Performance with the Aaron Burr Society at the Austrian Cultural Forum
summerofchange

On Monday, January 23rd, Noah Fischer joined Jim Costanzo of the Aaron Burr Society to perform a distribution of stamped dollar bills and smashed pennies for the opening of a show titled "It's the Political Economy Stupid." The show is curated by Gregory Sholette.http://davidplakke.us/client/ACF_Political_24Jan2012/content/ACF_193_lar...

01/23/2012
New York Times: Taking the Protests to the Art World
summerofchange

By MELENA RYZIK

The Occupy Wall Street movement took on the art world, sort of, this week, with a splinter group, Occupy Museums. Convened on Thursday evening through a FacebookTwitter and Tumblr posts, about 20 people made their way from the Museum of Modern Art to the New Museum  to a downtown gallery, protesting what they say is the conflation of art and commerce, the snobbery of the art market and high ticket prices at museums, which they called the “temples of the cultural elite.”

Outside the New Museum they chanted: “Museums, open your minds and your hearts, and listen. Art is for everyone! The people are at your door.” Standing in a circle on the sidewalk, they used the call-and-repeat system known as the people’s mic, which has become a hallmark of the movement. The people’s mic is an “art form,” Noah Fischer, an artist and organizer of Occupy Museums, said later, promising that it was only the first new artistic tool to emerge from the protests. “I thing art is going a change from this movement,” he said, “because it’s going to unstick the current paradigm, which is based on money.” 

After a  reading from a text, which called museums a “pyramid scheme” in which “the wealthiest one hundredth of one percent claim ownership of culture,” the Occupy Museums group opened the floor to supporters to speak. One woman noted that the New Museum had recently collaborated with a group called WAGE – Working Artists and the Greater Economy – to take on the issue of artist compensation in an exhibit called “Free.” She wanted to acknowledge the museum for paying artists fairly for their work in it. But she added, “This should not be an exception, but rather a rule.” She called upon artists to be brave and stand up to gatekeeper cultural institutions. Together, she said, “we are stronger than the threat of obscurity.”

At MoMA, the protesters had been cordoned off by the police, but at the New Museum they were unencumbered. Three police officers casually watched the proceedings, leaning on their squad car. Museumgoers, too, seemed to take the spectacle in stride (though a protester in a gorilla mask, a woman who said she worked at an art museum, drew a few double takes). Some passersby stopped to listen. “It makes sense,” one 60-ish man, a neighborhood resident, said of the group’s comments, before heading on his way.

Mr. Fischer, 34, a Brooklyn sculptor, performance artist and Fulbright scholar, has been a supporter of Occupy Wall Street since it started five weeks ago, though he has  spent only one night at Zuccotti Park, the movement’s epicenter. “My girlfriend, she would not appreciate me sleeping there every night,” he said, as his girlfriend looked on, nodding. He has, though, committed himself as an artist to protesting. “Right now, this is my practice,” he said. (He teaches at the Pratt Institute and rents out artist studios to make ends meet.)

Even in its first day, Occupy Museums, which is meant to be a weekly event, had drawn some criticism online, but Mr. Fischer said dissent was welcome. “This is our moment to expand people’s thinking about what part of our culture is controlled by the one percent,” he said, “and people who think about it will figure out pretty quickly that MoMA is.”

Over the summer Mr. Fischer and several others were involved in a performance of their own on Wall Street, “Summer of Change.” Wearing an oversized mask that resembled the head side of a coin (a penny or a quarter), Mr. Fischer and his compatriots gave out vast amounts of change – 400 quarters, 1,000 dimes – in an attempt at redistribution of wealth. (The project was funded by a Kickstarter.) “It’s time now, in the movement, to look beyond Wall Street and notice that a culture of economic inequality flows to all parts of our city, and all parts of our culture,” Mr. Fischer said.

At the New Museum, a protester mentioned White Box, a small gallery off the Bowery that was having an opening that night. After a consensus vote, the group marched their protest over to its doors. But the exhibit there, “WALLmART,” turned out to be in solidarity with the 99 percent movement. So after a few minutes, the Occupy Museums group abandoned their sidewalk chants and went in.

“We occupied, and now we’re going to schmooze,” Mr. Fischer said.

 

 

10/21/2011
Summer of Change: Distribution of 10,000 Lincoln Pennies
summerofchange

"Today, September 22nd, 2011 is the last day of Summer.  And tomorrow is the beginning of the Fall...of the Empire of Greed. These coins, though insignificant in value, are the seeds of change for a new nation built on equality and justice" With these words, spoken before the New York Stock Exchange, the seven performances of the Summer of Change conclude.  We distributed each American numismatic currency from the dollar to the penny at the feet of the Gods of Wall Street in a bid to break through the mythology of Free Markets. Today we marched from Liberty Park, currently occupied as a democratic "Free Zone" in the mode of Tahrir Square (Egypt) and Puerta del Sol(Spain) to Wall Street- scattering the seeds of change as we walked. video coming soon!

09/22/2011
Summer of Change @ #occupywallstreet
summerofchange

film by Velcrow Ripper

09/18/2011
RT America
summerofchange

09/17/2011
Summer of Change@ #occupywallstreet
summerofchange

Saturday September 17, 2011 a peaceful movement inspired by Tahrir Square in Egypt, Puerta del Sol in Madrid, and the worldwide rage against an out-of-control financial system blossomed in New York City just as the Summer of Change turns to Fall. Protesters who had hoped to occupy Wall Street were not suprised to find the pedestrian mall completely shut down by the NYPD. However, The protest went on anyway in other locations of the Financial District and it continues as of this writing. The Summer of Change project is taking part in what we hope will be a beautiful new mass-performance of freedom and economic empowerment. (FDR is interviewed in the video at 1:35).Check out this photo of FDR smoking his kazoo in the Gothamist:

09/17/2011
Summer of Change: Distribution of 2000 Jefferson Nickels
summerofchange

Midnight on Wall Street. Alexander Hamilton appears on a red carpet, saunters past the Stock Exchange, and approaches the Federal Building steps.  In the center of the square is a cardboard box inhabited by The Common Man. "Who is here that distrurbs my slumber?" "It is I who have some to see/if there is anything I can do for thee..."And thus ensues a performance in rhyme, a modern day Faust which, like Goethe's great story, tells the tale of ambition, wealth, and ultimately, folly, and chilling horror. This is the fifth disribution of money to Wall Street and as in the other performances, the visage of the coin embodied, Thomas  Jefferson, appears in his silver numismatic mask, shining in the streetlights of midnight Wall Street, to ring in the shower of 2000 nickels. 

09/15/2011
Summer of Change: Distribution of 1000 Roosevelt Dimes
summerofchange

At high noon September 13, a man rolls onto Wall Street in a wheelchair, dismounts, and painfully makes his way up the steps of the Federal Building to speak to the American people:  "It is high time we speak frankly/ Of the current crisis threatening our Democracy/ The very state of the world today is a summons for us to stand together/ And to Act against injustice/ For this very spot, my friends/Is the site of a heinous crime..." What heinous crime was committed on Wall Street?  Come to the performance to find out!  You'll meet the Common Man and hear of his anger, hopes, and dreams for the future.  And, of course,  this will be followed by the usual showering of coins on Wall Street that you have come to know as the Summer of Change. Please join us for the fourth performance of the Summer of Change: the Distribution of 1000 Dimes.  ..."progressive government by its very terms, must be a living and growing thing, that the battle for it is never ending and that if we let up for one single moment or one single year, not merely do we stand still but we fall back in the march of civilization." --FDR   

09/13/2011
Summer of Change: Distribution of Washington Quarters
summerofchange

High Noon on Thursday, the Father of our Nation shall dialog with the Common Man on the Federal Hall Steps of Wall Street. They will then distribute 400 US Quarter-Dollars to the Commonwealth for the latest numismatic offering of the Summer of Change. This is a joint venture of Noah Fischer and the Aaron Burr Society.www.SummerofChange.netPlease consider donating to this cause on Kickstarter. We guarantee that every penny you give will find its way to Wall Street! (You also have a chance to get your money back at the performance, but you must compete for it!http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/154809305/summer-of-change?ref=live

08/25/2011
Distribution of 400 Washington Quarters
summerofchange

George Washington, father of the nation, marched onto Wall Street at high noon on August 25th, 2011 to distribute the coins that bear his visage, and to dialog with the Common Man; a soldier in his revolutionary army.  This man, dressed in rags, relates how he was fleeced by Wall Street Investers who cashed in on war bonds.  Standing on the plaza with the people, the Common Man yells for economic fairness.  The father of the nation responds:Every American by their bootstraps pull/ Along this lively meritocracy/ What you ask for/ Is too much democracy!

08/25/2011
New Press for Summer of Change
summerofchange

 

We are happy to announce that the Summer of Change has gone international!  It came out last week online on WNET (see image) and in print in India! In the Daily Mirror of Kerala.  The following is a translation from the Malayalam: It  was  a  novelty   for   New Yorkers  when Mr.  Noah Fischer,  a  famous  artist,  as  well  as the  Aaron Burr Society,  one  of the city’s  social  service  organizations  working  for  the  prosperity  of  the  society,  joined  their hands  together. The   large  crowd  witnessed their performance which commemorated former US president John  F.  Kennedy.   The  event  was  part of a seven summer series of seven performances. Along  with  the  glorious  talks  about  the  former president,  Mr Noah Fischer  & the Aaron Burr Society distributed fifty-cent coins bearing the face of Mr Kennedy .The people  paid their  homage to  the  former president in colleting these  coins amid  high spirits.  Mr  Fischer  has paid  his visit to  India, participating in  a national convention  held in RLV college  of Tripunithura  Ernakulam  Kerala,  one  of  the beautiful states of India. His presence at the convention gave new insights  to the participants  as  he shared  his  immense  knowledge of  art & sculpture.

 

08/10/2011
Daily Mirror, Kerala, India
summerofchange

translation: It  was  a  novelty   for   New Yorkers  when Mr.  Noah Fischer,  a  famous  artist,  as  well  as the  Aaron Burr Society,  one  of the city’s  social  service  organizations  working  for  the  prosperity  of  the  society,  joined  their hands  together. The   large  crowd  witnessed their performance which commemorated former US president John  F.  Kennedy.   The  event  was  part of a seven summer series of seven performances. Along  with  the  glorious  talks  about  the  former president,  Mr Noah Fischer  & the Aaron Burr Society distributed fifty-cent coins bearing the face of Mr Kennedy .The people  paid their  homage to  the  former president in colleting these  coins amid  high spirits.  Mr  Fischer  has paid  his visit to  India, participating in  a national convention  held in RLV college  of Tripunithura  Ernakulam  Kerala,  one  of  the beautiful states of India. His presence at the convention gave new insights  to the participants  as  he shared  his  immense  knowledge of  art & sculpture.

08/10/2011
Thirteen.org: Pugilism and Performance Art for Change
summerofchange

 

http://www.thirteen.org/metrofocus/2011/07/kickstarter-picks-pugilism-and-performance-art-for-change-of-the-nickel-and-dime-variety/

The pitch: Some artists believe in second chances. Some believe in change — the kind that comes in the form of nickels and quarters. Noah Fischer andJim Costanzo are two performance artists bringing change to Wall Street, one coin at a time.

Summer of Change” is a series of street performances Fischer and Costanzo created as a critique of America’s devotion to the Almighty Dollar. Each performance culminates in the distribution of $100 in different denominations to onlookers.

On June 21, the summer solstice, the pair offered up greenbacks and liberty dollars. For the final performance, on Sept. 22, the fall equinox, they will distribute 10,000 Lincoln pennies.

“When you dump money on the street, people tend to have  a ferocious and energetic reaction,” said Fischer, describing those who collect the money following a “Summer of Change” performance.

 

08/10/2011
Summer of Change: Distribution of Kennedy Half-Dollars
summerofchange

July 15th, Please Join us on Wall Street at 4:00 PM for the second event in the Summer of Change: A distribution of 200 50-cent pieces.  At 4:30 we will march in procession to the Irish Hunger Memorial (map) where Ed Kimball will screen archival 8mm footage on JFK (whose visage adorns the 50-cent piece).The whole event runs from 4-7 PM.This performance is dedicated to the memory of Maria Soledad Loya 1940-2011 

07/15/2011
Distribution of 200 Kennedy Half-Dollars
summerofchange

On July 15th, just as the bell ends the trading day, a satellite lands on Wall Street to distribute US coins. Please join us for an offering of JFK half dollars re-imagined as silver moons.  These rare coins are adorned by the visage of the man who launched the US mission to the moon. 

 

4:00-4:30: Satellite Distribution of 200 Kennedy Half Dollars (map)

4:30-5:00: March to the Irish Hunger Memorial (see map above for marching route)

5:00-7:00: 8mm films on the JKF presidency screened in the Yellow Trailer Gallery at the Memorial (map)

 

This performance is dedicated to the memory of Maria Soledad Loya 1940-2011 

07/15/2011
Joint Ventures
summerofchange

We are a joint venture of New York based artists: the Aaron Burr Society and Noah Fischer& Co.  As chance would have it (though one person’s chance is another’s karma) this joint venture initially formed in 2008: the year of change, when then-candidate Barak Obama inspired legions of volunteers to canvas for change; a concept which seemed vanguard at the time. The pair thus drove to Milford, PA: a perfectly divided American small town where they stood on the street corner yelling and waving signs at strangers.  On this occasion, Fischer was given an uncle Sam outfit which he was not allowed to keep. History rolled on, Obama was elected under economic crisis conditions and proceeded to pick distinguished men to put the economy back on track; men who had first-hand knowledge of the dirty affairs of Wall Street, largely having caused them in the first place. The years passed; 2008, 2009, then 2010 and finally 2011, and from economic stagnation sprang the aforementioned joint venture:  a business whose sole mission is to trade on the absurdity of Market Finance: both ceremonial and playful.

06/27/2011
Summer of Change
summerofchange

Coins, those age-old metallic discs struck with the symbols of national mythology,  just might unlock reason & light in the fourth year of the Dire Global Recession, an economic state whose laws do not apply within the stones of Wall Street; whose invisible great wall is impregnable to marauding justice, equality, and change.  So we present the Summer of Change; a series of numismatic ritual offerings to our nation’s bankers; those citizens worthy of prizes and honors; which we as artists are honored to bestow in public. Standing on The Street safely within the commons of the commonwealth, we shall seize this extraordinary moment by the horns to re-distribute wealth in the form of dollars, fifty-cent pieces, quarters, dimes, nickels, and the Lincoln penny; sacrificing one denomination per event.  Lacking the private means to fund this unprecedented showering of coins, we turn to Kickstarter; with every penny that we raise from The People guaranteed to find its way into the palm of a Wall Street Banker.

LINK HERE TO SEE VIDEOS OF ALL THE DISTRIBUTIONS

We Present a series of 7 events to take place at the intersection of Wall and Broad Streets.(map)

SCHEDULE: The events will start on the Summer Solstice and end on the Fall Equinox 

Distribution of 100 Greenback and Liberty Dollars:June 21st 12:00-1:00 PM

Distribution of 200 Kennedy Fifty-Cent Pieces: July 15th

4:00-4:30 PM (Wall Street)

4:30-5:00 (March to Irish Hunger Memorial)

5:00-7:00 (Irish Hunger Memorial) (map)

Distribution of 400 Washington Quarters: TBA

Distribution of 1000 Roosevelt Dimes: TBA

Distribution of 2000 Jefferson Nickels: TBA

 

Distribution of 10,000 Lincoln Pennies: September 22nd 12:00-1:00 PM

 

06/21/2011
Summer of Change Opening Event
summerofchange

For the first event, which falls on the Summer Sostice, we will be handing out silver dollars and greenbacks on wall street. Please visit "Summer of Change" under "projects' to learn more.

06/21/2011
Distribution of 100 Greenback and Liberty Dollars
summerofchange

On Tuesday June 21st, the Summer Solstice, the Aaron Burr Society and Noah Fischer & Co staged the first event of the Summer of Change, a distribution of 100 liberty coins and greenback dollars. A crowds of several hundred watched as the joint partnership solemly marched to the front of the steps of the Federal building and proceeded to speak poetry and ceremoinally offer money to the stones of Wall Street.  The performance lasted about 40 minutes, starting at 12:00 PM.

06/21/2011
Kickst*rter Pledge packages
summerofchange

Exclusive gift packages are our way of saying thank you
For your donations on Kickst*rter.

$5 and over:
“Proletariat Travel Package”
This gift includes one unique exploded penny.

$25 and over:
“The Word and the Deed”
This gift includes one letterpress print on hemp paper manifesto and
one unique exploded penny.

$45 and over:
“The Numismatic Treasure Chest”
This exclusive gift includes one letterpress letterpress print on hemp
paper manifesto, three unique exploded pennies, one
unique Patriarch Quarter, and one Greenback hand-stamped with red ink.

06/16/2011
Summer of Change: Get involved
summerofchange

We conceive of the Summer of Change as a program of events that will include poetry, performance, music, dance, and the visual arts. Each event is themed around the coin offered on that day. If you believe that you have something along these lines to offer Wall Street, please contact us at the link below and we'll talk.

We also need:

-photo/videographers

-enthusiastic audience members

-Twitterers

-generous contributors to the cause

http://www.noahfischer.org/contact

Thank You!

06/16/2011
Summer of Change Launch
summerofchange

We are announcing The Summer of Change, numismatic rituals for Wall Street.

06/14/2011
Summer of Change Manifesto
summerofchange

It’s the Summer of 2011, three or four years into the Global Recession which, we read, has bankrupted countries and communities, banishing millions into unemployment, homelessness, and destitution. Closing stores and dampening the usual optimism of the American middle class, this economic infirmity has sparked a hideous political rash; pogroms against immigrants, a ground war against unions, a witchhunt for teachers. It’s led to divorce, ill health, violence, depression, and all the other kinds of suffering that go along with poverty and financial anxiety.

Yet in 2011, nothing has changed on Wall Street, a site that we can only label as unregulated financial powerzone where the crisis was sparked through clever manipulation of debt packaging and acute distain for fairness and social equality. After the earthshattering crisis blew up, driving many families from their homes, a huge government bank bailout rescued not only the banks but also the astronomical salaries of bankers, while not a single financial criminal was brought to justice. Instead, bonuses are on the rise, and countless new bubbles are forming like children at play with soapy water on a hot & windy day. We find this picture both totally absurd and yet somehow to be expected, and it points to a duality if not a multiplicity of how money itself operates. It has become clear that in a world where currency is ever more central as private markets monopolize commons and state resources, the money on Wall Street is not the same as the cash that we hold in our hands or even what’s in our bank accounts. Wall street money is special; it is magic. Like Faust’s banknotes, it multiplies on its own regardless of its actual value. It acts differently toward different sorts of people: for some who flip it, the coin always lands heads up, for others its tails every time. For billions across the globe it’s the golden pathway to poverty, wage slavery and homelessness while for a select few it’s like a stateless stealth bomber: fast, practically all-knowing, lethal, and apparently untraceable.

Whatever that stuff is that we blanket over with the noun “money” it is definitely not one, but many “monies” each of a different species; of complex taxonomy. One may conclude that to parse these species out from one another like a patient biologist could prove to be a great waste of time and effort-requiring one to drop everything in order to immerse oneself in the study of econometrics, obscure algorythms, secret handshakes, and far reaching political intrigue of the Kafkaseque private market which, few would argue against this, largely controls the speed at which the planet rotates. Undertaking this life-long study, attaining a poetics of intricate conspiracy as the poet Peter Dale Scott of the artist Mark Lombardi did, might be the best that one could do-although that of course means definite madness and death. More likely, one would fall under seduction of the market, mimicking traders of The Street until becoming a trader oneself, or at least dressing like one and hanging around wall street, bringing them coffee and cigars like William Burrough’s famed Bradley the Buyer; a law enforcement worker who turned into addict himself , and finally an actual alien. In other words, the current state of ‘monies’, being a fascinating conglomeration of human ingenuity and libidinous desire resulting in a mathematically Byzantine hall of mirrors which itself was probably designed to keep financial elites in power, and which, upon peering into it, leaves one only to state that nothing is known except two things: one: the outcome of trading these monies back and forth results in extremes of wealth and poverty, and two: that the monies are far removed from anything that anyone who has not as they say “drunk the cool-aid” would term real value. In fact, what we have here is a case of “money for money sake” also knows as puregreed.

The Numismatic Device May be Kryptonite

Our answer to this conceptual parallax is to look back to the films created under the reign of Ronald Reagan, in other words to study the creation myths themselves, and here we discover a film called “Conan the Destroyer” where our muscled adventurer, whose subsequent career we can’t help but follow, finds himself trapped in a hall of mirrors. Actually, he’s not alone but instead confined with a scary darkskinned superstrong monster. Conan soon realizes that he cannot defeat the monster within the disjointed visual planes of this fragmented panopticon; he must first face the plane of vision itself; the true threat. He then smashes the mirror to regain his power and wins the fight- just as we must to smash through the complexity of Wall Street’s “voodoo economics” with a simple device called a coin. Numismatics, we believe, will have the same sort of effect that kryptonite has on Superman and garlic had on Dracula, a substance whose mere presence was too much for the powerful one to bare. In our case, the site and sound of “real” metal money: classic cash whose presence is certainly akin to an alien virus in the Bloombergian digital empire, will doubtlessly grind the great Capitalist machine to a halt. We are almost sure of this.

At least those age-old discs struck with the text and symbols of National unity and authority, I speak of coins, just might act as keys to reason & light, in the third or fourth year of the Dire Global Recession, an economic state not felt in or around the stones of Wall Street. Wall Street whose famous invisible wall, like the Great Wall of China, is practically impregnable to marauding bands of honesty, justice, and compassion. Following this hunch, we will celebrate the canon of American numismatics with the $ummer of Change: a series of actions that bestow honor upon each denomination from that symbol of American Empire: the dollar (silver & paper) down through the lowly penny; a vestigial coin that seems to exist just to remind us of the absurdity of using fiat currency in the first place (and dragging tall president Lincoln and the whole Civil War Era down to associations with poverty and failure in the process).

We Give the Gifts of Change

As it is customary on special occasions such as college commencements and the laying of cornerstones to give gifts such as honorary degrees to persons of prestige, we shall give $100 of each denominations (the quarter, dime, nickel and so on) away to those class of bankers of Wall street who, in a society where “he who has the gold makes the rules,’ and ‘money talks while others walk’ chatter ancient dictations as Rome burns. These citizens are of high regard and worthy of prizes and honors; honors which we as artists who are not opposed to pomp are more than willing to bestow in public, and with some thought to aesthetic and entertainment and not getting arrested in the process because our guess is that it really does suck to be in jail, and imagining it smells like urine and is hard to sleep there.

Not being independently wealthy artist-citizens and therefore lacking the private means to distribute these numismatic bailouts directly from our bank accounts to the hands of the esteemed banking community seems like little or no problem in this age of the electronic network- an age where creative and enriching experiences such as the one we propose are often financially enabled through democratic peer-to peer fundraising which, while not flowing right across boundaries of race and class, do seem to follow the entreprenrially idealistic ambitions of the intelligentsia like water down dry canyons soon after a rain in the dryer portions of the US.

Tapping the internet’s rich quartzite vein alluded to above- resources, it must be noted which seem to have largely installed the sitting president in his oval office easy-chair and are therefore nothing to scoff at, we will raise electronic funds to convert into metallic cash coins, which we will ceremonially present to fleets of bankers on Wall Street along with carefully curated Greece-inspired programs designed to apply pomp and circumstance and poetry to the occasion. As we state in our grassroots plea for donations: “Every Penny that you give will go directly to Wall Street Bankers,” it being understood of course that aside from the pounds of pennies you give, many different classes of money are bundled together with the donated US currency such as: general good will, karma, cultural power points, the currency of experimentation, political wampum, and the like. These monies will flow to tourists, artists, workers, Government Surveillance Specialists, ghostly spirits of Indians and Fisherman who populate lower Manhattan and others in the greater New York community and abroad who find us on Facebook.

We Pre-Emptively Answer our Critics:

One final note to those who might wonder whether standing across from the Stock Exchange giving out pennies, nickels and dimes is strangely inverse to the unprecedented thousands of New York’s homeless constantly asking for you to spare a dime on the subway and whether it might be disrespectful of them, given the fact that we have places to sleep (although we rent and do not own our homes but maybe that’s a good thing) and their poor fortune and heartbreaking plight being in this generation understood as a social given that many thousands will end up sleeping on the streets and there’s nothing to be done about it really, that’s how the world is, and most likely they did something really sinful or really stupid to be sleeping there, like the sin of criminal acts of all classes, the sin of laziness, the sin of gluttony: love of the drink, crack cocaine, etc, or worst of all- the sin of despair which brings us all down, we’ve got to keep exporting happy endings to keep this thing working, etc. To these would-be critics who see that we who are educated and lucky in our own way and may be acting offensively even chauvinistically, playing reverse panhandlers when immigrants fresh off the boat are getting up early and pulling themselves up by their bootstraps so that they may support whole continents , we say this: don’t forget those panhandlers of old, the ‘49ers who marched West in search of that shining metal- the bright & dense bulk of which is stored many stories under Wall Street in the impregnable vaults of the New York Fed. Those panhandlers who came from regions as remote as Siberia, Australia, China and New Jersey left home with nothing but an forlorn stovetop pan and a few coins but filled up to the brim with hope that one day the future would be brighter, not only for themselves and their families but for society at large. Remember how messed up things were in the 1840’s: crime was rampant, money was mostly counterfeit, across the south, black people were enslaved. These panhandlers, we believe, knew that one hope remained alive for a more just society where men would no longer wear chains, and that this hope lay buried in the rivers and quartzite veins of the Sierra foothills. Suffice to say that like so many mosquitoes descending on a lone cow in the pasture, or maybe more like a crack addict on a suicidal rampage, the veins were tapped, the land was stripped, the natives were killed, industry was doubled and tripled, Lincoln was elected, the slaves we freed and they put him on the penny: a numismatic monument to America which we believe is ours to keep for only a little while and is the rightful property of the Bankers of Wall Street, and we plan to return it.

Who We Are:

We are a joint venture of two New York based citizen-artists: the Aaron Burr Society, founded by Jim Costanzo, and Noah Fischer& Co. As chance would have it (though one person’s chance is another’s karma) this joint venture initially formed in 2008: the year of change, when then-candidate Barak Obama inspired legions of volunteers to canvas for change; a concept which seemed vanguard at the time. Fischer and Costanzo thus drove to Milford, PA: a perfectly divided American small town where they stood on the street corner yelling and waving signs at strangers. On this occasion, Fischer was given an uncle Sam outfit which he was not allowed to keep. History rolled on, Obama was elected under economic crisis conditions and proceeded to pick distinguished men to put the economy back on track; men who had first-hand knowledge of the dirty affairs of Wall Street, largely having caused them in the first place. The years passed; 2008, 2009, then 2010 and finally 2011, and from economic stagnation sprang the aforementioned joint venture: a business whose sole mission is to trade on the absurdity of Market Finance: both ceremonial and playful.

06/10/2011
Distribution of 400 Washington Quarters
summerofchange