The Creators of 'Occupy George' Speak

Occupy Wall Street is a month old. Everything, it seems, has been occupied, including cities around the world, the hood, and prophylactics. And now, your money (like, your literal money): Occupy George is a project that's putting information about the economy on physical dollar bills, then putting them back in circulation. An example of an Occupy George bill:

occupy george bill.jpg
Occupy George

We spoke with to the creators of Occupy George this afternoon. They're two friends in San Francisco who teamed up to start the project about a week and a half ago (and who are also responsible for Deprofiler.com, created in response to Arizona's SB1070 law).

Andy and Ivan (they don't want their last names used) have backgrounds in design and advertising, which shows in the neato designs on the bills. They started the project after "sitting there watching the news about what's going on" with Occupy Wall Street, Andy said. "We wanted to try to partake in any way we can."

That meant using their design skill sets. They're not collaborating with the organizers of Occupy San Francisco, and don't necessarily feel like they need to be.

occupy george 3.jpg
Occupy George

"Without coming to too many conclusions, it's important to inform people with fact-based information," Ivan said. The method of Occupy George is "much more approachable than to march down the street and yell at people shopping."

"Occupying" American currency is symbolically weighty, as the Occupy George crew pointed out: "Printing information about money on money -- we both think it's a very approachable and tangible way" of reaching people.

The duo have come up with five different designs, all of which are available for download if you want to make your own Occupy George bills. Another example:

occupy george bill 2.jpg
Occupy George

Andy and Ivan wouldn't say how many bills they've marked up and put back in the system because of legal concerns (though they said they've bought things with them without incident). They did say that they're getting tens of thousands of hits on the website, which, Ivan said, "is nearly as valuable as someone getting one of these in their hand."

[rgray@villagevoice.com] [@_rosiegray]

Go to Runnin' Scared for more Voice news coverage.




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