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one_billion_dollars.jpg
1 billion dollars visualized as... 1 billion dollars [google.com]. Or, in other words: one billion dollar is stacked on 12 standard palettes, together making up 10 Million $100 USD Notes. The artwork "One Billion Dollar" is not so much about what you see but what you could do (or not do) with the money.

It is also the most expensive piece of art ever made.

A similar, yet less expensive, recent work of the artist Michael Marcovici shows time as a heap of sand bags (same link, bottom of page). Each bag in the piece "The Rolex Time" is packed with 30kg of sand. Each bag lasts for 30 days in a standard "sandwatch". So, on the 18 palettes there are 972 bags with a total weight of 29,160 Kg. They would last for 81 years, which is about an average lifespan.

If you like comparing sizes, then check out The MegaPenny Project and Sizeasy. This work reminds me of Chris Jordan's "Running the Numbers" pieces, but then in physical space. Also see Demographical Data as Rice.

UPDATE: Google Sites has shut down the site for bandwidth reasons. Google? No bandwidth? Uh? Anyway, you can see the work here.

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38 COMMENTS

or this one:

"visulaising one billion dollars"
http://www.wallstats.com/blog/visualizing-one-billion-dollars/

Wed 14 Jan 2009 at 9:33 PM
Tim

Trackback http://blog.artabase.net/?p=149

Wed 14 Jan 2009 at 10:06 PM

i reckon best way to visualize $1bn (or other large amounts of money) is by thinking how many houses you'd need to walk past.

e.g., $1m is one mid-priced house in a popular city (3 secs to walk past). $1bn is a thousand of those houses (one hour to walk past).

Thu 15 Jan 2009 at 12:29 AM
jblondon

The KLF Burn One Million Pounds
ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxC9wgm27j0

Backstory here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_GjZ7i4A6M and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K_Foundation_Burn_a_Million_Quid

They originally made art consisting only of money nailed to pallets, mainly as a sarcastic comment on the art world, and also on the fact that they earned so much money on some records which had always been a cross between a big joke and a crass commercial approach to making music. This is some of the money they later just burned.

This was in 1993 and 1994.

They also tried to give some money as an award to Rachael Whiteread for the worst art in Britain as a direct criticism of the Turner award and art criticism in general. I don't remember if she turned it down or not. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K_Foundation_art_award

Thu 15 Jan 2009 at 1:11 AM
Reed Hedges

Ohh. Money, Money, Money.

Thu 15 Jan 2009 at 1:57 AM

This brings tears to my eyes.

Thu 15 Jan 2009 at 3:17 AM

It may cost (a little over) $1Billion to make, but I don't think it's worth anything like that much as a 'work of art'.

Thu 15 Jan 2009 at 4:19 AM
artcritic

might be art or not but I am sure tousands will go (and pay) to see it if exhibited !

Thu 15 Jan 2009 at 5:54 AM
angelika

ERROR CORRECTION.

This is NOT the most expensive piece of art ever made. The artist Michael Marcovici surely spent time and money getting these pallets and bills together, but I am certain it did not cost him more than a few hundred dollars and a bunch of phone calls. It certainly did not cost him one billion dollars.

Perhaps - if it sells - it will be the "most money paid for a work of art", but until then, Marcovici's piece has no special claim to fame, other than being a somewhat cute.

Thu 15 Jan 2009 at 9:32 AM
Scott Kennedy

ERROR CORRECTION.

You are simply quoting the artist's press release when you say “…this it is the most expensive piece of art ever made.”
It is not..
And I feel infosthetics, like any other news provider, should not simply re-print what they receive without the minimum of research.

Although I am sure that acquiring the bills and the pallets cost him time and money, I am certain this piece did not cost Marcovici one billion dollars.

If and when the piece sells, it may become "the highest price ever paid for a work of art". Until then, please amend your review to recognize that the artist's statement is false. It may seem a trivial difference to you, but artists should not be immune from criticism when they misleading the public.

Thu 15 Jan 2009 at 9:52 AM
Scott Kennedy

I love the idea of trying to 'explain' big numbers. I've tried to do that on my blog:
http://whatype.wordpress.com/2008/10/12/what-type-of-money-is-in-the-paulson-plan/
http://whatype.wordpress.com/2008/10/01/what-type-of-money-are-we-talking-about/

Hope you like it. All the best
Pedro Monteiro
http://whatype.wordpress.com

Thu 15 Jan 2009 at 9:53 AM
Pedro Monteiro

@Scott: Unfortunately, I won't amend my original post. However, I fully appreciate your comment, and it has its right place, here, in the "comments" section.

Thu 15 Jan 2009 at 12:54 PM

After looking thru the artists website, I think it is clear that this is a concept, there are many other works such as models of robots, inventions etc. they do not exist for real and the right representation is a part of the concept, I think...

Thu 15 Jan 2009 at 2:11 PM
marco neumann

Most of my work is conceptual, so is this one too, I did not intend to misrepresent my work, I guess, as the post above allready mentions, if you take a look at my work you will see that it is indeed conceptual.
If you can put a price tag to something only once it is sold is a philosophic question, we can agree that one billion dollar, simply is worth a billion dollar. I can make it more complicated and use gold, diamonds or any other commodity of value to create a piece of art and use different means to finance them, then I would cover up more of what I am doing. But at the very end, its all the same, creating attraction by value. If you wish to buy the piece I will be happy to put it together for anybody exactly as pictured. In the meantime the money is circulating.

Thu 15 Jan 2009 at 2:42 PM

Banks have loads of artwork like this lying about in what they call vaults. I've even seen Carl Andre-esque brick sculptures made out of solid gold in these same vaults.
Does that make a bank vault an art gallery? Or should all the money be in a Museum?

Fri 16 Jan 2009 at 4:26 AM
Simon Parish

It might be the most expensive but a lot of classic art pieces are priceless. Not comparable ;)

Fri 16 Jan 2009 at 8:47 AM

sorry but Google-sites has taken my site down because of Banwith probems, here is a new link to the project: artmarcovici.com

Fri 16 Jan 2009 at 12:09 PM

I wish I could say that this looks like "art" to me, or evokes some kind of a response other than:
"Huh. There's a bunch of pallets of money."
It just doesn't do it for me.
On the other hand, here I am writing about it... so perhaps it does do something for me, even if it's a desire to ask, "Is this art?"

Tue 20 Jan 2009 at 11:52 AM
Not an "artist"

How gross.
Now I don't mean to get all the starving children in the world on you all... but really!? Where ever this came from has no understanding or idea about need and is completely insensitive. Highlights to me how far removed we have become. Maybe that is the point.

Tue 20 Jan 2009 at 5:15 PM

a similar pile of money was shown in the comedy "brewster's millions", where a guy had to spend $30 m in a month to inherit even more riches.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088850/

you could say as well that this movie triggered the viewers thoughts "what you could do (or not do) with the money."

Tue 20 Jan 2009 at 10:25 PM
kn

thats what i am looking for in life even more...Billion of Dollars

Sat 25 Apr 2009 at 12:38 AM
gbenga

i know this might sound controversial, but upon close inspection of the work of art, i discovered something not just right. The notes in each bail/bundle are not the same colour as the note on the front of the bundle, and there seems to be inconsistency in their shapes and orientation.

i admit it the work of art did take a lot of time and effort to put up...but not convinced in the least that they were all 'hundred dollar bills'. it nothing but a nicely done depiction.

Wed 03 Jun 2009 at 11:52 PM
Lanny 1

really i dont know how it is possible to makeone billion dollar. but i know it is easy for some to make it as quickly as possible.

Mon 17 Aug 2009 at 10:44 PM
maddahi

It looks to me like someone got into it ! that last pallet is not full ! hmmmmmmmm

Wed 19 Aug 2009 at 5:37 PM
Jake Anderson

I really don't want to asking about this thing but I just bought a
Google Biz Kit and have not heard
too much with it.

Thu 29 Oct 2009 at 6:11 AM
Unloapomo

It was very interesting to read opinions and i want to add that in a piece about artists Michael Marcovici, the artist says “…this it is the most expensive piece of art ever made.”
This is not true. Although I am sure that acquiring the bills and the pallets cost him time and money, I am certain this piece did not cost him one billion dollars.

Sat 13 Mar 2010 at 12:48 AM

In your piece about artists Michael Marcovici, the artist says “…this it is the most expensive piece of art ever made.”
This is not true. Although I am sure that acquiring the bills and the pallets cost him time and money, I am certain this piece did not cost him one billion dollars.

Sat 13 Mar 2010 at 12:51 AM

It looks to me like someone got into it ! that last pallet is not full !

Fri 23 Apr 2010 at 8:03 PM

might be art or not but I am sure tousands will go (and pay) to see it if exhibited !

Fri 23 Apr 2010 at 8:15 PM

This is not true. Although I am sure that acquiring the bills and the pallets cost him time and money, I am certain this piece did not cost him one billion dollars.

Mon 26 Apr 2010 at 3:19 PM

This is not true. Although I am sure that acquiring the bills and the pallets cost him time and money, I am certain this piece did not cost him one billion dollars.

Thu 03 Jun 2010 at 12:06 AM

might be art or not but I am sure tousands will go (and pay) to see it if exhibited..!

Fri 30 Jul 2010 at 2:33 AM

i have it already

Tue 03 Aug 2010 at 8:15 PM
he

In similar announcement, right after his media convention admitting his indiscretions, Tiger Woods started apologizing for the ladies with whom he experienced affairs. Twelve hrs later they are saying he barely scratched the floor.

Tue 21 Sep 2010 at 6:03 PM

It was reported years ago that If you spend $50,000 a day, 1 billion would last you 50 years. Just think, Bill Gates at one time was worth 100 billion...

Mon 25 Oct 2010 at 4:43 PM
Don Quixote

This is not true. Although I am sure that acquiring the bills and the pallets cost him time and money, I am certain this piece did not cost him one billion dollars.

Tue 02 Nov 2010 at 9:12 AM

This is so awesome! I can't believe that's how much a billion dollars is.. especially when I have like $20 in my wallet. It's insane to think that some people actually have this much money! I am in awe of the literal crapload of money that this is. insanity!

-Sarah
Arizona Art Gallery

Sun 12 Dec 2010 at 7:11 AM
Sarah

wow! but who got the chunk of cash off the front pallet?
What's more impressive is that 8 times this many pallets goes to china to pay interest on U.S. national debt- EVERY SINGLE DAY

Fri 01 Apr 2011 at 3:56 AM
Mineo
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