Challenge Coins

The Challenge Coins are wall-mounted sculptures whose designs are inspired by various military and law-enforcement “challenge coins.” These are awarded to the participants of special operations  successfully undertaking aspects of particular missions. These tokens serve as both a competitive incentive for high levels of performance and a manifest form of symbolic currency, marking the acquisition of reputation.

Operation Onymous (FBI Investigation of the Silk Road), 2016
High density urethane foam, aluminum
50 ¾ × 50 ¾ × 3.14 in.
Installation view at Kunsthalle Winterthur, 2017

The Challenge Coins are related to the Symbology works in the sense that they explore the visual culture of unseen things. For a longer discussion of challenge coins, see my book From the Archives of Peter Merlin, Aviation Archaeologist.

True Art… (CIA Special Activities Staff), 2016
High Temp Epoxy
50 ¾ × 50 ¾ × 3.14 in.