"What's my Worth?" attempts to create connections and open conversations about worth, value and the impact that our financial decisions have on us, our communities and the environment. In 2008, I began keeping a financial journal, logging each spending, saving, sacrifice and splurge. I created a point system, noting how each monetary decision made me feel and the larger impact on the world around me. My journal led to examination of value, expressed in multi faceted project, "What's my Worth?". Fiscal instability is present at all levels of society yet can be a taboo topic. Addressing worth – how money is spent, what is gained, what is lost and who is affected – makes people more aware of their personal impact. Empowerment is possible with open dialogue and change. How value and how much impact one individual makes, environmentally and socially are all contributions to notions of 'worth'.
The performance element of "What's my Worth?" begins with my financial journal being read aloud, each splurge and saving is revealed to the audience. Judgements and feedback are drawn from the audience as they share what their own sacrifices, experiences and financial implications. During the performance, I wear costumes I created from the lint of my family dryer. Making my own clothes, was one of many cost saving methods noted in my journal. Rethinking resources means mindful repurposing of cast aside, forgotten materials. By limiting costs, I forced my eyes to see raw materials in the everyday. During the performance, my lint costume is changed. It is a 'remain'. I close the performance with a live auction, audience included, of the costume remain. The auction brings active valuation to the forefront. What is the value of art? What is my worth? Who gets to determine? The remains are exhibits, installations in their own right.
"What's my Worth?" is an examination of worth, as an artist, a mother, community member, etc., over a period of time. It provides a long-term exploration of the social and personal implications of the financial decisions we all face and is expressed in a variety of artistic mediums.