A penny for your thoughts.
As of last Monday, the value of thoughts in Canada has changed. The Canadian penny is no longer in circulation. This got me thinking–thinking specifically about conceptual art in Canada. One of the icons of conceptualism in this country is Gerald Ferguson’s piece One Million Pennies. How vivid! If you haven’t seen the actual piece in a gallery, you can certainly conjure an idea of it.
Ferguson’s aggregate of one million cents is sculpted by gravity into a low heap. It weighs six thousand pounds. One Million Pennies (1979) is owned by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. When the work isn’t on display, it’s allegedly stored off-site in a bank vault.
Now, what happens to the value of Ferguson’s work? As a whole, do the pennies still add up to $10,000 in basic economic terms? Does this value fluctuate in light of the coin’s recent end of circulation? Is the sculptural heap worth more now that the Canadian penny is going to be rarer or has its price depreciated? Some food for thought… here’s a penny for any.