Token Dreams, like many of Pomeroy's works, had multiple realizations. The earlier live versions used slide dissolves and a voice track. The slides, digitized and computer-processed images of Monopoly tokens, were later replaced by 3-D polygon renderings of the familiar tokens enhanced with texture-mapped imagery. The sound track begins with an electronic flange sound and a violently dislocated voice, lowered electronically to imply authority, echoed enormously to suggest an absurdly large space or a shrinking of our own frame of reference.
When we at last adjust our ears to understand this voice, we realize it is reciting the rules of Monopoly. "The object of the game is to acquire properties ....." Another voice, simple and undistorted, now appears as our guide through a hell of monumentally engorged Monopoly tokens projected on the screen (in later versions, the video). The unity and stability of corporate symbols is disrupted as each token tells its story.
The token of the shoe appears:
I dreamed I was trapped inside a Monopoly game, except I didn't pass "Go" and I couldn't collect $200. I bustled enough cash to score a coupla pints of Mad Dog and woke up in the tank, trying to roll doubles.Accompanying the image of the thimble:
Without a green card, the only job I could get was sewing counterfeit Levis fourteen hours a day in Chinatown.Voice-over for the cavalry rider:
You know, it's weird the way some advertisers persistently mask products of dependency with symbols of freedom. Marlboro just can't seem to kick the horse habit.The cannon:
From the balls of Montezuma, and once again to the shores of Tripoli, we will fight our country's battles as often as necessary, given any token excuse. It's not just a job, it's blitzkrieg, business, and the American Way.