The Arta Fundi is a sculpture that seeks
to engage visitors and to elicit donations from them for a sponsoring
cultural/charitable organization. It accepts coins, and U.S. paper
currency, (ones, twos, fives, tens, and twenties). It issues receipts
for tax purposes. In return for donations, it offers works of art,
stories and other entertainments contributed by over twenty
artists, actors, writers and others. The theme of these works
is Art and Money and related issues such as fame, work, death. The Mona
Lisa is a recurrent theme.
"Id", a hairy five foot high sound-responsive, kinetic
creature, festooned with fibers and rubbery protuberances. It talks, plays
music, sound effects and flaps its dollar bill ears.
It receives money and accepts coins. Its bill validator distinguishes
one, five, ten and twenty dollar bills.
The Id offers a button and a microphone for visitors'
The seven feet tall "Cabinet" is more suggestive
of architecture or furniture. An assemblage of cultural implements, it
contains a monitor whose screen is presented as a framed work of art, a
telephone over which messages, advice, stories, gossip or instructions
can be delivered to a single recipient. This "cultural kiosk", also contains
a concealed color printer which prints a receipt for the donor for tax
purposes and dispenses other documents such as poems, certificates and
The program can also control a 35 mm slide image viewer and the illumination
of a tableau (or hidden painting) and the lock of a drawer. The "Cabinet"
also dispenses small packages. Currently, it is dispensing "angel
The Arta Fundi controls associated animated sculptures and other physical
events. If the temporary installation space is suitable , it can include
a suspended inflating and deflating eight foot tall question
mark , an eighteen foot diameter money bag, and/or a twelve foot high
satirical Portrait of the Money Dreaming Artist.
and/or Frank Pahl's amazing "Twittering Machine",
an animated assembly of sound producing toys including the Moo Cow Barbecue
Everything is portable. The heavier components are wheeled.
For each appearance, the Arta Fundi can be configured to the needs
of the sponsoring group including pricing
of its various offerings. Currently, there are two styles
of programs available. One presents the Arta Fundi as a "theater" style
event, suitable for interacting with a relatively large group in a short
period of time. The other is a more casual private interaction for
smaller groups or single individuals over a longer time in a gallery,
lobby or similar space.