Giant Pool of Money
With support from:
The Office of the Vice President for Research, University of Michigan
Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design, University of Michigan
“Non Aes, Sed Fides”
Not Money, But Trust
-translated inscription on Maltese coin 1567
The Giant Pool of Money series examines the thoughts and beliefs that led to the global financial crisis in 2008 and the profound loss of faith in markets that followed.
The centerpiece of the series is a 15-foot-tall pyramid of champagne glasses, connected to a change machine that breaks dollar bills into “quarters.” The coins were actually replicas minted out of the element gallium, a metal that melts just above room temperature. Transported by a network of conveyor belts to the top of the pyramid and deposited into the uppermost champagne glass, the coins melt and cascade down the pyramid over time. It’s equal parts literal trickle-down theory and Terminator 2’s liquid metal monster.
Viewers feed paper money into the machine themselves in order to confront how events in their own lives relate to the mind-bogglingly complex, media-constructed image of our economy. What seems like solid, familiar, everyday currency melts before our eyes, threatening to collapse the entire, fragile system — a visual rendering of our loss of faith in our globally interconnected economy.
An interview about Giant Pool of Money on RT America.