The Fundamental Units, White Cube, Mason's Yard, 2013 (photo Ben Westoby)

White Cube, Mason's Yard, 2013

The Fundamental Units, White Cube, Mason's Yard, 2013 (photo Ben Westoby)

White Cube, Mason's Yard, 2013

The Fundamental Units (Euro), Or Gallery, Berlin, 2013

Or Gallery, Berlin, 2013

The Fundamental Units (Chile)

Chile

The Fundamental Units (Myanmar)

Myanmar

The Fundamental Units (Euro)

Euro

The lowest denomination coin from each of the world's 166 active currencies imaged, using an infinite focus 3D optical microscope, to vast scale. Printed at the human size of 1.2 by 1.2 metres from files with over 400 million pixels. The hyper real level of detail, beyond normal vision, reveals the material construction and makeup of the circulated coin, marks and traces from their use as tokens of exchange.
"The economic system, which has raised to such notorious prominence in recent years because of its obvious impact on our lives, is a complex structure whose functioning is increasingly necessary to understand and, as much as possible, to predict or even control. In this sense, and in response to the dominance of macroeconomics in the discourse of the media, the artist chooses a microscopic view of the world economy. The Fundamental Units is an exploration of the lowest denomination coins from the world’s currencies using an infinite focus 3D optical microscope at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington (UK). The images obtained with the microscope have been combined to form an extremely detailed large scale reproduction of the least valuable coins from Australia, Chile, the Euro, Myanmar and the Kingdom of Swaziland. In these images the humble metal acquires a planetary dimension and is displayed as the atoms that shape the global economy". — Pau Waelder, Curator

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