Performance art currency is free everywhere, FOUNTAIN ART FAIR at The Armory, Manhattan, NY, 12noon – 6pm, March 8, 2013

First thought / first reaction / choice / trade / mental for physical / currency / art / interaction / selling / performance art is free / performance currency

The set up: 8’ x 12’ booth at Fountain Art Fair, on the floor is a rectangle made of grey carpet squares, on each side of the carpet is a grey stool, in the middle of the carpet is a sculpture made from an old wheel chair, there is a silver tray sitting on the sculpture holding 100 small jars, each with some sort of paper currency from around the world in it, on the floor on another silver tray is a large stack of blank note cards, two black ink pads, a stamp that says “Performance art currency is free everywhere”, a black writing pen and a bowl full of small labels. Each label is labeled with the number the jar is 1/100 -100/100, my name, the date, and on the back of the label is my blog.

My first task is to put labels on all of the jars and hang them on the hooks on the wheel chair sculpture. I start doing this, pretty soon people start walking by, looking, I invite them in. I ask them if they would be interested in making a trade. It’s an easy trade I say…what I need from you is your first thought when you looked in here. The first thing that came to mind. I give them a blank note card and a pen and have them write their thought down. As they are writing I tell them / remind them that no matter where in the world you are, performance art is almost always free to be the audience, and that is a gift…. and that I am giving them a gift, a gift of money, to remind them that performance art being free IS A GIFT, and they should remember that. So we trade. A thought for some money. I take their thought, stamp it with my stamp and pin it to the back of the wall. This action continues until I have given away all 100 jars. It takes about 6 hours.

Special thanks to Amber, Jill and Hoke.

Photos by Vela Phelan