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Making Money Assignment-Part 1 November 28, 2010

Posted by leskanturek in Class Assignments, Public art, Re-designing money.
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(above) Moneygami found at www.flickr.com/photos/closetheworld/sets/72157603796565739/

Everyday we all carry around, collect and barter…art. Money is after all illustrations and designs that we attach a very high symbolic value to.

We may perceive our money as staying the same graphically but in reality it has been constantly changing, evolving visually over the 234 years of the United States, along with the currency used all over the world. Re-designing American money has been in the forefront lately in an invigorated discussion on what our paper currency should look like due to new printing technologies making counterfeiting easier, and since the Euro has become the standard monetary unit in Europe drastically changing what each nation’s currency looks like. Has some part of a country’s national identity been erased by not having distinctly different money from it’s neighbors?

(above) The dollar that would have been in your wallet in the 1880’s

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While we’re used to seeing dead presidents/founding fathers and national symbols decorate US paper currency, there is a huge range of subject matter that appears on money in other parts of  the world; Indigenous peoples, insects, marine life, microscopic organisms, our solar system, elements of physics, the human body, and abstract designs to name a few.

At times in the history of money it has only been the artistic merit- the design and illustration on the currency that has given it value.  Artists are involved in creating and designing legal tender but also questioning it’s nature.

Artists have deconstructed it, (Shepard Fairey’s Obey money)  used it to protest, enhanced it’s artistic value and re-imagined it to more accurately reflect (for better or worse) contemporary culture.

For your next assignment you are going to illustrate/design 2 denominations of the same type of currency. back and front.  So you will have as an example a $5 and a $20 bill, or a $1 and a $100, but both bills should work within your concept. You will have on your note the denomination.

You have a lot of conceptual room here to mock, satirize, pay tribute to, comment on your subject /concept of choice.  You must have a concept that holds the series of notes together.

You can create currency for a fictional country, redesign US money, depict character and events fictional or real.

 

Your bills do not have to be rectangles, they can be round or any shape and material that makes sense with your concept. (ex: would currency for Atlantis be on seaweed or Sea shells?).

Bring in Sketches next week and we’ll further explore the topic. As part of your research google/look up the following:

Notgeld (google image search, there are quite a few sites) Below are some examples of Notgeld. Emergency regional money printed during the 20’s to counteract German inflation.

www.art-money.org/ (Artmoney is an International art project)

http://weburbanist.com/2008/12/14/art-from-money/

blog.eyemagazine.com/?p=543 19 Artists Design a New One-Dollar Bill from Avant Garde magazine 1969

Dollar ReDe$ign Project

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