It makes good cents: A personal examination of nomadic studio methodology



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Over the course of 2009, I decided to work with the United States one-cent piece, more commonly known as the penny, in a series of artistic pieces. Each artistic piece examined a particular aspect of how I believe the penny interacts with the general populace. The first artistic piece focused on my interaction with my surroundings: for over a year, I recorded every penny I found in my local town of Lubbock, Texas, along with both the side (heads or tails) facing up and the day on which the penny was found. The second artistic piece was an installation where I deposited over a thousand pennies on the ground in a public location and, for one week, witnessed the interactions between the site and its large number of pennies. The final pieces involved using the found coins from the first artistic piece in a series of more traditional artistic works. The first of these works was a photo-scan documentation of those coins with obscured dates of mint; this series of photographs showed the interaction of the pennies with their environment. The second work involved the pennies with readable dates, which I arranged chronologically in a column, reflecting the decay of the object as time progressed. A number of current theoretical ideas are relevant to my investigation of the penny, at the center of which is an examination of nomadicism as seen through the writings of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari (1987). In relation to this concept is an investigation into collecting as presented by scholars such as Susan Pearce (1998). This is incorporated into the examination of concepts discussed concerning site-specific art as seen through the writings of Miwon Kwon (2002). The final concept investigated is the aesthetic quality of entropy as demonstrated by the work of Robert Smithson (1966). Developed through the artistic pieces and the consideration of the relevant theoretical concepts, I generate my own idea of an analytical nomadic perspective.



Deleuze, Gilles, 1925-1995, Cent, Nomads