The City Speaks Hull - Michael Pinsky
I dropped by at Humber Street on a cold mid-February evening to check out the latest large scale City of Culture offering. A modern day speakers corner where spoken words are projected on to one of Hull's more prominent architectural elements the Tidal barrier, 'The City Speaks' sounded interesting and offered another unique photographic opportunity.
The speakers plinth sits by the marina at the top of Humber Street, directly opposite the Tidal barrier and built in to the plinth is a microphone and some software wizardry that translates spoken word in to text that is then digitally projected on to the west tower of the barrier. It's really quite a fun thing to do once you get the hang of speaking a bit posh, my Hull accent isn't the broadest but I had to pronounce Hull as Hal to get the correct spelling. getting 2017 was fun too. I managed it the first time on a practice run no trouble but subsequent efforts were not so good. "Two Thousand 1 7", 2....0....1....4... , 1 Thousand 1 7 were some of the translations, not ideal for my photographic HULL 2017 vision I had in mind.
A family came out of a nearby restaurant, amused at this man in a yellow coat running to and frow from the plinth to camera, and back again, speaking a bit strangely and rapidly running out of breath! They approached with caution and I moved out of the way for them to enjoy the spectacle. The whole family enjoyed themselves and the little girl was impressed her school name could be seen on the Tidal Barrier. Something to tell the classmates on Monday!
As I meandered down Humber Street a bit further I noticed the extent of the public realm works. A dramatic change has occurred in this once dilapidated, run down area of the city. The new surfaces are stunning, it was dark but you could see the contractors had done a good job! I must return to visit in daylight and check out the full extent of the works, I'll be packing the camera for sure!