Untitled Penny Smasher Project
w/ Stuart O. Anderson
begun Summer 2008, re-booted Spring 2014
Stuart Anderson and I are in the design/fabrication phase of building a souvenir penny crushing (or penny smashing, or "elongating") machine. This has been a long-term idea for us with many fits and starts. In the fall of 2014, we fabricated a prototype single-penny machine, which we showed in various public incarnations around Pittsburgh.
We are currently in our second stage, creating a multi-die machine which will be completed in the summer of 2015. This machine will incorporate more than a dozen double-sided, smashed-penny illustrations that participants will be able to access in a fully mechanical, kinesthetic sculpture. Thematically, we are focused on human perceptions of the changing animal world - addressing extinction, urban adapters, avoiders, and exploiters, alpha- and mesopredators, cryptids, and use-value vs. mythology. Our plan is to tour the machine: through institutions willing to temporarily house the project (museums large and small), and through clandestine temporary installations at cultural sites including zoos and rest stops.
We're constantly updating a Tumblr blog detailing the project as it moves forward here.
I also keep a growing collection of smashed pennies, mostly obtained when traveling and through kind friends who press them for me during their own travels. Here's a running list of the pennies I have thus far.