Emptied Treasury, 2004
12 industrial fans, 1,971 pieces of newspaper cut to the size of US currency, 2 floodlamps, drywall, aluminum studs, plastic sheeting, nylon netting
14'L x 16'W x 11'6"H
location: Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Residency Studios, New York
In 'Emptied Treasury,' a newly constructed wall that seamlessly blends with existing drywall partitions at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Residency Program seals off one of 12 studio spaces, rendering the space physically inaccessible. Inside, 12 industrial fans, blow 1,971 bits of paper—cut from the stock pages of the Wall Street Journal to the size of US currency—in the air. The circulating bills are visible through a 3 1/2-foot clerestory between the top edge of the drywall and the ceiling, as well as through the window from the adjacent public courtyard of the bank Brown Brothers Harriman. A small peephole at 3 1/2 feet allows a glimpse into the room. 'Emptied Treasury' is inspired by the residency's proximity to the New York Federal Reserve, which gained influence after the United States went off the gold standard in 1971.