Info


We stationed a docent to be on-site during our regularly scheduled gallery hours to offer information about the piece and to collect visitors’ various responses. Our docents were Eric Dobbins, founder of Wonderfair gallery in Lawrence, KS; Kansas City Art Institute student Katy McRoberts; and community artist John Hilger, who is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.

The docents were encouraged to engage visitors- both those who appeared specifically to see the piece, and those just happening across it while enjoying the park- in order to collect opinions and discuss thoughts about the work, its creation, and whatever other issue might be brought up.

The docents offered visitors the choice of one of three buttons as a memento. These buttons gave the docents an opportunity to break the ice by offering a gift, but also served as something like a casual ballot- a viewer’s choice of buttons offered possible insight into her or his perspective about the work. This was, admittedly, a rather unscientific method for gathering reactions, but it served to be useful in catalyzing conversation about all kinds of topics- from the economy to patriotism to the complexities of the Federal Reserve bank.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The docents were given digital recorders to document responses, a few of which we would like to share here. We were thrilled by the diversity of responses, which ranged from enthusiasm to disgust- both about the piece itself and the perceived necessity or frivolity of a piece as audacious as this one. Given that one stated goal of IOU/USA was to generate discussion, we wish to share the following responses collected during its brief lifetime:

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!


Thursday, September 8

Retired Navy Officer, 20 yrs. in the service:

“Well, I like it. I like things with whimsy. You’re gonna die any day so you can’t take things so serious. And ten minutes after you die, no one will give a damn. Hell, maybe five minutes.”

Refused buttons and pamphlet.

Two Ladies Walking:

One takes IOU button and asks, “Is this art?”

Runner:

“What is it?” 

I explain briefly as he runs past.

“I think it’s weird! I think it’s wonderful!”

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

Thursday, September 15

Mother and Son walking dog:

Mother takes USA.

Child (8ish) takes IOU.

John, from Minnesota:

“I like the pamphlet a lot; it answered all of the questions I had about the work. I think it’s very appropriate for the location, by the Fed.”

Group just exiting the Money Museum, Woman from Texas and couple from Springfield. Texan is holding a bag of shredded bills from the Museum. Woman from Texas:

“I think its a shame something like this has to be up, but its true.”

[Motions toward the IOU.]

Woman takes IOU.Couple takes all 3 buttons.

Unknown male:

“Is it art?” [Reading pamphlet and sign.] “They tried to fight it? The Fed tried to fight it. That speaks with a loud voice right there. Someone needs to call Fox News and get them down here to do a story.”

Asked to take 3 IOU/USA buttons, and 1 USA.

Silver sports car driving by:

“GET A LIFE!”

Three women powerwalking:

“I can’t wait until they get rid of that thing!”

Companion: “SHHH!”

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

Did you visit the site of IOU/USA? Did it spark any thoughts for you? If so, we welcome you to share them-positive, negative, or otherwise- in the comments section below.

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