Message in a Bottle: Experiment in a Greenpoint Bar

Field Experiment: To test the ‘message in a bottle’ experiment in a new location- indoors, at a bar on Halloween. What can learn about the community by asking about their fears?

Plan: A Halloween themed prompt. A clear glass bottle, tied with ribbon and a pen, a clipboard with cut paper strips, and a sign reading “Tell us what you are AFRAID of.” We set up 4 different stations around the bar, in the area where burlesque dancers were performing. We made an announcement in between performances to alert the crowd that they should look for the bottles and participate.

Messages left:

McDonald’s  –  kids  –  hangovers  –  old people  –  rebobs!  –  being alone  –  huge cocess  –  getting pregnant  –  the dark  –  (blank sheet)  –  no sex  –  failure  electrical fires  –  the 1%

Observations: Because people were mostly standing in one place during the shows there wasn’t much circulation, and it was crowded so people in the center of the room had no visibility of the walls, where the stations were set up. Very few people participated. We decided to walk around and carry the materials to people and this worked a bit better, but we only managed to fill one bottle even this way.

Revisions for next time: Set up the stations in a public space were there are more people moving through it, and where the space is open enough for people to walk over easily. This bar already had a lot going on, people were stimulated enough by the performances, and the music, and everyone’s costumes. Would this have worked better on a different night of the year? Or a different bar?


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