The Penny

smallest denomination of legal tender, copper, wages, profits, mining

Penny Press

Smasher. replace bland and romantic messaging, smashing the ruling class with radical history. Transforming, Souvenirs.

 

Rubbing the 1917 Penny

One for each man deported resulting in a commemorative wall:  laborious act, gravestone, rubbings revealing lost history


Flyers, handbills and pamphlets- the materials  historically used by political, labor and human rights organizers.  posted and  distribute in the 2 years of research leading up to the 100th anniversary of  the Deportation.

Pennant -  “Think It Over” pennants signal what team you are on. Remove team-making.  Souvenirs

 

Drawings and scripting: Transforming the photographic documentation of the Deportation in 1917. Capture key phrases and ephemeral declarations found through research. India ink, charcoal on paper

 

Video: Toys of the era  used as a cast to play out historic vignettes. On the fly storytelling. Cinematography: Jared Alterman, Editing: Kellan Marvin

  Laurie's 4 smashed penny designs double as pamphlet cover art

The Fabrication of a penny press machine

These vending machines are located at the sites of tourist attractions and smash pennies imprinting them with images commemorating historical moments, industries, or locations. I have appropriated this machine to challenge its mainstream intentions. It vends 4 distinct embossments of my design. Most machines create a souvenir that carries little meaning.  My designs are counter to bland memorialization. The machine is like no other and was designed and built by Andrew Fairbank. 

Collaborators

 

Pamphlets

Luc Sante

http://lucsante.com/books/

Luc Sante was born in Verviers, Belgium. His most recent book is The Other Paris. His other works include Low Life, Evidence, The Factory of Facts, and Kill All Your Darlings. He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Grammy (for album notes), an Infinity Award for Writing from the International Center of Photography, and Guggenheim and Cullman fellowships. He has contributed to The New York Review of Books since 1981 and has written for many other publications. He is a visiting professor of writing and the history of photography at Bard College and lives in Ulster County, New York.

Brian Frye

Brian L. Frye is the Spears-Gilbert Associate Professor of Law at the University of Kentucky College of Law. He teaches classes in civil procedure, intellectual property, copyright, and nonprofit organizations, as well as a seminar on law and popular culture.  He received a J.D. from the New York University School of Law in 2005, an M.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1997, and a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1995. 
 Professor Frye is also a filmmaker. He produced the documentary Our Nixon (2013), which was broadcast by CNN and opened theatrically nationwide.

 

Elizabeth Henson, PhD

Research Associate University of Arizona History Department. 

Pamphlet: Los Flores Magon  contributor  to pamphlet covering radical Mexican leftists the Flores Magon brothers

Laurie McKenna

A pamphlet documenting Rosa McKay-   pro-labor  state legislator in 1917 for the Cochise County district. Her writing on Ras McKay has  been published in The International Worker and Cochise County Historical Journal 2017 

Music 

Jon Leidecker  contributed a loop for the Undesirables entitled Solace/Vexations. It is also used in the video vignettes and in performance.. Jon has been producing music under the name Wobbly since 1990, improvising with recordings to produce music which inherently questions the act of being captured. Recent performances deploy a battery of mobile devices driven by their built-in microphones, reacting spontaenously with error-prone yet intelligent variations on the notes and sounds they believe themselves to be hearing: a tightly-knit ensemble with inhuman reflexes, which the human performer influences more than controls. Currently touring and recording with Negativland and the Thurston Moore Ensemble, other live and studio collaborators include Zeena Parkins, Dieter Moebius & Tim Story, People Like Us, Matmos, Laetitia Sonami, Fred Frith's Gravity Band, Thomas Dimuzio, Porest, Tim Perkis & Xopher Davidson, Tania Chen, Sue C., The Freddy McGuire Show, Sagan and the Chopping Channel. Radio Web MACBA commissioned a nine hour podcast overview on the history of recorded collage music entitled 'Variations' in 2008, and related lectures have been presented at Mills, Oxford, Peabody, & Stanford. In 2015 he inherited Negativland's long-running Over The Edge radio program, broadcasting from KPFA FM in Berkeley.

Graphic Art Support

Bridget Shanahan   Bridget is a dedicated and talented artist, co-founder of Dog Cat Mouse media design company in Bisbee.  Bridget cleaned up penny press artwork for the die maker and did the layout of the pamphlets.

 

Penny Smasher engineer and fabricator

Andrew Fairbank 

Andrew  lives in New Hampshire and designed and fabricated the Penny Smasher long distance. Andrew is a side car motorcycle racer. He built two sidecar motorcycles for Matthew Barney's Cremaster 4 Guggenheim exhibition. The Penny machine incorporates a length of railroad track donated by local mining company.

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lunacactus@gmail.com     © laurie mckenna.