The PDL Rap
PDL as SBC at TAM
Offspring at Olympic Sculpture Park
Ceci N'est Pas Une Swing Set @ OSP
Portable Confessional Units
Deep Space at Motel, Motel, Motel
Seattle Art Museum
Unauthorized Audio Tour
SQUAT at Kerry Park
Wake(up) at OSP
Wind Farm in Bellevue Park
Zoo to You Foundation at Free Sheep
Portland Art Museum
Unauthorized Audio Tour
The Coin Drops were one of our very first projects, yet remains a perfect example of the PDL aesthetic. The Coin Drops are absurd, don’t look like art, and are performed in public spaces. They are also a perfect example of that late night idea someone remembers the next day and pushes to make it happen. This time it was Jed — and the idea was to “accidentally” drop 60 pounds of loose change in public places. There was something slightly horrifying about the whole thing to Jason and me, but we agreed to coordinate and document these staged spectacles. We hung back in the shadows with cameras and filmed Jed walking into shopping centers with a large, ill-constructed box of pennies, nickels, dimes and a few quarters. When he reached the center of a space, the box would fall apart in his hands, causing an explosion of copper and silver. Coins cascaded to the floor and shot in every conceivable direction. It was jaw dropping.
The process was to accidentally split the coins, reassemble the box, collect as much dumped change as possible, and walk out of the store. In part, we were drawn to the sheer spectacle of it all. In part, we wanted to see how people would respond to such an action. Would they laugh? Ignore it and walk on by? Perceive it as art, premeditated, or as a simple accident?
No one asked why Jed was carrying so much change or what he planned to do with it. No one sneered or laughed. What we thought of as hilariously funny became an intense social experience. People came from all across the mall, stopped what they were doing, set down their bags and picked pennies off the floor. A great diversity of people. And this group of strangers united for this common goal — a simple act of gathering that did not require words or directions, just people helping, no questions asked. We did it four times.
A few weeks later Greg was telling a friend about the coin drops and the friend asked if he had done it at the Pacific Place Mall. When he said yes, the friend relayed that he heard the story from someone while standing in line at the bank. Ultimately, it didn’t matter to PDL if people recognized the performance as art — they wanted to create things that took people out of their routine, if only for a moment, to give them a story, to let them all start conversations with “I saw the darndest thing today…”