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Roosevelt Island Improv

I posted last week about Improv Everywhere‘s latest mission, the Surprise Wedding Reception, embedding their video report on it as well as a video of their JFK welcome back mission. If you haven’t seen the videos, take a look now. Yesterday they posted their report on the their sixth annual MP3 experiment, which took place on Roosevelt Island in New York City last month. The video is above, but the report has far more background information plus additional photos.

Here is the first paragraph of Improv Everywhere’s overview of their series of MP3 experiments:

The Mp3 Experiment has become an annual event for Improv Everywhere; Agent Tyler Walker and I put an mp3 online (usually around 45 minutes long) and agents download and transfer it to their iPods. Everyone then synchronizes their watches to an atomic clock on the website, and then heads out to the same public location. At the predetermined time, everyone presses play. Hilarity ensues as participants carry out ridiculous instructions delivered to their headphones via narrator Steve (aka The Omnipotent Voice From Above) and folks passing by try to figure out why a mass of people are all silently jumping around.

As for last month’s experiment, they explain that

This year’s location was Roosevelt Island. It’s a really beautiful place, situated in between Manhattan and Queens on the East River. There are about 12,000 residents on the island. To participate in this year’s experiment, agents were given these instructions. Everyone synchronized their watch to the clock on the instruction page, downloaded the mp3, wore a red, blue, yellow, or green shirt, and then traveled to the island. At exactly 4:00 PM, everyone would press play from wherever they happened to be on the island.

With this as background, watch the video above (or go to the link at youtube, and then be sure to click on HD), and if you enjoy it, read the report for more details.

As it turns out, NYT technology writer David Pogue participated in the experiment. His blog report is worth a look. And finally, Pogue mentions one of Improv Everywhere’s older missions, which I hadn’t seen yet, Food Court Musical. It’s worth a look too. Just click below.

Categories: Culture
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