Paul Ramírez Jonas

We Make Change

2008

We Make Change (2008)
Penny press machine and pennies

We Make Change (2008)
Penny press machine and pennies

We Make Change (2008)
Penny press machine and pennies

Description

We Make Change is a sculpture that transforms the lowest unit of United States currency, a penny, into an artwork. The viewer is encouraged to use any penny they have to engaged with the penny press. The penny press erases the image of Abraham Lincoln, his memorial, and the inscription: "United States of America, One Cent, E pluribus Unum, Liberty", and "In God We Trust" However, the machine re-engraves the words: "Trust" and "We" in such a way that it is becomes: "Trust Me" or "We Trust." This coin starts with value in one economy, and is converted into an artwork that has value in a different economy. Every penny minted between 1909 and 2008 decorates the frieze along the top of the machine.