Live Television Interview
November 6, 2001
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Click on the image to view video of the interview (3:24).
Full Transcript of the interview is below.
Charles Molineaux for CNN: Well here is a guy who is not running for mayor but he's still a man with a mission. Artist David Harth joins us now to talk about his campaign to stamp dollar bills in defiance of the 9/11 attacks. Good morning and thank you for being with us. How about a dollar for your thoughts and idea of what it is you're trying to show us.
David Greg Harth: Good morning. Basically I am stamping dollar bills with the phrase "I Am Not Terrorized" and "I Am Not Afraid." I'm spending them and trading them. I am basically saying that I am not terrorized and I am not afraid. I am a New Yorker. I'm not going to be scared. I'm going to stay in New York. I'm going to continue spending money, enjoying concerts, going to dinner, playing and working.
CNN: We see lots of people demonstrating that America is united, America is not backing down. Why the special significance to putting it on money?
DGH: Well, the dollar bill is a symbol of America, but more importantly it's also a means of getting my message out there in circulation. I mean, sure, I could tell you about my message and tell my friends, but what a better way to really communicate it. And also, I mean, the economy...and I work for money and we spend money. It's just a great means of getting the message out there.
CNN: How does this work into your way of expressing yourself as an artist?
DGH: How does it work in...?
CNN: As your way of expressing yourself as an artist?
DGH: Well to express oneself in any media is great. I work in film, photography, installation, performance art.. And this is also performance as I'm spending it or trading it. It is also visual, it's printed on a bill. And I mean, in plenty of ways I could just get my message out there.
CNN: What do you want to see happen? People open up their wallets, they may not be feeling terribly confident and this jumps out at them?
DGH: Quite possibly. And I want people to know that there are other people that are going to stand strong. We're free here. I'm going to be remaining free. I'm going to live in New York City. I'm not going to leave. I am not afraid. I am not terrorized. I'm not going to be terrorized.
CNN: You, heard from anybody like the Treasury or the Secret Service about what you're doing with their money?
DGH: Not yet, but I'm sure I will. I did check into the law. It is legal, what I'm doing because I'm not doing it with the intent to make the bill non-reissuable. It's obvious that I can spend this bill again. I didn't cover it completely in black ink. And I'm not trying to make it not spendable.
CNN: So you're sure...?
DGH: But I'm sure, after today they'll come visit me.
CNN: So, you're every expenditure is a statement?
CNN: OK, thank you very much. We appreciate you're being with us.
DGH: And people can go to my website which is Davidgregharth...
CNN: Oh OK, there we go...
DGH: Davidgregharth.com/dollars. And they can trade bills with me. So basically that's what I do. And I have people stamping in Denver, Florida, Miami, Boston, Washington DC. So it's out there.
CNN: And the message again is "I Am Not Terrorized" and the other one?
DGH: "I Am Not Afraid"
CNN: Ok thank you very much. David Harth. Good to have you. Appreciate you joining us and good luck. Keep that in mind when you fish through the wallet and see something funny in it. That's where it comes from.
© 2001 CNN Headline News