I have completed the arduous task of surveying all of the streets in section one of my map: the area between High Street, South Bridge, South College Street/Potterrow, and George IV Bridge. It was busy, noisy, and rained heavily at 3pm, but I have found 15 locations where you can genuinely hear a pin drop. I have decided simply to post them as images during the week, so as not to spoil the presentation on Friday at 4.30pm. After that point I will add the GPS data, alongside any locations found by the audience, to make a combined map of the area.
Dividing Edinburgh into Manageable Pieces…
I have divided the streets into 6 sections so that I can concentrate my efforts on each day. I will begin on Friday 3rd, and finish on Wednesday 8th, which gives me a spare day before the presentation to go back and verify anything.
Interview in The List
For more discussion about the work I am taking to Edinburgh please take a look at this article by Laura Ennor: http://edinburghfestival.list.co.uk/article/43238-hear-a-pin-drop-at-the-2012-edinburgh-fringe/
Free Pin Drop Hunting kit
Everyone who comes to see my Hear a Pin Drop Here presentation on Friday 10th August will receive a limited edition Pin Drop Hunting kit. This will consist of a selection of pins, a map, and instructions, and a special email address which they can use to send images of their own discoveries directly to this website.
Alternative Site Survey, Firstsite, 23.06.12
I surveyed the different floor surfaces at Firstsite, Colchester, to determine which were best for making a pin resonate when dropped. It seems the best surfaces were a kind of stone-effect vinyl which allowed the pin to bounce a little. This made the metal resonate, so the pin sounded sharper and more bell-like.
Alternative Site Survey, Firstsite, Colchester
On 23rd June I will be testing out my pin dropping technique at Firstsite in Colchester, as part of the Love Architecture festival. I want to determine how different floor surfaces and ambient sounds are going to affect the piece once I take to the streets in Edinburgh, and so I have the controlled environment of the whole gallery in which to experiment. It will also be a public event, which allows me to determine how performative the action can be whilst still producing meaningful results. If you’re in the East on the day, please come along: it’s open 11-4 and is free.
Testing pin dropping around Oxford Street
I went to Oxford Street to test out the functioning of my Pin Drop hypothesis. I have decided that the only fair way to decide if you can hear a pin drop is to not look at it hit the floor. It’s significantly easier to imagine a sound (or mentally amplify it) if you can see the source. So, I dropped two pins whilst looking surreptitiously into shop windows and the results are as follows:
1. Corner of Berners Street/Oxford Street, looking into Waterstone’s window: You can’t hear a pin drop.
2. Corner of Oxford Market/Market Place, looking at information post: You can hear a pin drop. But only just.
I also tried it outside Queen Elizabeth Hall and couldn’t hear anything, but that has a funny gravelly concrete floor surface so I wonder if that affects it? I will do a study on different surfaces too, just to be fair.
I have signed my contract and submitted the show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe brochure.
I have also purchased 600 pins, and my GPS device is in a Royal Mail delivery office waiting for me to collect it.
The talk will take place at 4.30pm on Friday 10th August 2012, in the small hall at Lauriston Hall, 28 Lauriston Street, Edinburgh EH3 9DJ. Tickets will go on sale through the Fringe box office in the next few weeks or so. I am VERY excited! The talk will feature photographs and video clips of my week of investigations, and a discussion about crowded places.