Original Music and Sound Design: Agent Walker
Digital Video: Agents Adams, Shafer, TV Boy
Digital Photography: Agents Nicholson, Fountain, Sokoler
Produced by: Agent Biederman
edited by: Matt Adams
For our fifth annual Mp3 Experiment, over 1,000 people downloaded the same mp3, pressed play at the same time, and had a blast together on a misty, gray day on Governor’s Island in New York Harbor. This year we partnered with Yahoo! to transform The Mp3 Experiment into a full-on North American tour; after the New York mission, we made stops in Toronto, San Francisco, and Chicago. You can see a highlight video of the entire tour here.
Below is the mission report for the New York event. Enjoy!
If you’ve never heard of The Mp3 Experiment, check out our coverage of the past four years:
This year’s location was beautiful Governor’s Island. The island sits in New York Harbor just a seven-minute ferry ride away from Manhattan. The island has a beautiful fort and castle, and it played a role in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and the Civil War. It was an Army post from 1783 until 1966 when it was transferred to the Coast Guard. In 2003, the Cost Guard sold it to the city for a symbolic $1, and it has been open to the public on summer weekends since then. While visiting earlier this summer, I came across this sign:
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 took the ferry to the island. At exactly 3:15 PM, everyone pressed play from wherever they happened to be on the island.
Canadian Geese flee the island as our participants arrive
It was fun watching the deserted island (there weren’t too many tourists visiting on such an overcast day) fill up with primary colors as our participants started arriving, many getting there a few hours ahead of time to explore the island. We had a wonderfully diverse group of people show up this year. All ages, races, and backgrounds were present. We had newborns, children, high school kids, college students, 20/30somethings, parents, and grandparents, all playing together.
Participants sit in front of Fort Jay
Participants sit on top of one of the fort’s cannons
Two rangers smile as dozens of people give them high fives
Agent Bozarth follows Steve’s instructions to “hug an inanimate object.”
A young agent touches his nose
Steve announced that later in the day there would be a giant “epic battle” taking place on the island (a nod to its history!) and that participants would need to get themselves battle ready by playing thumb war with someone wearing a different color shirt.
An island employee looks on suspiciously as hundreds around him play thumb war
Participants exiting Fort Jay
Participants were instructed to open and spin their umbrellas as they approached the big field
Inexplicably, a bear participated this year! He had an iPod and everything.
Two girls tethered to one iPod run around during “attacker/defender”
A couple not participating looks on at our puzzle of color
“Right hand, red head!”
It was finally time for the epic battle, and Steve instructed those wearing red and yellow to go the north side of the field while those wearing blue and green headed south.
The red/yellow team heads north
Father and son bring up the rear
Steve didn’t instruct participants to hold their balloons over their heads, but it seemed like the right thing to do
Agent TomTom and his father Agent Massari, fatally wounded
The bear down for the count!
Thanks again to Yahoo! for embracing our mission and making this tour possible. Be sure to see our reports on the other three cities:
Agent Nicholson’s highlight photos
Agent Nicholson’s full set
Agent Sokler’s set
Agent Fountain’s highlight set
Agent Fountain’s full set
You can download some of the songs from The Mp3 Experiment on Agent Walker’s MySpace page.
Check out first hand reports from participants and links to their own flickr sets and blog posts on Recap Page. Add your own report if you were there.
We have also toured The Mp3 Experiment around the world to places like Berlin, Germany and Adelaide, Australia. If you’re part of an organization (festival, university, arts group) that is interested in commissioning an Mp3 Experiment, get in touch via our contact form.
Awesome job all! it looked like an amazing time!
It was an awesome time. The video was great but doesn’t even capture half the fun we had that day. Yet another great IE event. Looking forward to the next!
-Tall guy in yellow with the extra-cool battle-balloons
Came out great. Glad to say I was a part of it. =)
The video is a great summary of the major events of the day, but my daughters and I got a kcik out of human Tetris and human Twister. WOuld have loved to see the video of those.
The video is great! The epic battle is amazing. You can even see me in the thumb wrestling bit (I’m the girl in the red shirt with pink hair).
I can’t wait to do another improv everywhere event!
great time!!! thank for the play date. cant wait for another event.
Another great time. It was a bit hard to find a stranger/non-participant though.
Thanks again for the great time IE!
P.S.:When is the female only mission finally going to come out of hiding?
thats me in the green shirt playing thumb war! that day was a lot of fun xp
We want more video! I want to see myself lol! Post more video! Even if its not edited! Raaaghhh!
How I wish I could have participated. ‘Tis a sad thing I had to move out of New York just before this began. Looks like a ton of fun. Good job.
This made my business trip from Seattle completely worth it! It was my first visit ever to NYC and I was incredibly excited to discover I’d be in town during this event. You can bet I’m going to try to figure out a way to get to another one of these.
I was also thrilled to meet so many cool people. I got to know one girl in particular pretty well. Even though she was a soldier in the evil Blue/Green alliance, she eventually redeemed herself by joining the Starboard side…
Thanks IE for the fantastic memories!
It was all great fun you guys. Looking forward to our next mission. Whatever it might be
I loved this so much! It was so fun, even if it was all drizzly.
Heh, I’m in the first picture of the death pictures. Upper right hand corner, clinging to my dead boyfriend. I commited lovers suicide. ;P
Also, that small blonde boy is absolutely adorable!
Love you guys. Wish I lived in NYC or nearby. Can’t wait to see what the next thing is.
I had an amazing time! I came all the way from New Hampshire with a few friends from the Boston Society of Spontaneity just to participate… we had done our own MP3 Experiment just a week before!
I’d just moved to the city when this was held, and participating in my first IE mission was a great way to start my Big City Adventure! A friend from upstate NY took the train down to join in, and the day was just SO silly, amazing and fun. Chanting for the bear … RED AND YEL-LOW! … getting drizzled on … winning 2/3 thumb wars! … it was a great time. Thanks for organizing this!
well! i wuz dere! i wuz da girl in da redskinz shirt with the big brown hair. yeah. RED TEAM MAN! xDDD it wuz pretty cool. but @ the beginning of the balloon battle i got stuck n CCIDENTALLY RESTARTED THE WHOLE THING! but i asked this nice guy 2 tell me @ wat timin we wer @. thankgod! but i didnt get hit, n i autmoatically died. -.- but i wud love 2 do it again. last year i heard they did HUMAN TETRIS. lolz my mom wud hav loved dat cuz she loves playin tetris on her blackberry. n claire waz da girl in da masquerade mask. she wuz a pretty cool person. n funny n akward liek dat bear. xD i started randomly pointin 2 werevr wen dey said 2 point were u live n were all dose of islandz were. liek literally, you cud probably SWIM 2 govener’s island! iz not evn dat FAR. probably not evn a mile! -.- but it wuz overall cool. :]
I’m very happy that I was there. Maybe one of the few Dutch people present. I loved it and it made my stay in New York complete. Thanks!
This was such a great time! The spirit was infectious, and even afterward there was chanting, cheering and singing on the way back. I wish there were more pictures, it was fantastic.
Wait a minute, at around 1:30 everyone that had an MP3 player was wearing headphones so if they all high 5’d each other that would have been incorrect.
Just an observance
RAISE YO HANDS IF YOUR GOING TO MP3 EXPERIMENT 6 TOMORROW, YEAHYEAH!!
PS- Did anyone else see kevin from collegehumor in that video? I swear to god I did.