Currency Exchange is a Provocative Series of artist's books created by John O. Smith. The project challenges concepts of appreciation and value in both art and financial exchange; transforming currency into art and art into currency.
Currency Exchange began with Volume One, which bound U.S. one dollar bills into a beautifully crafted limited-edition set of collectible artist's books. Individual books in Volume One contained 48 bills, and were sold to collectors for $100. All sales proceeds were then directly re-invested into Volume Two, a limited-edition set of artist's books containing 48 two dollar bills each. Volume Five has been created using five dollar bills from Volume Two sales proceeds.
Volume Five is now available for purchase at a price of $500. Proceeds from sales of Volume Five will be rolled-over to create Volume Ten (ten dollar bills); returns from Volume Ten will become Volume Twenty; income from Volume Twenty will be used to create Volume Fifty; etc. The value of the project will continue to appreciate until all common denominations of US currency have been exchanged into artist's book form.