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Money Actions & Free Money

Money Actions is an ongoing series in which I have been using the social dimensions of money as the basis of an interactional and interventionist art practice. I give away money in streets, stores, galleries, talks, dinners, cafés, sometimes anonymously, sometimes in groups or person to person—often to people who give it away in turn. Because money is caged in rules, simply acting outside these rules opens up new ranges of social action and interaction. The money serves as a provocation for thought, conversation, feeling. In my experience, people are more reluctant to receive than to give; it’s awkward for people to be put in that situation, and I like to linger there. From either side of the equation emotions are brought into play—greed, anxiety, stinginess, as well as excitement, generosity, pleasure. People tell me stories of loans gone bad, purses stolen in bars, handouts to people on the street, hunting for nuggets of gold in the Yukon, friends in trouble. For me, the artwork happens inside the other person as they experience the situation—as they think about, give away or spend the money.

>>Money Actions

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The money action “5 Euros near Something Blue/Bankovec Za Pet Evrov Pri Necem Modrem” was part of the 29th Ljubljana Biennial in the fall of 2011. Money Actions/Free Money has also been a part of Art in Odd Places:Sign and Vendorbar at the Editions/Artists Book Fair as well as Participatory Dissent at the Live Biennale in Vancouver, be something’s one2one performance festival, conflux 2006, “Keep the Change” at the Nathan Cummings Gallery in New York, and You Can Have it All at the Salvation Gallery.

>> Images from the Ljubljana Biennial Blog

>>Catalog from You Can Have it All

>>Live Biennale blog Lori Weidenhammer

>>Live Biennale blog Margaret Dragu

>>Live Biennale photos

>>Art in Odd Places blog & photos