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Tuesday Watercooler


I love Improv Everywhere! In their mp3 experiments, they ask people to go to public places while listening to a special mp3 file on an audio player which gives them instructions about how to behave. The prank crew reveals it has become challenging to find a space that can accommodate the crowds attracted to this, while still presenting hapless bystanders to witness their actions:

The crowds at our Mp3 Experiment project this past couple of years have been in the 3,000 to 4,000 range. It’s tough to find a venue that’s easy to get to in New York that can accommodate a crowd like that safely and that also has a healthy amount of normal bystanders to witness it. Location scouting is always really tough (please suggest ideas in the comments!) This year we had an opportunity to use the South Street Seaport, which is always packed with tourists. The space isn’t huge, so we decided to try to cut our crowd in half by staging the experiment twice for the fist time ever. It happened at both 3 PM and 7 PM. Unfortunately our plan didn’t work! Rather than our expected crowd of 4,000 dividing themselves in half between the two times, 4,000 people showed up to both of them! Adding a second showing only increased demand. So things were packed, but for those smart enough to follow instructions and spread out in the starting locations, there were some really great surprise moments.

You can read more about the “experiment” and see more photos on their website.


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Kit OConnell

Kit OConnell

Kit O’Connell is a gonzo journalist and radical troublemaker from Austin, Texas. He is the Associate Editor and Community Manager of Shadowproof. Kit's investigative journalism has appeared in Truthout, MintPress News and