Interactive in nature, Benjamin Patterson’s A Penny for Your Thoughts promotes an exchange of ideas between artist and viewer. Patterson invites participants to care for their minds by “investing in the best” imbuing the performance with a type of humor common to many Fluxus projects. By having viewers “try on” the ideas of others, Patterson encourages the participants to reframe how they think while investigating the commodification of the transfer of ideas.
Benjamin Patterson (b. 1934) is a musician, artist, and founding member of Fluxus or NeoDada, which emerged in the early 1960s. Patterson is well known for his concept of “action as composition,” in which sound becomes the result of simple and complex actions that he famously annotated in the format of a musical score. Much of Patterson’s work is tinged with tongue-in-cheek humor that reveals his Fluxus roots.