Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Escape Artist/Creating Financial Restraints

Ever since I started using coins in my artwork, several years ago, people have always wondered the same thing: "isn't that illegal?"
My response is usually the same: "No."
As far as I can tell, this is simply an urban myth, styled by an actual law forbidding people from shaving silver off the edges of their coins while also preventing people from changing mintmarks to defraud collectors. As long as no deception is involved, no law is apparently broken. For all I know I might be wrong.
However, turning my pocket change into artwork is an investment I have chosen to make, and if a bit of risk is involved, that's not a strong deterrent. My desire to create my ideas is too great to ignore. If it's illegal I'm prepared to face the consequences, and in the meantime I'll build my case through creating as much more art from money as I can.
I don't worry about it because it seems trivial. We allow ourselves to fear and worry about all sorts of things that are in actuality ridiculously harmless. Take money, for instance: What the hell are we thinking?
We seem like a smart species, yet our intelligence seems to have become a useless, atrophied remnant of what our ancestors once possessed. No longer masters, we now behave like pets. We allow ourselves to be trained by strong commands. We will only do something if there's a reward involved.
We bear the shackles of our monetary system willingly, having convinced ourselves hundreds of years ago that there's no other way. So we trudge through life wistful, and seek out the cash.
Interestingly, our global agreement to allow money to control our lives is no longer a decision we're allowed to make. We are born into it, and within it we die.
Or do we? My entire life has been a quest to make art, and in the process I forgot to figure out how to make money. My bad.

No gallery representation, no regular sales, no solo shows. I am truly anonymous in my room, surrounded by massive amounts of art.
If we value art, I am a billionaire, ten times over. If we value money, I'm a delinquent in debt. You decide.
Living life under the constant restraint of funding has made us all who we are. Some have no worries, some have nothing at all. Most of us have debt. I have ideas.

Making money is simple if you're willing to break the law, yet hard work and honesty rarely pay off. Go figure.
The funny thing is, the handcuffs do not lock. We alone keep them on or let ourselves free.
This entire object was fabricated from coins and epoxy.
So is it legal?
It should be...


lj lindhurst said...

that's pretty cool, Ted!

Anonymous said...

Great metaphor! I hope you get locked up for defacing federal property.


Dirk Arnold said...

I like where this is going...

Drew said...