classic bored teenagers
July 18, 2006 4:44 PM   Subscribe

classic bored teenagers what can we do?

two friends and myself are sitting in my room trying to think of something interesting to do. we're just a random group of bored 16 year olds. we were thinking something along the lines of a public street art installation - earlier this year my one friend and i did a re-creation of this at a local baseball field. nothing illegal - while cups in a public fence is on the border, graffiti isn't what we're looking for. or an art project or something cool of any sort!

sorry to be so vague, but i figured this community is the perfect place to ask such a question. dont think your answer is too weird!

posted by willmillar to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (35 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
something like this?
posted by j at 4:52 PM on July 18, 2006

it's not art, but if you're bored why not find some place that needs volunteers? animal shelter, library, museum, etc.
posted by tastybrains at 5:02 PM on July 18, 2006

rent or borrow a camcorder. not sure where you might rent one from, but i do know that at my old school there are free ways to borrow this sort of equipment if you are a student.

after that, charge up the batteries and hit record. the hilarity practically writes itself.
posted by kaytwo at 5:05 PM on July 18, 2006

Set a Guinness World Record.
posted by sdrawkcab at 5:07 PM on July 18, 2006

Get a job.
posted by caddis at 5:34 PM on July 18, 2006 [1 favorite]

I think that kaytwo is onto something. My buddies and I made some terrible slasher flicks over our summers in HS. One set was a trilogy about a killer nun called "The Ursuline Vigilante". We had an awesome time.

Anyway, I know you have access to some sort of recording. Storyboard a film and then run with it. Everyone's making amateur film now, but fuck them. Run with it and see what you can think of. You have access to better editing than we ever did.
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:59 PM on July 18, 2006

I love the idea of you guys making a movie - failing that, the group of kids (15-21) hanging out at the karate studio right now, in between classes are playing Magic; the Gathering. There was some sort of spontaneous digging out of old sets last week and they are having a blast. They also play hours long sessions of Axis and Allies and Risk. Sudoku is also good to go here.

Make ice cream - you don't need any fancy equipment to do it, and instant reward!
posted by jvilter at 6:15 PM on July 18, 2006

Build something!

Make Blog

posted by Drunken_munky at 6:22 PM on July 18, 2006

The guys at instructables have a lot of ideas. Maybe something they do would strike your fancy.
posted by rootcause at 6:28 PM on July 18, 2006

Make a short film. That's what I did when I was a bored teen. And don't heed the advice to get a job. You have your whole life to do that. Have some fun, for all of us.
posted by sweetkid at 6:34 PM on July 18, 2006

1. Find, buy, or build your own instruments.

2. Practice.

3. Find a streetcorner, park, subway, or other public space.

4. Make glorious noise.

The finer points: The amount you practice will likely directly affect the length of time you are allowed to play in a public place. Busking may or may not be legal in your area, so playing for the joy of public spectacle may be your bes bet. At first. If you get good enough you might find an open mic or coffee shop that will let you perform. Upload recordings of the results to the Mefi Music page.

Combine this with kaytwo's suggestion and you've got your summer set up.

If you need more links to homemade musical instruments my email's in my profile.
posted by lekvar at 6:39 PM on July 18, 2006

Learn to knit (ok, ok, I'm biased there because I write knitting books) & then knit-graffiti something like Knitta (!
posted by at 6:40 PM on July 18, 2006

Fourthing the movie suggestion. It was the first thing that came to mind and then I saw that everyone else suggested it too.
posted by easternblot at 6:51 PM on July 18, 2006

Ok, coupla ideas—

When I was in high school, a local Dada group formed who would do things like buy a bunch of sidewalk chalk and take over the Diag (the big square in Ann Arbor), making huge exquisite corpses (you need a tarp or a blanket). They also made up hilarious surveys and accosted people.
A friend of ours made a soup and hot dog (veggie dogs, actually) machine and set it up outside. It looked like a photo booth, and he'd ask people about how they felt after using it. Sometimes the machine would cook and serve the food, other times it was him crouched inside the machine working the controls, and people seemed to prefer the food when the machine cooked it.
Videos are awesome, as are movies. It can be more fun to make shorts and music videos.
As for "vandalism," you can always do the classics with training birds (use birdseed daily to attract a flock of birds, precipitate with some regular signal, and then wait a couple of days. Come back and just do the signal and you can get a huge flock to descend) or with salting large lawns in patterns. If done carefully, you can write giant words in salt and then wait for the grass to die in those places.
Build breadboard synths. They make awesome noises, and that's the coolest band to be in.
Do drugs. Lots of acid kills boredom.
My girlfriend and I just did a bunch of research and came up with a tour of our downtown called Murder, Mayhem and Mesmerism that details all of the weird stuff we could find about our town. It's neat to know where kids were butchered and steeped in lye.
posted by klangklangston at 6:54 PM on July 18, 2006

My friends and I (we're all 16 as well) made a movie for school this year and had an amazing time. Try to find interesting places to shoot- we had a lot of fun on an old railroad bridge. Costumes and stuff make it way more fun. Just being stupid becomes a lot more fun when it's being recorded, but trying to work out a story and make things look good was a really interesting challenge.

Also, I have no idea where you live but a friend and I had fun recently going downtown (in Dallas) on the train and going to museums. See what you can convince your parents to let you do.
posted by MadamM at 6:54 PM on July 18, 2006

Urban exploration? Get some cameras (still or video) and go wandering. Take pictures of anything interesting: random strangers, your friends, architecture. Whatever strikes your fancy.

Doesn't have to be in abandoned places, though those are usually the most fun -- can also try a part of town you've never been, or a college campus. Be polite if people ask you to leave, and don't get into anything really dangerous.

As an added bonus you'll be learning about photography, which is highly addictive and painfully expensive easy to learn and very enjoyable.

Busking is also loads of fun.
posted by cmyk at 6:56 PM on July 18, 2006

Wiffle Ball game.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:10 PM on July 18, 2006

what i say comes from someone who was in your place just 5 years ago....

I second caddis:

Get a job.

If not caddis, then listen to tastybrians:

find some place that needs volunteers

just my opinion.

after my first real summer of being "free" (read: having a drivers licence) i got really bored really quickly. got a job with friends busing tables at a sports bar/restaurant. not only did i meet some fun people it was a great way to make some extra cash to blow on stupid things.

if not, that start your own creative.

also, youd be surprised how rewarding volunteering is. worth a shot.
posted by ASM at 7:19 PM on July 18, 2006

A fifth of vodka and a cabin in the woods.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 7:32 PM on July 18, 2006

Some good suggestions already (job and volunteer work would've been my first two answers). Since no one else has mentioned it, I'll suggest learning to play chess. This previous askme has a lot of good book suggestions and if you're on a budget, I'd bet some of them are available at the library.
posted by chndrcks at 7:40 PM on July 18, 2006

A couple friends and I split up the parts from A Midsummer Night's Dream and did a reading together.

It was actually pretty fun. Even if it's not up your alley, I offer it up because maybe it'll lead you to think of something that is.
posted by veggieboy at 7:48 PM on July 18, 2006

For an awesome street installation/performance piece, why not recreate this in your locale:
posted by zachlipton at 8:30 PM on July 18, 2006

Make a 24 Hour Comic?

Improve on one of Rob Cockerham's experiments?

posted by JDC8 at 9:10 PM on July 18, 2006


When I was 16 me and my friends mixed alcohol, camped out until the wee hours so we could wrap people's cars with cling-film and attempted unsuccesfully to get drugs at reasonable prices.

Good luck with the art project.
posted by 0bvious at 9:40 PM on July 18, 2006 [1 favorite]

I almost got arrested for sidewalk chalking in AZ. The cops consider it graffiti. Just FYI.
posted by hermitosis at 9:41 PM on July 18, 2006

* Start a band. It doesn't matter if you have any musical talent - it's just pure fun.
* Go on a road trip.
* Make a zine.
* Volunteer at some organisation you always felt was doing good work.
posted by pollystark at 3:48 AM on July 19, 2006

When the weather turned bad, my mates and I found that MANY hours could be killed by digging out old games consoles and reliving our NES, N64 and sega days.
posted by cholly at 4:29 AM on July 19, 2006

Build a marimba.
posted by dmd at 4:50 AM on July 19, 2006

Set yourself a goal:
"By the end of summer I will be able to walk a 10-metre tightrope not less than two metres above the ground"
"In two months I will be able to play the guitar well enough to busk in public"
"By the end of August I will be able to speak a foreign language well enough to seduce someone from that country."
"By the start of the next school term I will have written a book/made a film/published a zine/recorded a CD/built a car/started a t-shirt business"
Get everyone in the group to make one. Agree to help each other out.
Then go for it.
posted by Hogshead at 6:10 AM on July 19, 2006

(Another example: my project this summer is walking 150 miles from Winchester to Canterbury)
posted by Hogshead at 6:12 AM on July 19, 2006

I've always wanted to build my own arcade machine that ran games off a PC running an emulator. I think that would be an awesome summer project, and then you guys could play any game you wanted on your own arcade machine.
posted by helvetica at 6:19 AM on July 19, 2006

Vigilante Volunteerism.
Go to a busy local park and pick up all the trash - if you do a thorough job, and you do it weekly for a month, it will make a huge effect on the landscape, and you can call it performance art.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 10:20 AM on July 19, 2006

You have your whole life for working.

I love love love the make a film idea - it's fun while you are doing it, you can all do it together, and you'll have the memories (on film!) forever.
posted by KAS at 10:32 AM on July 19, 2006

Do a re-creation of a famous painting like this guy did, then post it on Flickr and BECOME FAMOUS.
posted by exceptinsects at 11:38 AM on July 19, 2006

Less exotic suggestions, but potentially not as interesting:
-Boardgames. Especially good ones are Guesstures and Cranium, these get people active, moving, and competitive.

-Capture the Flag. If you've got at least 6-8 people and some spare red/blue fabric, you can setup an awesome game pretty quickly.

-Movie marathons. Pick a theme and go. Bonus points for Mystery Theater style making-fun-of-movies.

-If you really want to fuck with people's heads, put pantyhose on your heads robber-style and walk around as a group. Be prepared for extreme reactions, and I am in no way responsible if you get shot or otherwise harmed by a store clerk or anyone.
posted by ElfWord at 11:44 PM on July 19, 2006

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