Artist Projects

Pay Dirt

Joseph Scanlan

Pay Dirt invents and manufactures a commercial product and then re-introduces it as a work of art. In this work, Joseph Scanlan designed packaging and applied for a patent for the product. Once the patent was pending, he produced one ton of Pay Dirt, a potting soil made of material generally dumped in the trash, as a kind of first issue prototype. Subsequent production levels were determined by the remaining resources and public reaction to the work.

Project Updates

  • 2003: Pay Dirt is exhibited at Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, England

  • 2003: Pay Dirt is exhibited at Galerie Micheline Szwajcer in Antwerp, Belgium