The One Hundred Dollar Project
A 13 channel video installation about the value, meaning, and perception of labor.
"How many people can be hired with $100, for one hour, and what will they do during that hour?"
I began The One Hundred Dollar Project in late 2006. My investigation begins withthe question, "How many people can be hired with $100, for one hour, and what willthey do during that hour?"
For this series of case studies, I collaborate with working class communities in all theG8+5 member countries. The performances, which are captured by a stationary videocamera, form an ongoing series of group portraits that will extend to a total of 13.
The first part of the series was filmed in Beijing. During my artist residency in China I went to Bei Gao a remote working class district in Beijing, rented a studio as thelocation for the event and started to look for participants for the project. I engaged 26people who were hired for one hour and for the amount of $100 to do what ever theyliked to do.As expected, I was able to hire different numbers of people in each capital or majorcity, based on the economic power of its country. Interestingly, the groups oftenengage in similar activities (e.g. a card game) and dress alike, despite their differentcultural backgrounds.In the piece I examine the sociological implications of modern day working peopleacross borders. By contextualizing the element of time as a commodity, my questionplays on Karl Marx’s idea that the value of a commodity is in direct relation to the laborperformed to produce it, but in this case my participants determine this value forthemselves.