>>DOLLARS BY OTHERS<<
Bills can be marked (drawn on, stamped, overprinted, typed on, painted, etc.) by anyone.
Marked currency is considered by numismatists and collectors to be Overprinted.
Cause & Message Overprintings
A broad spectrum of people are engaged in writing on or marking money. Individuals will stamp or write their initials; sometimes small stamps refer to political and religious affiliations, identify change-houses and promote merchants. At times, the marking of money becomes a private ritual, engaging the human need to express something while withholding identification of authors
and releasing them from social and moral constraints.
The ‘adjusted’ bill conflates
ideology, passion and determination (of the political kind)
hoping to fuel the imaginations of the receivers,
depositing advocacy, beauty, anger, fear, aspiration, feelings...
Bills are marked on both sides. The portrait's face is often grafittied with beards, glasses, wild eyes, etc, recasting the stern official figure
into a clownish/carnaval popular character,
both defying and inverting his authority.
Folders and Tricksters: Origami Escapes
Bills can be folded into myriad shapes: from functional finger rings and minature photo frames to fancy cranes, geometric snakes and geodesic turtles.
Folders claim that they don't damage the bill.
Also without tearing or marking bills, aspiring magicians worldwide learn various
money disappearing and appearing tricks.
(that's one of my eyelashes for scale)
Chain Letters: Bring Money Into My Hands
Chain letter bills attemp to prod their receivers into action. The mythical promise of a symbolic exhortation promising 'windfall' cash becomes more poigniant when inscribed on the note itself. Ethnic and cultural varations evolve like the St. Lazarus chain, more related to Santeria than to the Catholic deity that is an avatar for Babalu Aye.
Whether dollar chain letters ever produce money, I’d like to know.
Dollars in Advertisement
The image of the dollar has become a universal symbol for prosperity and wealth.
At the same time, in some countries, the dollar carries connotations
of invasion, imperialism and political intrusion.
Numerous businesses and organizations use images of dollars in their printed matter to announce their trade, promote events and connect their ventures to fortune.
Experiences with Marked Currency
I began to find bills with markings on them in the 1970’s. I was pursuing the graffiti movement at the time and I sought both tags and venues. Finding other art channels, I expanded my interest from painted initials on walls and vehicles, to spray stencils on streets of urban centers, to bathroom notes and drawings. Eventually actual money became a central part of a larger search for esthetic expression (initially labeled “popular”; later “outsider”).
For various years I had treasured a note from 1969 with a large Peace Sign stamped on it. Never understanding why, that image of the floating peace sign over Washington's portrait provided deep satisfaction. I misplaced this bill in the precipitous moves and re-locations I would begin after graduating from High School.
I had to re-create this lost bill for me and for you.
I was so attached to this dollar because it contained a territory of
hope for world peace and universal freedom of expression.
Gender & GLBT
As part of the community furor around the vote in Miami-Dade County at the height of Anita Bryant’s anti-homosexual campaigns, circulating currency became a territory for political expression. $1 and $5 Gay Money dollars were ubiquitous in South Florida; occasionally the $50 and $100 bills would also be marked adding punch and credibility to the gay communities. One of the strategies of gay defense was to make visible its economic power. On a popular level, stamping actual money to make the GLBT community’s economic import visible, out-of-the-closet and closeted alike
began to print, write on and circulate these propaganda bills.
Battle of the Airlines
The embattled Eastern Airlines Chairman James Lorenzo, turned into a media celebrity, became a subject and symbol of controversy reflected in circulating money. I imagine disgruntled stewardesses and ticket agents stamping away in airplane galleys and in back offices at the airport the LORENZO dollar. I secretly admired those people who found pleasure and empowerment in grabbing a stamp and sending out a potent message into the world. At that point I began to appreciate the esthetics of organized advocacy of letter writing campaigns, of unions, and I linked these types of expressions to the changing meanings of currency.
grew hemp but didn't inhale
Illegal drugs are inextricably linked to one of the largest money pipe lines around the planet. Trading Mo' for drugs are ubiquitous transactions in nearly all urban centers in Europe and the USA. In fact, according to a source, a large amount of circulating dollar bills are carrying cocaine crystals in their porous fibers.
Cries for help and attention have been written on bills openly.
PRINCE & QUEEN
The travails of Presidents and other heads of state, including those of Bill Jefferson Clinton have been satirized broadly by artists.
In other countries, popular traditions also involve playing with money, especially highlighting controversial and compromising scandals while challenging notions
of blue blood, class, priviledge and entitlement.
Bank of Hell
The Bank of Hell is probably the largest in the planet. Chinese funerals require lots of money to appease the ancestors and fund their journies in other realms.
Money and Play Currency
Children often play games related to and with money from an early age. Foldings of bills yield new readings as TITS OF AMERICA or AIM AT IT (backwards). Parents are eager to train their young in money's value, use and accounting. Beginning with play-buying and escalating to allowance calculations, children also learn to connect money to life through games like Monopoly.
TRACK YOUR BILLS
the top sociopolitical meta-geography post-cartography project to date !!: