The Mp3 Experiment III


Edited by Matt Adams

Sound Design: Agent Walker
Characters: Agents Ace$Thugg, Becket, Dippold, Kula, Walker
Producers: Agents Arnheiter, Cavin, Fountain, Kinney, Shelktone
DV Cams: Agents EMartin, Reeves, Adams, Lanoie, Gross
Digital Photography: Agents Nicholson, Rainswept, Pallas, Mirka, Moore, Schneekloth
Utility Agents: Agents Tuculescu, Kendall, Vonk, Chadwick, MacNeil
Costumes: Agent Zeigler
Graphic Design: Agent Howell

The third installment of our Mp3 Experiment series was the biggest and wildest yet with over 600 participants. If you’re unfamiliar with how The Mp3 Experiment works, check out The Mp3 Experiment and The Mp3 Experiment 2.0. Like the previous installments, the basic premise involved participants downloading an Mp3 from our site, transferring it to their portable player and then showing up at the event ready to press play simultaneously with others.

For Mp3 III, Agent Walker and I wanted to push the experiment in a new direction. We thought it would be fun to have folks start at four distinct locations in the park and not have the entire group come together until midway through the adventure. We created four unique Mp3 tracks, each 32-minutes in length. Participants downloaded tracks based on the season of their birth and then followed the maps we posted on our site to find their meet up point. These starting points were spread out so far from each other that they spanned three subway stops. We liked the idea that you might have to tell your friend with an autumn birthday goodbye on the subway as you got off two stops before her to find the summer meet up point, trusting that you’d meet up again mid-Mp3.

The summer group met on a rocky hill near 97th Street. The autumn and winter groups met on opposite sides of the Great Hill, an elevated area around 107th Street. The spring group had perhaps the coolest meeting place, a tunnel a short walk from the 103rd Street entrance.


Spring meeting point

It was sunny and 90-degrees the day of the event. Dividing participants up by their birthdays worked out quite well; each group had around 150 people. All types of folks came out to play, even a few babies and toddlers.


Agents Rose, Keech, and Kaz

Each location had a producer with a walkie-talkie in charge of coordinating the synchronized start.


Agent Kinney, producer of the summer group


Agent Shelktone starts the countdown at the spring group

Shortly after 3:00 PM, the producers gave their groups a countdown and everyone pressed play at the same time. As always, the Mp3 was narrated by Steve, “The Omnipotent Voice From Above.” Steve informed his listeners that today they would be going on a journey through the park to search for him, as he was returning to Earth for a very special event.


A man praises Steve above

Steve explained that a leader would be arriving shortly to guide them on their way. After a brief instrumental interlude, a giant costumed character appeared before each group.


The winter group was greeted by Snowflake


The summer group meets the Sun


Raindrop remains hidden from the spring group as they press play


Raindrop makes her entrance


Cloud appears from around the corner


Cloud greets the autumn birthdays

The weather characters informed their groups that they needed to warm up their minds and bodies before the “Search for Steve” began. The groups played Simon Says (AKA “Sunny Says”, “Snowflake Says,”…), ran around playing the improv warm-up game Enemy/Protector, and learned a new dance.


Raindrop Says, “Touch your nose.”


Cloud Says, “Pat your head and rub your tummy.”


Snowflake teaches his dance


The Cloud dance


The winter group runs around


Raindrop teaches her dance…


…and then dances with her group

After the groups were sufficiently warmed up, it was time to “search for Steve.” The characters instructed their groups to line up single file from shortest to tallest. The participants were then led on a walk through the park as they listened to a medley of weather-appropriate songs.

The map above shows the journey the four different groups took as they walked through the woods, over bridges, and through tunnels to reunite at south side of The Pool, a small, shady pond.


Snowflake’s group lines up behind him


Snowflake’s group travels through the woods


The Sun group winds over the hills


Sun takes his group through two sunbathers


Raindrop leads her line


The Rain group crosses a creek


Rain group crosses under Central Park’s tallest arch


The Cloud group went deep into the woods


The groups converge upon The Pool


A biker watches as line of headphone wearing folks parade by

Once all of the groups converged upon The Pool, Steve announced that in order to bring him back to Earth, the combined power of the four elements would have to summon him with a huge group dance. The groups busted out the dances they had learned earlier and created a giant silent dance party.

After the dance ended, Steve instructed the masses that the last thing they needed to do to bring him back was to yell his name on the count of three. This would be the only word the group would speak in the entire experiment.


“Steve!”


Steve appears by the banks of The Pool


A child watches as smoke blows out of Steve’s robe


The crowd looks on


Some participants were eager to worship Steve upon first sight


A boy watches Steve

Steve announced that he had returned to Earth to judge the “Element of the Year” contest. Sun, Raindrop, Snowflake, and Cloud would compete in a giant gladiator style battle. The last man standing would win the title. Steve asked the crowd to create a giant single file circle to give the elements an arena. Our circle was so large that it inadvertently subsumed a few strangers.


Two girls smile in the middle of the arena


A birthday party continues while 600 silent headphoned people surround it

Steve took off his black robe to reveal a ref shirt underneath and the “greatest competition in the history of competitions” began.


The arena


Cloud fell first


Then Snowflake


The crowd cheers


The six people in the front here aren’t wearing headphones, simply watching


Sun knocks out Raindrop!


Sun wins!

To celebrate Sun’s victory, Steve asked everyone to form a giant conga line around The Pool as “Walking On Sunshine” played the track out.


The Sun leads the conga line


The line eventually stretched around the entire Pool as the Sun began to lap folks 600-deep into the line

The track ended and folks stuck around to enjoy the beautiful, if hot, day in the park. The elements stayed in costume for as long as they could, sweating up a storm as they posed for photos with participants.

AUDIO:

Per usual Agent Walker did all of the audio engineering and editing for the Mp3’s. He also created tons of original music for the tracks. Here are some Mp3 samples.

Steve (Voiced by Agent Todd)
Snowflake (Voiced by Agent Kula)
Snow Song Walking Medley
Raindrop (Voiced by Agent Spencer)
Rain Song Walking Medley
Cloud (Voiced by Agent Becket)
Cloud Song Walking Medley
Sun (Voiced by Agent Ace$Thugg)
Sun Song Walking Medley
Element Of The Year Song

AGENT REPORTS:

Agent Ace$Thugg (The Sun)

I began the event hiding alone behind a tree to dress. Halfway through I realized getting dressed in my costume would be a 2-man job. Not able to zip my body suit or put on the Sun by myself, I had to radio someone for assistance. Agent Kinney came to my aid. When I was finally fully dressed came my sudden realization of the limited mobility: I couldn’t reach my mp3 player or headphones, and I could barely walk, much less lead a dance. All these things added to character improvisation of the event.

The tree being within earshot of the countdown to begin, Agent Kinney returned to the group and donned Agent Kendall as my new personal assistant. His job duty being to press play on my mp3 player since it was out of my reach. Unfortunately, it also happened to be on lock. So for the first minute of the experiment, we struggled to get in sync with everyone else. I eventually swapped iPods with my helper, and then headed to the big rock that would be my stage. Right on queue (3:37 into it) came my introduction to the group on the mp3.

I was instantly surprised by the turnout in the summer group. I could tell all the people were completely jazzed about the event, which made my role as group leader that much more fun. My group sailed through “Sunny says” with no problem. However, playing “Solar Eclipse” after designating one person moon and one person sun returned some confused faces, but the majority caught on, or at least ran in circles with the rest of the group and feigned comprehension. Teaching the dance was difficult, as the only dance move I could do was palm my face and turn in circles. So that became the “Sun Dance.” As I tired, I threw in some hula dancing during the song’s refrain in order to catch my breath (and wipe the gallons of sweat off my brow.)

Finally, I lead the group in single file line (a sunbeam) from shortest to tallest; it took much longer that I anticipated, just because of the sheer number of people. It took a full song for the lineup to be complete. I lead the sunbeam with a zigzag around the park’s trees and lampposts and even split a pair of sunbathers. The tanning girls were smiling as I divided them; hopefully they were still in good spirits towards the end of my 150+ person comet trail.

Reaching the playing field, I first caught eyes with Agent Kula as Snowflake leading his group in a similar fashion. Then came Agent Beckett as Cloud and Agent Dippold as Rain. We all eventually surrounded some confused park goers and a kid’s birthday party that were squatting on our designated field. They weren’t sure what to make of us, being 600+ people all wearing headphones, and silently doing the same choreographed moves, but they stuck around smiling with the rest of us.

Steve (Agent Walker) appeared to the delight of the crowd and then the fight for Element of the Year was happening before I knew it. At one point during the fight I had to get Agent Kula to replace my iPod as we were pushing each other. I also saw him assist Rain when her headphones were jarred loose. I then pushed him to the ground. Sun is a competitor.

Winning the Element of the Year contest synced up to an “Element of the Year” song on the mp3. At about this time the crowd started an unplanned chant of “Speech, speech!” to me. I took the opportunity to sing along to the ballad playing on the mp3 and deliver it as my speech, and the crowd accepted it as such.

Finally, I knew I had 4 minutes to lead a final conga line around the pond and with 600 people, I had to start booking it to get everyone involved. I skipped and jogged around the first bend with Steve and Snowflake right behind me. We three made eye contact and nodded at our instant recognition of our new goal: create a complete circle around the pond and catch up to the last person in the conga line. We jogged the final bend around the pond, hoping everyone could keep up to us. We actually made a complete circle around the pond as the last song completed. Then as the other panting Agents instantly discarded their suffocating costumes upon completion of the experiment, I basked in my fabricated glory in full regalia. I posed for photos, signed someone’s Sun tattoo, got kisses and kept getting asked the same question: “How did we determine that I would be the Element of the Year?” My reply was always the same, “We had a fight for it, where were you?”

Agent Kula (Snowflake)

I think my whole costumed afternoon is summed up in this scene: Someone asks Agent Cavin, the producer of the Snow group, “if Kula is ready to go.” Agent Cavin looks 20 feet off into the woods and sees a shirtless man slipping into a skin-tight white bodysuit. “Yeah,” he says, “he’s ready.”

That body suit – and the Snowflake costume above it – would end up claiming a good five pounds of sweat off my person. My Snow group was great – they did their best to master the dance I showed them, even as I kept screwing it up myself. Foreigner’s “Cold As Ice” was the perfect soundtrack for leading them in to join the other groups – we were willing to sacrifice.

The elements fight was the highlight. I loved picking up Agent Becket’s shoe after it’d slipped off – first I taunted with it in the direction of her Cloud group, and then I used it as a weapon, beating the Cloud with her own dainty slipper. The Sun and I had a nice Gladiator moment where we teamed up and started circling the Raindrop. Confession: I caught Agent Dippold with a legitimate clothesline. I was so caught up in the moment of the fight that I actually connected with her, bicep to face. My first thought was “Ooh, I hope I didn’t knock her down” – not because I was worried she was hurt, but because she was supposed to be one of the final two standing. (Snowflake was kind of an aggro asshole, but at least he respected the script.)

Agent Becket (Cloud)

I waited until we had started up the track before I began changing into my costume because I didn’t want anyone in my group to catch sight of me and I really thought it would be a quick change. I didn’t anticipate the broken zipper on my silver unitard or my tangled iPod headphones, which my “dresser” dutifully tried to untangle as I worked on getting the costume on. This is why I missed my grand entrance by about 30 seconds. I was still trying to get my headphones in my ears as I was walking out, which is hard to do when the ear buds are tiny and you have giant silver gloves on your hands. My group did not seem to care, though, and they enthusiastically ran through their warm-up exercises as I tried to subtly work my headphones in. Once we started walking towards the Battlezone, I found that having the costume on made me much more outgoing and friendly than I normally am. I waved at strangers! I never wave at strangers! Afterwards, everyone wanted to take pictures with the characters, which surprised me, but was very cool. One girl wanted to take a picture biting my cloud costume. I hope to find that picture on MySpace someday.

Agent Dippold (Raindrop)

First of all, I walked past a softball game in normal clothes to get changed in a bathroom and on my return walk was in a full blue body suit. There’s no reason for anyone to wear a full blue body suit in the park in 90-degree weather. I don’t understand how the amusement park mascots do it. I have much more respect for them. While I was waiting to greet my group (hiding), people kept walking past the sad raindrop sitting alone without any flyers or promoting anything at all. A dog barked at me like I was a giant ham.

The group was great. For some reason, I always expect people to just be cynics. But when I walked down, it was such a wonderful relief to see 150 huge smiles. Go rain.

During the battle scene, I was fighting not fainting and the fact that both my headphones came out of my ears so I wasn’t sure what was happening. I stuck my arms in my costume to find them, which I later learned some people thought that was some kind of combat move. Not really sure who would use “hiding their arms” as a combat move, but I’m just glad it all looked ridiculous. Also Agent Kula, in character as “Delightful Snowflake”, actually clocked me in the face.

But I had a blast and felt lucky to do it.

Agent Walker (Steve)

When I turned around to greet the masses as Steve, the Omnipotent Voice from above, I was amazed. We had no idea what the turn out would be, and looking up at the sea of people that had flocked to my location was remarkable. As I approached my new followers, I was swarmed by faithful disciples ready to worship at my feet. That was nice. This project was a lot of work, and it’s always refreshing to have people bowing to you. I blessed them as non-denominationally as I could, and we continued with the event.

The fight was amazing. I knew what was going to happen, as I had heard it hundreds of times at that point, but it was still exciting. I was worried that one of the characters would fall at the wrong time and screw up the timing, but they all managed to fight exhaustion and their unwieldy costumes and stayed upright until all the perfect moments.

The performers, stage managers, and participants all did such a wonderful job. It was a very special day. I think I still have that Steve-damned “Walking on Sunshine” song in my head. Thanks to everyone who played with us.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

For the reports of many more participants, read the comments section at the bottom of this page. You can see over 700 more photos (in larger resolution) of this mission at Flickr.

Agent Nicholson’s Highlight Set (39 photos)
Agent Nicholson’s Full Set (300 more)
Agent Pallas’s Set (83 photos)
Agent Mirka’s Set (41 photos)
Panorama photo of the entire crowd (taken by Agent Nicholson)

Complete collection of all these photos and more
Snowflake Audition on Vimeo

Mission Accomplished.

Praise Steve Tee

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Comments

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85 Responses to The Mp3 Experiment III

  1. Dan says:

    Althought I cannot be there, I will be listening to the Summer file at 3:00! I’m looking forward to the reports.

  2. Ketias says:

    Well, I was listening to it too, though it was 2:00 PM here. Wonderfully done.

  3. Wendy says:

    I had a blast in the winter group!! Thanks!! :)

  4. Leenie says:

    I thought Rain was gonna win! That drop was all legs! Oh well. I had an amazing time as a Spring! =D

  5. Clark says:

    WOnderfully done, i had SUCH a blast and i met a lot of cool peeps. can’t wait for the next one – you guys rock hard, thank u SO much. much love,
    _Clark

  6. Agent Dr3w says:

    Hey’all Agent Dr3w reporting back from the SUMMER GROUP… WE WON !!!!!!! NICE … WELL DONE AND CONGRATS TO ALL SUMMER PEOPLE as well as organizers, participants and good weather. It was a blast for my first event, and I will be for sure returning for more experiments…

    till next time

    Agent Dr3w (Flamengo Soccer Shirt – Red/Black)

  7. Hilmar says:

    The mission was great and I am happy that the sun won, even if I were in the rain group! Thanks to all participants and the organizers!

    That’s something that makes my stay in NYC really great.

  8. Cec says:

    I missed it. Something was up with the B train and it wasn’t running from the station where I was. I wound up walking through Central Park about 80 or so blocks..when I found the Summer group. Thank you to the two guys who told me what time we were up to. Unfortunately, by the time I got near where I was supposed to meet, I got lost again and it was just about over. Though, I did have a good time speed walking through Central Park listening to the file.

  9. J.P. says:

    Definitely a great time in the Autumn group. It was fun sitting around and talking to people before it all started, there were just so many different people there and everyone was very friendly. I did a lot of running to get to the dance contest as I was at the back of the line thanks to my height but our loveable Cloud put in a good fight once Steve returned.

    I’ll be at the next event, I can’t wait for it.

  10. Lou says:

    Reporting from bed: DAMIT! I was sick to my first IE Mission! I cant wait for the next one.

  11. Agent L.J. says:

    Once again… I had the time of my life… I always hate when its over. Im so happy summertime won.
    Did anybody else see the girl that looked like Winnie Cooper?

  12. Raul says:

    Loads of fun with the Autum group and everyone else. Too bad Cloud did not win but we got to finally see the true identity of Steve. Thanks for a great evening.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The Autumn group was tons of fun, even if Cloud came in last place… We definitely had the best dance! But the best part was the dumbfounded looks and confused murmuring of the park-goers when we circled the lake at the end.

  14. IWearGolfPants says:

    Rain group was fun fun fun and we found Steve! Now that we have accepted Steve in our hearts and finished second in Element of the Year competition there is nothing to stop us from beating Sunshine for next year with thunderstorms and hail and hurricanes! Steve help us!

  15. Mark C says:

    Showed up at 3:03 thanks to a non-working C train and some not-so-great directions to the Rain group’s tunnel. Thankfully it started late and I had the chance to meet and talk to some awesome people.

    I had a real blast. This was my first IE mission and certainly won’t be my last. It was a fantastic experience.

    My only suggestions for next time is to A) Make it an hour long. It was far too short. B) A little more group interaction! The 1st two MP3 experiments looked like there was a lot more for us agents to do. This time, more than half of the mission was either spent walking, or watching you seasons fight to the death.

    Either way, it was awesome and I look forward to participating in upcoming missions. Good job everyone!

  16. Agent Nicholson says:

    You can see a few of my photos here – http://flickr.com/photos/icopythat/sets/72157594168927221/

    my others will be up by tomorrow

  17. Yelena says:

    Improv makes life worth living! Today was amazing.

  18. Allison says:

    Today was amazing!!! The autumn group was awesome, even if our Cloud came in last. Oh well. I hope she finds a man, at least… she seemed pretty desperate. "Is that a unicorn in your pants or are you just happy to see me?"
    The best part, for me, was watching and waving to all the unplugged bystanders. There was a group of picnicers who ended up in the middle of the Element of the Year contest; I think they thought we were part of some strange, weather worshipping cult. That’s why I’m in love with Improv Everywhere… they got even jaded New Yorkers to look up, and wonder. And everyone in our group was really friendly, excited and open. It was amazing when Steve appeared to the group, in all his glory. Well, I’m off to go drink some mountain dew.

  19. Jennifer says:

    THIS WAS AWESOME ^_^ i read about the best buy mission a month ago or so, and was totally excited to come out to this one… and SUMMER WON (of COURSE) yeaa summer babies! :-)

  20. OIlsdkjs JSsdhnjskl says:

    I was happy to see so many people there. I have now accepted Steve as my personal savior.

  21. Wendy says:

    I didn’t take very many pictures (I was having too much fun watching) but the few I took are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cupcakedancer/

  22. Agent Fedora says:

    Pshaw, the cloud shoulda won!

  23. Raul says:

    I’m starting a Steve worshipping cult, who is with me?

  24. AgentPlaid says:

    "Winnie" was right next to me pre-mission. My favorite line: "Don’t be insulted! Winnie is beautiful, but emotionally unavailable!"
    Good times, fellow Summers.

  25. Deb says:

    Wow! The SUMMER crew rocked! What a warm group of folks. I loved walking up to the gathering place and seeing all those faces glowing with barely contained smirks…smirks just itching to bust out into full fledged grins.

    The other great part was watching the uninformed pass by with bewildered looks. There was a couple who walked up with their bikes before we started. They were holding their hands to their faces, whispering to each other while suspiciously staring at us. Priceless.

    Then that picnic group we surrounded at the end –hilarious!!! They were so pissed…but couldn’t really maintain it. And how could you, really? When was the last time you saw …what? 500 people? more?… all grinning like fools and having a great time together? It just doesn’t happen very often.

    Maybe that’s the best part of this whole deal –experiencing childlike joy with a mess of strangers and having the whole world watch us do it.

    Excellent afternoon. Thanks to all you precise and goofy planners for giving us a forum for PLAY, and to all the folks willing to make asses of themselves in a spirit of fun and community.

    Let’s do it again soon!

  26. Agent Wilson says:

    I had a great time in the Spring group. Our Rain leader was awesome – just the right attitude – a bit glum and a bit silly. I totally thought she would take the battle, but there’s always next year :) I loved the thunderstorm/umbrella "body workout."

    After it was all over I ran across a couple I’d noticed watching the battle. They asked me if we’d all been given mp3s and wondered if we were filming a commerical.

    Fun times. You guys rock!

  27. Bianca says:

    hey!! this was so cool…i’ve never been 2 one of these so thx Alli 4 inviting me. Anyways u guys r awesome.i’m definitely coming to the next one.WOOOO!!

  28. Rachel says:

    I think the funniest part was when the Sun walked right between 2 friends sunbathing, so of course the other 500 people in the sun group followed. That was the end of their conversation!

  29. Lou says:

    Im still ticked off that I got sick and couldnt make it! I hope another mission comes soon

  30. Romy says:

    Summer rocked! I was having a hard time containing my enthusiasm as we waited for countdown, but thank Steve things got started late. NJTransit almost ruined my day. Deb– I also noticed those curious bikers. As they started to leave, I was dying to tell them to stick around for a hell of a spectacle. Ah well.
    I think my favorite part was the group dance when we all converged around the elements. I cannot imagine what that looked like to onlookers– people silently bustin’ the moves of their lives, headphone cords flying.
    I am definitely 100% down with anything Improv Everywhere does from now on!

  31. jeffh says:

    I can’t believe how young and alive I felt during this whole experience! Don’t get me wrong… I’m not _that_ old – but as I walked behind the sun with my daughter attached to the other side of my headphones – I _know_ I had the goofiest smile on my face the entire time! I couldn’t help it! The music was great the story was great, the people were great! What more could you ask for?!

  32. Agent Mirka says:

    I posted a bunch of photos of team Summer on flickr:
    http://flickr.com/photos/mirka23/sets/72157594169080627/

  33. Koin says:

    Snowflake got robbed!

    I demand a re-match next year!

  34. Misa says:

    Had such a great time at MP3. Brought a friend who knew (sorta!) what to expect and one who didn’t. We all had a fabulous time. That picnic family was funny – did anyone else see the man walk out as the smackdown match was starting, holding the flower (a peace offering?) I can’t decide if that was my fave moment…I really loved seeing all of the long lines of Agents crisscrossing paths to come together, too. Brilliant work!

  35. Agent Dr3w says:

    Misa, …. I tought that guy was part of the Improv until now… lol thats funny!

  36. Nicky Pallas says:

    Hey everybody, I was the photographer for the Winter group. I had a great time, I’m sure all of you guys did too! I have already started work on the photos, I shot over 200, and I’m getting a set ready on Flickr that will be done in the next couple of days. There’s already a little more than 20 photos up there now, I need to take some time off to spend Father’s Day with my family, but I will try and have the bulk of them done tonight. Btw, I am saving the best ones for last, so hopefully you guys like what you see! Here’s the link:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fatblast40/sets/72157594169588832/

  37. Agent Mirka says:

    I forgot to mention – anyone’s who’s a flickr memeber, you should also join the Improv Everywhere group (http://www.flickr.com/groups/17241399@N00/). If you took photos, you can add them to the pool. If you didn’t you can still join and it’s an easy way to follow along with new photos that other people add.

  38. Chris Scott says:

    This was amaaazingg im just mad that the cloud lost. Cloud group was fun (I was the only black guy in the group). I hope that we can pull it out next time..Steve…you are amazing.

  39. Jaypoc says:

    Nice pics Nicky (I was the guy you met on the subway after the event). The MP3 experiment was great! I was shocked at the turnout. I wonder if anybody kept a count. There had to be close to if not more than 1000 people there. You can count me in on the next experiment! (and any other shenanigans that come along before!)

  40. Agent Chipster says:

    A lot of fun! What a great group of people. My fellow clouds were wonderful, as was our leader. One of the funniest moments: watching a squirrel curiously check out the rhumba line at the finale!

  41. Charlie Yo-Yo says:

    My favorite part was when all four groups stood around the elements and did our dance – I took off my headphones for a moment, it was hillarious to see everyone dancing to no music!

  42. Captain G says:

    It was a blast from the minute I sat down with my group and two guys introduced themselves to everybody by their birthdays. "July 28! Nice to meet you!"

    I was near the Winnie Cooper girl, and we all got a laugh when a guy pointed out a bug that was crawling near her throat and she screamed loudly. She became an unofficial mascot of our group.

    It was a delight to be part of a bunch of (mostly) grown adults walking single-file behind a man in a sun costume, while confusing those not in on the event.

    Great job!

  43. Agent MoFo (P8) says:

    I really loved the song mix for the "searching" part of the experiment. I listened to it all day on Sunday! Thanks for a wonderful Saturday afternoon in the park, and for 30 minutes of super cool music.

  44. Agent J says:

    What a blast on Saturday. The Spring/Rain group was great fun, with our plucky raindrop leader (we’ll get ‘em next year).

    With the late start, I was starting to wonder if, in fact, the experiment was to see how long we would all wait around while being told it would start soon. (Maybe that’s an idea for a later mission – prank the pranksters!)

    During the battle of the elements, we feared all was lost when rain seemed to lose her headphones, so had to pull her arms into her costume, but after a while she got it back together to continue the fight. Way to go, rain!

    The Conga line turned into a bit of a mess at the end, but that was part of the fun.

    Does anyone have a solid estimate of how many people were there? 500? 700?

  45. KAT says:

    hey all… was in the rain group. She kicked ass. I mean anyone that can pull off ‘splish splash mother f’er’ gets my vote. She kind of reminded me of Daria.

    One suggestion: there should be some type of closing or something… like a thanks for coming or I dunno.. something ot tie it all back together with everyone.

  46. Agent F. Khan says:

    I was in the summer group, had a great time at my first mission.

    Lots of great fun, from our great leader, the SUN, who seemed to be a bit out of sync (at least with me) so it was like a Japanese movie, with me hearing the words first, then seeing his lips moving. Continuing on with "Winnie", and walking right through the two girls who were sunbathing.

    Had a great time for my first mission, can’t wait to do more. Let’s have one soon.

  47. Agent Thomas says:

    Winter Group was the coolest (pun intended) one guy showed up that was not able to download and a stranger actually let him borrow an extra mp3 player! That’s what makes these things great, coming together. Felt sorry for the elements (especially rain) they looked so hot and sweaty, troppers you guys are for putting this on.

  48. Agent JT says:

    Summers – can any of you find a picture of "Winnie" in the Flickr sets? For some reason, I am dying of curiosity!

  49. Agent GTL says:

    Had a BLAST! When we were preparing the conga line (should of played the song twice!) some random guy asked me if this was some kind of "solstice". Only then did i realize what we must of looked like to outsiders. Also, i bet the picnic we descended onto was surprised.

  50. Summer Group says:

    This a picture of "Winnie" with the Sun on icopythat’s flickr page.
    L.J. Left a comment mentioning winnie.

  51. agent siegel says:

    awesome, great time

    loved wandering through people’s picnics and past sleeping people.
    clearly the summer winning was a smart move! can we do it again this saturday?

  52. flarakoo says:

    jt- http://flickr.com/photos/mirka23/169386359/ can someone please explain the winne joke/qoute "unavailable"?

  53. Sun Group says:

    Ever watch The Wonder Years? Winnie Cooper was the name of the girl that the character of Fred Savage loved and had an on/off relationship with. We called her Winnie because she reminded us of her. At least that’s why I thought we called her winnie.

  54. Nicky Pallas says:

    I’ve got a really good close-up shot of "Winnie" coming up in my stream, I’ve got about another 10-15 photos to work on until my photoset is complete, I’ll have it all done by the end of today (Tuesday 6/20)
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fatblast40

  55. AgentPlaid says:

    When we told the girl she reminded us of "Winnie" she didn’t know who we meant, so she was all offended. Then a guy behind me said "Don’t be offended! Winnie is beautiful but she’s emotionally unavailable!"

  56. Eric says:

    Winter forever!

  57. flarakoo says:

    i know who winne cooper is, played by danica mckeller who now a chemist or something, i just didn’t get the joke, thanks plaid and i guess sun too for helping out those who might have not known.

  58. valerie says:

    this was my first improv everywhere mission and oh god was it amazing! i forgot the file was on my player and listened to it during my workout at the gym. people probably thought i was nuts laughing to myself. i just realized we werent supposed to scream anything during the battle (was too loud in the park to hear that bit). oh well. sorry for screaming. :)

  59. agent boobear says:

    hey was in the rain group had a blast. in the line from shortest to tallest i was 5th from the end. speaking of "winnie" i just saw her on 6th and A wearing stickers over her tots. she was i guess going somehere for a pride party.

  60. Ilya Chigirev says:

    firstly, Cloud was the shit and i still love her, even if no other clouds do. and the entire thing was awsome, god times had by all. even people not participating. cant wait for the next mission

  61. Agent MacNeil says:

    I was a utility agent, in charge of making sure people could find the Spring meeting place and then helping Agent Dippold with her Raindrop costume change.

    As I stood at the entrance to the park at 100th street, it was pretty easy
    to pinpoint who was headed toward the meeting spot; hipster-looking
    20-somethings don’t go outside uptown on hot days unless they have a
    really good reason, and groups of friends don’t listen to their iPods
    while walking together. Many people had “mission face” on already, and
    just gave me a furtive “I’m with the band” nod. Others glanced around
    before whispering, ” ‘m I in the right spot?” Some of them took the
    wrong road after I pointed out the general direction. But it turned
    out ok. They found it.
    After I was confident that most of the dilligent mission-doers had
    already passed me, I sprinted toward the meeting spot to help Agent
    Dippold get into her elaborate raindrop costume. For all its trees and
    bridges and abandoned police kiosks, Central Park presents
    surprisingly few hiding spots. Especially if you’re a giant blue
    raindrop, as Agent Dippold and I discovered while waiting for the
    mission to begin. By the time we got her into her costume, she’d
    already been gawked at by a handful of inattentive bikers, a
    beginner’s class for rollerbladers, and several Park workers, beckoned
    by three demanding children and aggressively snarled at by a
    blood-thirsty boxer-pit-bull mix with a blood-stained muzzle. Scary
    dogs apparently eat babies, bunnies and giant raindrops.
    Somehow, it was mostly civilians, and not participating agents, who
    noticed her before things got underway. Once Agent Shelkey herded them
    all into the tunnel, Agent Dippold was free to emerge from behind the
    police kiosk, still subject to strangers’ stares and asinine questions
    (like, ‘dude, is that candy? Can I eat it?’ No and noer.).

  62. Agent Mirka says:

    I was assigned to photograph the Summer team. When we got there, 20 minutes before start time, a bunch of people were already waiting. Some people came up and introduced themselves or asked questions. One guy just introduced himself as “August 24th”.

    As it got close to the time, Agent Kinney made an announcement that we would be starting soon. People were excited and they stood up and started to get ready, but it turned out there would be several more announcements promising that we would start in “just a few minutes”. The crowd started heckling Agent Kinney, in a good-natured way. Well, they were saying they were cranky and ready to riot, but they were also laughing and having a good time meeting each other. I heard some speculation that the “experiment” was to see how long they would stand around waiting before they attacked us.

    Eventually we started the countdown and there was a hush as everyone became completely engaged in listening. They were smiling and laughing. I moved around to the side of the crowd so I could be in position when the Sun arrived. I tried to do this in a way that looked like I was just getting photos from another angle. I didn’t want to alert people to the fact that something was going to happen back there. (Not sure how successful I was).

    Everyone was thrilled when the Sun arrived. He played “Sunny Sez” with us, then taught us a game called “Solar Eclipse,” and then taught us his special dance. At the end he said we would go find Steve, and asked everyone to get in a line behind him. They set off to find Steve, and I took pictures of people as they passed by.

    This is about the point when, for no apparent reason, my ancient, crappy MP3 player suddenly stopped playing. I managed to continue taking pictures while trying to figure out what was going on, and after shutting it down and turning it back on a couple times, I was able to get it playing again. I zoomed forward to the spot that I hoped was correct. It seemed good. Everyone had gathered in a crowd around the elements, and Steve was asking them all to do the dance that their element taught them.

    Then Steve showed up! A few people were so excited, they ran up and hugged him and started worshipping him. He quickly changed outfits so he could referee the competition for Element of the Year. The crowd circled up, and it was amazing to see how much people got wrapped up in the drama and suspense of the battle. Of course Summer won, because who’s more powerful than the Sun?

    There was a final celebratory conga line, and then people started to disperse. One of my favorite parts was afterwards, seeing the fans come up and greet the elements, and have their picture taken. Just like they might with any sports hero.

  63. Erak says:

    My girlfriend and I tried to stay together as much as possible, but that went out the window when Sun made us stand in line in order of height. She’s 5’0", so she was second from the front. Being 6’3", I was fourth from the end. I didn’t see her again until after the conga line!

  64. terrietalker says:

    who knew about it, damn it, put me on your email list, you know who I am and you know my email address. now do it.

  65. Agent Simmons says:

    Well done yall.Sorry I missed this one.

  66. weatherman says:

    Awesome video! The best yet. It really tells a story, and conveys the joy and enthusiasm expressed by hundreds of participants. Good job, IE, and congratulations to all the elements that combined forces to make this sunny day happen.

  67. Dallas Jones says:

    Let me tell you about my MP33 experience. My friend (the one who got Sunny to sign her sun tattoo) and I left Allentown, PA around 11:30am with a packed lunch and everything a mom would bring. My biggest fear was getting lost but mapquest actually did us some justice for once. We arrived in NJ and got took the PATH in to NYC. Being only 2pm, I figured we had more than enough time to take Mr. B train for 70 streets. Should have checked the obituaries that morning cause Mr. B Train was DEAD! So anyway, I got a very good, very long lesson in how the New York subway system works (and doesn’t work) and didn’t give up our train hopping even at 3:15. at 3:30 we finally found our destination train and got off at our respectful streets. We ere both Spring birthdays but I thought it would be spicy-er if we went solo and made my friend a new birth certificate in the Summer. That’s right, I made her a winner. So anyway, she apparently got off at 97 st and ran to the spot, arriving minutes before the start. I in my mature manner walked to the location on my print out and arrived just in time to hear "4, 3 ,2," and then some odd yelling. That was right after I realized I followed the Winter directions when I had a Spring file. I shouldnt have smashed those 13 mirrors under that ladder. I asked a few people sitting near the mass of headphoned standies if they were with the experiment. They had no idea what I was talking about, so I just told them to watch. So anyway, I went on my merry walked through a really big park in hopes of stumbling upon an already started group. I guess I could have stayed with Winter but I thought the tracks could have been drastically different. I started listening to the track and it still brought joy to my lonely walk. I then managed to find the Spring starting point (for the directions) and then managed to get lost and then managed to find an enormous group of people and 4 wanna be Weather Channel employees. I figured it was the place and asked someone to see their player and got synced up, amazingly to the exact second. I witnessed the battle and congoed around the lake. Still an amazing experience and definitly looking to future experience with such. As soon as I learn how this internet works, I hope to host one around here.

    Watching the videos for all these missions and reading about them makes me smile and LOL. That’s right, I laugh out loud….. till my cat gets scared. Thank you IE for the inspiration.

  68. Buckeye Dan says:

    As a former New Yorker (89th St & First Ave.), my heart was with the Summer group that day. At the appointed time, I donned my headphones and followed as best as I could on Google Earth, from here in Ohio. The cue about the Pool helped me to visualize where everyone was in the park. Although I couldn’t be there in person, I had a blast "participating" from here. Go Sun!

  69. WiseOldDude says:

    I gave this mission a 5. This was very cool and I liked that you provided the info for others to do it themselves. This exemplifies your goals of joy and chaos. Excellent work.. er, fun!

  70. Clementine says:

    This was amazing, really. I have one question, though: what would the songs have been if Rain, Cloud, or Snowflake had won the Element of the year?

  71. Lizard from Australia says:

    I thought that spring should have been represented by a flower and autumn should have been represented by a red leaf. Great job though the effect created worked!!!

  72. Metz says:

    To Clementine: Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head, Misty, & Let it Snow would’ve been great songs for them.

    I wish I could have been there! Sounds like it was great fun! Keep up the good work everyone!

  73. Matt says:

    It was funny watching the kid clearly too old for his stroller order his father to attempt to breach the line.

  74. Glenn (AKA August 24th) says:

    SUMMER rocks! Such good spirited, fun, relaxed people. The Winnie "incident" including the cricket that landed on her and freaked her out, was definitely a highlight!

  75. Rich Gautier says:

    To sync Mp3 players and push buttons, I have a suggestion:

    Have the first instruction to push pause on the player. Have your main agent blow a third horn for everyone to ‘resume’ play. Most players have different ‘start’ times, but pause/restart on just about every player is almost instantaneous.

  76. Agent Winnie says:

    I was just at No Pants yesterday and people recognized me as the Winnie Cooper girl and told me there were comments here, and I am highly amused to see that people actually remembered me. To the person who saw me with the pride stickers on my nipplies, yep, that was me. I think there were some pictures of that on flickr too.

  77. Huff says:

    “I also saw him assist Rain when her headphones were jarred loose. I then pushed him to the ground. Sun is a competitor.”

    I pretty much lost it right here.

  78. soni (or sunny) says:

    You guys just might turn the tide of apathy that threatens to engulf this planet.

  79. mgwalk says:

    This was most interesting, I am going to have to go back and look at 1 and 2.0!

  80. ljdarten says:

    Has anyone considered making a small radio transmitter with a limited range and having everyone tune a radio to that frequency?

    I think if the range was limited enough you wouldn’t even need to worry about the legal/financial issues with using fm/am stations.

    I know it’s funny that some people are a little out of step (or a lot in some cases) but it would be kind of cool (but creepy) if everyone heard it at exactly the same time too. imagine this many people exactly in step.

  81. Tyler says:

    I wish I lived in New York… it would be a total blast to come out and participate in something like this! It would be great to be an agent, also, especially in the No Pants missions!!

  82. maddyla says:

    i think you guys should do some huge congo line through a store!!!
    up and down escalators… it would be hilarious!!!
    great job on this latest one by the way, if i lived in new york i would be in every project!!!
    ~keep up the improv~

  83. Mira says:

    Hey, does anyone know what song they’re dancing to? The song starts at 2:55.
    I would really appericate it if someone told me because I’ve been looking for it for ages

  84. YAYA says:

    To Mira
    It was by MIA i think

    And I would be at every misiion if i live in new york!!! The blue shirt best buy one was cool, but my favorite was frozen grand central. HILARIOUS!!!!