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V12 2009 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 41, October 11, 2009, Article 19

COINS FOR HARD TIMES: ARTIST MAKES HIS OWN MONEY

In his Coin Collector's Blog this week, Scott Barman wrote about an artist performing his own form of "coin drop" in Boston. Interesting! -Editor

Matthew Hincman tokens Matthew HinÁman is what some people call a guerilla artist. Guerilla Art, sometimes called Street Art, is unsanctioned art that is developed and displayed in public places. Guerilla art is more than graffiti. It is art designed to surprise and make the public think and sometimes participate.

One of HinÁman's newest projects is the creation of Pomme de Terre (French for "Potato") and Pomme en l'Air ("Apple in the Air") tokens. HinÁman describes them as "loosely based on mid-19th century Hard Times Tokens." He had 1,200 copper tokens minted and will drop them on the streets of Boston by the end of the year.

Those in the Boston are may want to follow HinÁman on Twitter @metchew for clues as to where he drops the token.

HinÁman also had 50 silver tokens minted but has not announced plans for those tokens.

Interestingly, this is the second time I found an artist making a statement about or with money using art. Rather than the existing bureaucracy, maybe we should include more of these artists in the process. They seem to come up with better ideas.

To read the original blog post, see: Neat Coin Drop in Boston (coinsblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/neat-coin-drop-in-boston.html)

David Kestenbaum of National Public Radio also mentioned HinÁman and his tokens. -Editor

I ran into artist Matthew Hincman last week, who has decided that things have gotten bad enough that it's time to create your own money.

Hincman designed the coin above and had 1,200 minted in copper, which he plans to leave on the ground at random locations for people to pick up and puzzle over.

Hincman figures there's no law against leaving coins around. He says sometimes drops to one knee and pretends to be tying his shoe, then casually deposits one on the sidewalk.

To read the original blog post, see: Coins For Hard Times: Artist Makes His Own Money (http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2009/10/hard_times_coins.html)

So here's a challenge for our Boston-area readers: get some of those tokens! If you can catch up with the artist, find out for us who manufactured the tokens and how he designed them. Are any for sale? -Editor


Wayne Homren, Editor

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