems like similar deals can be done on mobile. Tapulous, maker of Tap Tap Revenge, Guitar Hero-esque app (and the most popular iPhone game ever, according to comScore) has released the first band-branded edition of the game with Coldplay. Perhaps James Galway could do the same for my favourite woodwind app, Ocarina?