A Penny for Your Thought: Rethinking Micro Economics

This street performance explores the possibility of quantifying the symbolic value of cent coins by destroying them and re-selling them to it’s original owners.

Starting from the understanding that, due to it’s decrease in value, the cent coin has become a mere symbolic token of appreciation. I worked with the street performer community to design a system that enables them to make use of already existing dynamics with the audience to increase their economic income.

The system works as follows: The cent coins obtained by the street performer are destroyed and sold for a higher value than the initial in an auction like situation. I worked particularly with living statues to emphasize on the power struggle between audience and performer and on the trigger-like quality of the coin in this particular situation.

In order to make a living statue move or change position, you need to give it a coin. The coin then has a purpose beyond the celebration of that person’s craft. It shifts the power of deciding how the performance will continue to the spectator. The performer then gets back into power by reselling the coin that was just given but destroyed. Setting the price he or she finds appropriate to the entertainment provided.

This performance was first shown in Museumplein and will be part of the Living Statue World Championship 2019 in Arnhem, Netherlands.
In collaboration with Margot Verbee, Erik Plug, Matt Walters and John Hoogenboom.