Boggs: A Comedy of Values

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9780226893969: Boggs: A Comedy of Values

In this highly entertaining book, Lawrence Weschler chronicles the antics of J. S. G. Boggs, an artist whose consuming passion is money, or perhaps more precisely, value. Boggs draws money-paper notes in standard currencies from all over the world-and tries to spend his drawings. It is a practice that regularly lands him in trouble with treasury police around the globe and provokes fundamental questions regarding the value of art and the value of money.

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James Stephen George Boggs is not a con artist, he's a talented artist who deftly renders his own currency and "spends" it. Struck by the value of money, and what paper notes represent, he draws U.S. dollar bills, English pound notes, Swiss francs, and other forms of paper money; then he barters his illustrious artwork in lieu of cash to willing merchants who agree to honor his currency for services and products. In Boggs: A Comedy of Values, Lawrence Weschler, author of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award-winning book Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder, documents Boggs's whimsical antics, offering a quirky and lively meditation on the value of currency and workmanship and a richly informative (albeit brief) social history of money.

Boggs does not sell his "money" directly, as Weschler learns, nor does he attempt to pass his drawings off as actual bills. For Boggs, the elaborate transaction of negotiation is a crucial element in his work, and the tangible proof of his success--receipts and proper change--is included in the final product. Of course, treasury departments from around the world are anything but pleased; the second half of the book deals extensively with the artist's court battle with the Bank of England. As Weschler notes, Boggs is not the first to question the value of money through art (Larry Rivers, Pablo Picasso, Timm Ulrichs, Adolf Wölfi, and Jurgen Harten are just some artists who have put currency to the test), but the author finds in Boggs's work an ideal subject for opening a probing inquiry into the economy of money, especially timely at the end of the 20th century as paper currency--which once directly represented precious-metal coins--evolves into "binary sequences of pulses racing between computers." --Kera Bolonik

About the Author:

Lawrence Weschler, a recipient of the prestigious Lannan Literary Award for 1998, is the author of numerous books, including Calamities of Exile: Three Nonfiction Novellas, and Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder, which was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

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Book Description University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, 2000. Softcover. Book Condition: New. 161 pages. Softcover. New book. MONEY. In this highly entertaining book, Lawrence Weschler chronicles the antics of J. S. G. Boggs, an artist whose consuming passion is money, or perhaps more precisely, value. Boggs draws money-paper notes in standard currencies from all over the world-and tries to spend his drawings. It is a practice that regularly lands him in trouble with treasury police around the globe and provokes fundamental questions regarding the value of art and the value of money. (Key Words: Comedy, Lawrence Weschler, Values, Paper Money, Art, J. S. G. Boggs, James Stephen George Boggs, Algonquin Hotel, Fernand Braudel, Counterfeiting, United State Secret Service, Thomas Nast, Mark Stephens). book. Bookseller Inventory # 63346X1

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 2nd ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this text, Lawrence Weschler chronicles the antics of J.S.G. Boggs, a young artist with a certain panache, a certain flair, an artist whose consuming passion is money, or perhaps, more precisely, value. What Boggs likes to do is to draw money - actual paper notes in the denominations of standard currencies from all over the world - and then to go out and try to spend those drawings. Instead of selling his money drawings outright to interested collectors, Boggs looks for merchants who will accept his drawings in lieu of cash payment for their wares or services as part of elaborately choreographed transactions, complete with receipts and even proper change - an artistic practice which regularly lands him in trouble with treasury around the world. This volume teases out these transactions and their sometimes dramatic legal consequences, following Boggs on a larkish, though at the same time disconcertingly profound, econo-philosophic chase. For in a madcap Socratic fashion, Boggs is raising all sorts of truly fundamental questions - what is it that we value in art, or, for that matter, in money? Indeed, how do we place a value on anything at all? And in particular, why do we, why should we, how can we place such trust in anything as confoundingly insubstantial as paper money? In passing, Weschler frames a concise, highly entertaining history of money itself - from cowrie shells through hedge funds. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780226893969

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 2nd ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this text, Lawrence Weschler chronicles the antics of J.S.G. Boggs, a young artist with a certain panache, a certain flair, an artist whose consuming passion is money, or perhaps, more precisely, value. What Boggs likes to do is to draw money - actual paper notes in the denominations of standard currencies from all over the world - and then to go out and try to spend those drawings. Instead of selling his money drawings outright to interested collectors, Boggs looks for merchants who will accept his drawings in lieu of cash payment for their wares or services as part of elaborately choreographed transactions, complete with receipts and even proper change - an artistic practice which regularly lands him in trouble with treasury around the world. This volume teases out these transactions and their sometimes dramatic legal consequences, following Boggs on a larkish, though at the same time disconcertingly profound, econo-philosophic chase. For in a madcap Socratic fashion, Boggs is raising all sorts of truly fundamental questions - what is it that we value in art, or, for that matter, in money? Indeed, how do we place a value on anything at all? And in particular, why do we, why should we, how can we place such trust in anything as confoundingly insubstantial as paper money? In passing, Weschler frames a concise, highly entertaining history of money itself - from cowrie shells through hedge funds. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780226893969

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 2nd ed.. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. In this text, Lawrence Weschler chronicles the antics of J.S.G. Boggs, a young artist with a certain panache, a certain flair, an artist whose consuming passion is money, or perhaps, more precisely, value. What Boggs likes to do is to draw money - actual paper notes in the denominations of standard currencies from all over the world - and then to go out and try to spend those drawings. Instead of selling his money drawings outright to interested collectors, Boggs looks for merchants who will accept his drawings in lieu of cash payment for their wares or services as part of elaborately choreographed transactions, complete with receipts and even proper change - an artistic practice which regularly lands him in trouble with treasury around the world. This volume teases out these transactions and their sometimes dramatic legal consequences, following Boggs on a larkish, though at the same time disconcertingly profound, econo-philosophic chase. For in a madcap Socratic fashion, Boggs is raising all sorts of truly fundamental questions - what is it that we value in art, or, for that matter, in money? Indeed, how do we place a value on anything at all? And in particular, why do we, why should we, how can we place such trust in anything as confoundingly insubstantial as paper money? In passing, Weschler frames a concise, highly entertaining history of money itself - from cowrie shells through hedge funds. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780226893969

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