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The Empire Series (2006 - )

 


   

 

The pyramid form of the folded money used in the Empire Series is inspired by the Great Seal of the United States, found on the reverse of each U.S. Dollar Federal Reserve note. On the apex of the pyramid constructed of 13 layers representing the original states is “The Eye of Providence”, with the Latin motto ANNUIT CŒPTIS, signifying that Providence has “approved of our undertakings.” Below the pyramid is the Latin inscription NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM, meaning a “New Order of the Ages.”

 The act of printing the money for this work mirrors the process of Federal Reserve Banks to create “wealth”.

 
The
Empire Series strives to spark a conversation with its audience concerning:

Stupid Wars, War Profiteering, Propaganda, Democracy, American Way of Life, Terrorists, PTSD, Justice, Refugees, Fiat Currencies, Ground Troops, Unaccountability, Military Budgets, Federal Reserve Banks, Deficit Spending, Failed Diplomacy, Hybrid Warfare, HUMAN RIGHTS, Crimes Against Humanity, Liberty, AUMF, SIPRI, Genocide, Global Plunder, Militarism, Unlawful Killings,International Humanitarian Law, Patriotism, Bank Bailouts, Maimed For Life, The Great Recession, Foreign Policy, Manifest Destiny, Novus Ordo Seclorum, Foreign Interventions, Taliban, Arms Exports, EKIA, Nixon Shock, Paper Money, Bretton Woods System, Military Industrial Complex, Drone Warfare, Leftover Land Mines, Veteran’s Disability, Orphans, War Wounds, Nightmares, KIA, Civilian Casualties, POW, Refugee Camps, Nationalism, TBI, MDD, War Profiteering Prevention Act, 2007, Escalation, Global Arms Exports, Airstrikes, Freedom, Poverty, ISIS, CIA-Backed Militia, Arms Production, Protracted Wars, Victims, Forced Migration, National Security, Global Arms Industry, Accountability, Collateral Damage, Counterterrorism, Corporate Socialism, Impunity, Economic Hegemony, Trust, Covert Operations, PMSC, GNP, Capitalism, Monroe Doctrine, Repression, Self-Determination, Sovereign Nation, Imperialism, Corporate America, Natural Resources, Global Plunder, Defense Lobby, Economic Sanctions, Mercenaries, Expansionism, Value of Human Life, Anti- War Movement, Banana Wars, Instability, American Exceptionalism, Hezbollah, Private Armies, Fiscal Responsibility, Human Suffering, IMF, Profit-Driven Collusion, Innocent Lives, 800+ Global Military Bases, Oil, Human Life, War on Terror, War Crimes, Arms Sales, Military Contracts, No Oversight, 9/11, Tyranny, Ideology, Petro Dollar, Coup d´Etat, US Involvement in Regime Change: 

Mexico-1865-1867, Samoa-1887-1889, Hawai’i-1893, Panama-1903, Honduras-1903-1925,Philippines-1899-1913, Cuba-1906-1909, Nicaragua-1909-1933, Mexico-1913-1919, Haiti-1915-1934, Dominican Republic-1916-1924, Germany-1917-1919, Austria-Hungary-1917-1920, Russia-1918-1920, Panama-1941, Japan-1941-1952, Germany-1941-1949, Italy-1941-1946, Belgium-1944-1945, Netherlands-1944-1945, Philippines-1944-1945, Greece-1947-1949, Costa Rica-1948, Albania-1949-1953, Syria-1949, Korea-1950-1953, Egypt-1952, Iran-1952-1953, Austria-1945-1955, China-1949-1963, Albania-1949-1953, Iran-1953, Cuba-1953-1958, Philippines-1953, Guatemala-1954, Costa Rica-1955, Syria-1956-1957, Egypt-1957, Indonesia-1957-1959, Lebanon-1958, South Vietnam-1959-1963, Iraq-1959, British Guiana-1953-1964, Iraq-1963, North Vietnam-1945-1973, Cambodia 1955-1970, Laos-1958-1975, Ecuador-1960-1963, Congo-1960-1965, Cuba-1959-2020, France-1965, Brazil-1961-1964, Dominican Republic-1963-1966, Bolivia-1964, Vietnam-1964-1975, Indonesia-1965-1967, Cambodia-1967-1975, Ghana-1966, Chile-1964-1973, Greece-1967, Iraq-1972-1975, Ethiopia-1974-1991, Costa Rica-1970-1971, Bolivia-1971, Australia-1973-1975, Angola-1975-1991, Zaire-1975-1978, Cambodia-1979-1993, Afghanistan-1979-1989, Portugal-1974-1976, Jamaica-1976-1980, Poland-1980-1989, El Salvador-1980-1992, Seychelles-1979-1981, Chad-1981-1982, Grenada-1983, South Yemen-1982-1984, Suriname-1982-1984, Fiji-1987, Nicaragua-1981-1990, Iraq-1991-2020, Haiti-1991-1995, Zaire-1996-1997, Indonesia-1997-1998, Panama-1989-1984, Bulgaria-1991, Albania-1991, Afghanistan-1980s, Somalia-1993, Yugoslavia-1999-2000, Ecuador-2000, Afghanistan-2001-2020, Venezuela-2002, Haiti-2004, Palestinian Territories-2006-2007, Syria-2006-2020, Iran-2007, Somalia-2007-2020, Honduras-2009, Libya-2011, Yemen-2015-2020, Venezuela-2007-2020

The War Profiteering Prevention Act of 2007 was introduced to create criminal penalties for war profiteers and others who exploit efforts in conflict areas of the world. It was never passed into law.


Davis Birks
2020

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empire_nina_menocal

Empire: Mexico, 2009 (detail)

Printed, folded, faux US Dollar Federal Reserve Notes on floor
6000 x 6000 x 6.5 cm.

Installation: Galería Nina Menocal, 2009

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empire_tank

Empire (Tank), 2020

Printed, folded, faux US Dollar Federal Reserve Notes and acrylic paint on existing wall
Dimensions variable

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empire_mexico

Empire Mexico, 2009

Printed, folded, faux US Dollar Federal Reserve Notes mounted on existing wall
Dimensions variable

Installation view: Oficina de Proyectos Culturales, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

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volunteers

Volunteers and interns assisting in the folding of false dollar bills. Oficina de Proyectos Culturales, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, 2019

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empire_venezuela_installation

Installation process of Empire: Venezuela, for the exhibition III Bienal del Sur: Pueblos en Resistencia

Museo de Arte Moderno Jesús Soto, Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela, 2019

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empire_national_debt
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Empire: National Debt 2019

Printed, folded, faux US Dollar Federal Reserve Notes mounted on existing wall
Dimensions variable

Installation view: Galería Omar Alonso, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

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Empire_detail
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