Janne Leivo /Improv everywhere, The Mp3 Experiment

Improv everywhere is a social phenomenon where people in improvise together using the instructions of written beforehand. Charlie Todd, a guy moving to New York years ago, created the idea wanting to make something fun in the streets. The first improve was the “no pants subway ride” which soon lead to many other postings. To ride in I subway is to turn around the general rules of how you should behave in public places.

The important thing about these act are that they are gathering a group of perfect strangers to do something together in a social environment, and all because of making the city a more fun place, one way of being alone together. Every happening is videotaped and posted on a Youtube channel, and the channel has now more than 1,1 million subscribers. The creators are regularly posting new videos and many of the subscribers cant wait for the next video coming out. There are many terms of this kind of behaviour, one is called “flash mob”, but in this case they take the term even further.

In the class we talked about the iZombie, which would mean we turn in to social solitude when we put on our headphones. Improv everywhere has turned this around by making people download an mp3 and make actions with guidance of an instructor They get detailed instructions and gather at the same spot an start the action when the instructor tells them to. The first act is crawl when the instructor says now. Then all the participant crawl and make their spectators look at them wandering what is happening.

These events show us what we should think of the things we see in public. If someone stops you on the street, it is hard to say no, if the message is clear and there is no threat involved. We should always question what is reality and what we want it to be. This tells something about us as humans, we like to have fun whenever we can.


Published by Life in Media

Website dedicated to the Media Life/Life in Media project of Mark Deuze, Professor of Media Studies, University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands).

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  1. I want to so experience this myself, so much fun, New York seems like the city to be in for new experiences

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