I Want To Be A Millionaire
Public funding for creative projects has been greatly helped in the internet age by fundraising sites such as Kickstart and IndieGoGo, and there are certainly easier and more cutting-edge methods for raising capital than standing on the street with a sign. But that’s exactly what Thomas Geiger has been doing and it’s working a treat. As of the time I met Geiger this afternoon in the Maria Theresa Square with his sign reading ‘I Want To Become A Millionaire’ and gave him two Euros for his trouble, he had raised some 2,893 Euros for his publishing company Mark Pezinger Verlag, with which he has produced 13 artist’s books and 3 exhibitions.
Geiger is a German living here in Vienna with his Austrian girlfriend. He passes out a signed, numbered and stamped sheet for every Euro he receives from people on the street. He also sells notebooks composed of these same sheets. His competition for the attentions of tourists and passersby on Maria Theresa Square, between the magnificent Museums of Natural History and Art History, were the imposing statue of the Habsburg Empress Maria Theresa and a typical Viennese ‘Living Statue’ man, basically a guy dressed as Mozart and painted gold, standing on a box being funny.
You can read more about this project and others by Geiger at his website, where he describes the project this way:
I want to become a millionaire is an ongoing performance in which I try to collect as many money from various people as possible. For each Euro the donator gets a sheet with a stamp, number and my signature. Each day I try to collect money by standing in public space with a sign in my hand and speaking to people. But I also try to collect money in other situations.
The money is used to built-up a a new work: Mark Pezinger Verlag, an experimental publishing house for artists books, founded by Karsten Födinger and Thomas Geiger. We only work with the donated money and invest it in our publications, by this means each donator becomes a small part of Mark Pezinger Verlag. Till now we realized 13 publications and three exhibitions with that money.
For people who would like to invest a bigger amount of money we can offer our sheets-books, with 10, 100, 500, 1000 or 2500 stamped and signed sheets.