Bart and I participated in the Unsilent Night event in downtown on Saturday... what a f&%$ing spectacular idea! I knew it was going to be a good time when I showed up at the railway station to meet up with the group and across the way, there were at least a hundred people dressed as Santas, in all forms. Zombie Santas, sexy skimpy Santas, nun Santas, Batman Santas, even a few Christmas trees and Jesus. There were Santas making out with each other, flashing body parts, a few hitting flasks... all of them were having a raucous time across the platform where we gathered for the event. Evidently there is a Santa pubcrawl called the Dallas Santa Rampage, which coincides with the Unsilent Night event in Dallas each year.
Our side of the platform was impressive as well. You know I'm a fan of public art, at Akard station, there is a 3-D relief map of the central business district, and it was covered in boomboxes, portable stereos and amplifiers.
We all milled about, snapping photos and getting acquainted until the instructions were given by the organizers. Most of us had never participated in the event before, even though this was the 4th annual walk. One guy had a contraption on wheels that used an APC battery backup to power an array of speakers strapped down and covered in Christmas lights.
There were all kinds of folks assembling in this group, kids, older folks, people speaking several different languages, quite an eclectic crowd. We were given cards to hand out along the way as people would surely ask us what we were doing parading around downtown in a cloud of noise.
We all readied our devices, and pressed play at the same time. A loosely organized arrangement started to waft up above the crowd, and we stayed there at the station for a minute or so before setting off in a peloton of sound. Each person was given one of four recordings to play along the route.
I will absolutely do this again. It's one of those brilliant ideas that, once you've participated in the execution, you can't imagine your life without it. Look out for many future thoughts and nags to join the party. Incidentally, you can join the facebook group unsilentnight dallas to find out about next year's event. I want to combine the walk with other pieces of performance art and maybe even the Santa pub crawl.. who has ideas about this?? Bravo, Phil Kline, you're a genius - manipulating the best kind of flash mob, one that makes something beautiful and leaves no trace.
Check out my fellow walker's blog too.