Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Tool

A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter, 2009
Caleb Larsen
Acrylic, custom electronics, programming, internet connection, online auction.

image: ebay

Description: "This object perpetually attempts to sell itself on eBay" (from description on, you guessed it, eBay)

Thank you to a friend to alerting me to today's art of the day. As can be expected, "art" is an interesting term in this context. Just looking at the photo, it looks like a shiny box, minimalist maybe? Ah, but wait! This is no ordinary box. I struggled to categorize this work for my picture files (sculpture, conceptual art, digital media?). I went with sculpture because I was too lazy to create a folder for conceptual art and am not sure I'll add much to the folder since I rely a bit on visuals for this blog. I still wanted to bring this to the attention of a few more because I find it pretty fascinating (this does not necessarily mean I like the work, that's what is wonderful about art I think).

So what is this thing anyway? To briefly expand on it's description as perpetually attempting to sell itself on eBay, yes, the artist has the work for sale on eBay. The duration of the sale is 7 days. Once the item is sold it changes hands. The new owner (who is referred to as the collector which I question since it is likely it won't stay in this person's hands forever) is then required to put the object up for sale once again. There you have it. There are a slew of rules and regulations to follow once in possession of the object (I'd rather just call it a box) and those are what fascinate me the most. I highly recommend reading them here.

The best clause:
  1. Any failure to follow these terms without prior consent of Artist will forfeit the status of the Artwork as a legitimate work of art. The item will no longer be considered a genuine work by the Artist and any value associated with it will be reduced to its value as a material object and not a work of art.
This is the first run of the sale, currently being sold be the artist. I would be interested in seeing how sales go in the future.

Good times.


Brian said...

I love it. In some ways, it's less an authorial work and more a participatory event, like geocaching or letterboxing.

jct said...

You're right - the clause is the best part. The ongoing fight to deny the death of the author, right?