In Gold We Rust



“The ability to construct symbolic objects attains its greatest triumph in money.  For money represents abstraction at its purest form; it makes comprehensible the most abstract concept …thus money is the adequate expression of the relationship of man to the world which can only be grasped in single and concrete instances yet only really conceived when the singular becomes the embodiment of living mental process which interweaves all singularities and in this fashion creates reality.”

-Georg Simmel,  The Philosophy of Money

Coin Return is an artistic exploration of that uniquely human abstraction that we call money, or currency. This project was realized with a class of Rhode Island School of Design students as assistants.  We created a “gezamptkunstwerk” (total work of art) made up of many objects, sounds, ideas, and media, culminating in a performative assembly line, and series of objects. Collaborators worked alongside Brooklyn-based artist Noah Fischer, who played the role of capitalist inventor in an Thomas Edisonesque laboratory. Collaborators became worker- elves in this money-making production. This was a human-powered “anti-mint”, which un-produced currency- transformed into unique numismatic objects.

The project turned on the fact that pennies made after 1982 are filled with zinc.

A resulting series of 3 minute  Super-8 MM films are a collaboration between Noah Fischer and artist Edward Kimball.