The Dollar Project

The Dollar Project (1986-1988) was an exploration of the dollar as symbol and reality, a study of the dollar bill as found art.

Paper money is a medium of exchange; it also serves as a carrier for germs, traces of cocaine, anthrax, etc. I used this medium to spread three different text viruses in the form of rubber-stamped messages.

1. Lost: Dollar Bill, Serial #...

The first stamp said "Lost: Dollar Bill, Serial # [space where the bill's actual serial number appears]. If found, please return to: Earl Vickers, P.O. Box xxx..."

Some anecdotes from this experiment.

2. Where Does My Money Go?

The second stamp (100K) said "Where does my money go? Return this form with your name and address to: "Earl Vickers, P.O. Box xxx..."

Only one reply was received, perhaps due to the absence of the word "reward." E. B. of San Francisco returned the dollar and received seven lottery tickets. Two of them won $2 each, so she sent them back to me and asked me to change them for more tickets. I sent her the four new tickets and didn't hear from her again.

3. Help Track the Life Story of This Dollar

The third stamp said "Help Track the Life Story of This Dollar. Send Serial #, Where You Got It, How You Spent It, to: The Dollar Project, P.O. Box xxx..." This one received several replies, as it didn't require return of the dollar. The goal was to get a glimpse into the thoughtful, stupid or mundane things people do with their money.


Go to the Earl Vickers Museum of Conceptual Art

Go to the Church of the Almighty Dollar