Paul Ramírez Jonas
Artist in the Public Realm

We Make Change, 2008



MATERIALS:  Penny press machine, oak, plexiglass, one penny minted from each year from 1909 to 2008, and a promise - Trust Me.

    A sculpture that transforms the lowest unit of value in our currency. The viewer provides the muscle and a penny. This coin that has value in one economy, is converted into an artwork that has value in a different economy. The machine erases the image of Lincoln, his memorial, and the inscriptions United States of America, One Cent, E pluribus Unum and Liberty. In God We Trust is erased as well, but the words TRUST and WE are re-engraved in such a way that they may read as TRUST ME or WE TRUST. This new currency renews a social contract.