The Gorilla in the Boardroom
The Original Manwash



Previous ethnographic excursions to the bacchanalia of the UK's burgeoning festival season have primarily been concerned about the effect of liminality on the human psyche.

However, my investigations have developed and are now addressing the evolution of Herd thinking in relation to liminal spaces.

In true liminal spaces, normally accepted differences between participants, such as social class, are often de-emphasised or ignored:

A social structure of communitas forms: one based on common humanity and equality rather than recognized hierarchy.

This transient collective is analogous to a  Swarm, the most important system dynamic of our networked age.

To steal from Kevin Kelly [who's book Out of Control is one of my echoes of Interesting - thanks Matt] swarm systems have no central control, like a network or a flock or birds or a brain, but loads of interacting agents influencing each other. They are more adaptive than linear systems, as any one part can be lost without destroying the whole, and more unpredictable, as small events distribute simultaneously throughout the system.

Swarm systems also show emergent properties that can't be predicted from their constituents, like a hive mind

So we're going to attempt an exciting cultural experiment - a liminal swarm!

Or, to put it another way:

We are going to be dressed as BEES at Bestival this weekend!

We're meeting at 2.45pm on Saturday at the BIG TOP in order to form a swarm before joining the main fancy dress procession.

The more bees the more likely we'll achieve some kind of mega-emergent consciousness, which I assume would be completely awesome, so do come and join us if you're at Bestival on Saturday.  I'll have some face paints to BEE you up if necessary.

Also we're aiming to camp up in the Green field where the arrow is in case you buzz past, look for the flag and come say hi.