Day 1: I am 56 years old

What can you do with 16,252 pennies?

I’m beginning a new art project today to find out. The Goal: a dynamic sculpture that represents the way that small individual elements of time cohere to make a whole, one which changes with each addition

Its working title is: If I Live to Be a Hundred … An Accounting of My Days

Shield pennies 4452

Every artwork needs material constraints – which roughly all fall under “the size of the canvas.” Because this is a project that will, I hope, last for 44 years, my canvas size is more about rules than space:

  • The work overall should aspire to a visual cohesion from all viewing angles
  • No other materials are allowed except the fixatives, the visual enhancements of the penny itself, and the base
  • A penny can be bent, mangled, colored, or coated, but must remain whole
  • Each penny must thoughtfully represent that day, by its position and/or some other physical quality
  • Each penny’s placement must be documented with a photo and comment

For each day, I will choose, place and a fix a penny on a clear acrylic base. The position and other visual qualities of the penny represents the overall character of the day.

I’ll take a photo – and try to be sure they are composed and photographed so that they will work in a video sequence, so that I can do a time lapse.

Organization-wise, I’ll name each photo with the date and descriptor.

And, I’ll write a blog post for each day – maybe finishing the sentence “If I live to a hundred….” and also mentioning the character of the day.

Today, it’s my birthday, and while I’d like to find a penny that was minted in 1959, that seems unlikely. So I’ve chosen a bright, shiny, 2015 penny.

2015 Day 1 4553

This clean surface represents Hope… hope that I will fulfill my artistic dreams, not only with this sculpture but in however many days I have remaining.