We learn from fusion.net about a performance artist who specializes in creating viral videos around mental health issues. Performance artist, Zaida Pugh, brought a box of a hundred crickets onto a New York subway train. The box was bumped releasing hundreds of hopping crickets into the subway car, followed by an intense emotional outburst by Pugh acting as if she had mental health issues. The scene was filmed by her photographer friends and posted to Instagram and YouTube. In an interview, Pugh says that she wants to capture the ways that people react to the mentally ill that are more harmful than helpful.
What about the crickets? Pugh was selling the crickets. Is this a real activity in NYC? Crickets are available at many pet stores for less than a dollar. Someone might pay slightly more for a cricket if they were keeping a hungry praying mantis, tarantula or reptile at home and it would save a trip to the store. More likely it is part of the act, selling crickets on the subway is not a sensible activity.
Crickets are inexpensive and readily obtained through local pet stores. Crickets have been featured in other protests. As for the performance, the crickets add a twist. Subway riders are accustomed to ignoring occasional emotional outbursts. An emotional outburst accompanied by crickets hopping on your legs is a new twist that gets more attention.