One man was tying his shoe. Another was looking at a map. They were just a few of the more than 200 “undercover agents” for the group Improv Everywhere to freeze in place on the Main Concourse at Grand Central Terminal. The result was a human art installation: Frozen Grand Central.
For five full minutes on January 31, 2008, a historic transit hub trafficked by more than half a million people each day became a hall of statues. Instead of looking at the cerulean and gold leaf ceiling or Tennessee marble floors, visitors to the station unwittingly became part of a grand social experiment.
Causing scenes since 2001, the Improv Everywhere team may seem like mere pranksters. But their “missions” are also attempts to make people “stop to notice the world around them.”
Whether you’re participating in the mission or happen to be an innocent bystander, this can be a fantastic way to experience a city. Plus,
they’ve gone global, and local improv groups are sprouting up from Houston to Helsinki.