A Sculpture That Perpetually Sells Itself On eBay

Artist Caleb Larsen has created an art sculpture which, when connected to the Internet, perpetually attempts to sell itself on eBay.

Combining Robert Morris’ Box With the Sound of Its Own Making with Baudrillard’s writing on the art auction this sculpture exists in eternal transactional flux. It is a physical sculpture that is perpetually attempting to auction itself on eBay.

Every ten minutes the black box pings a server on the internet via the ethernet connection to check if it is for sale on the eBay. If its auction has ended or it has sold, it automatically creates a new auction of itself.

If a person buys it on eBay, the current owner is required to send it to the new owner. The new owner must then plug it into ethernet, and the cycle repeats itself.

The sculpture, entitled “A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter“, recently sold on eBay for $6,350.00 and is now being shipped to its next “owner”.

Writer Andrew Sargus Klein offers some additional context for the sculpture in this excellent post at SpliceToday, in which he references both Baudrillard and Hirst, and explores contemporary concepts of ownership and worth:

“A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter” is tangibly linked, via Ethernet, to the intangible world of taste, aesthetics and worth. It doesn’t matter if the work becomes astronomically valuable—you’re legally required to keep putting it up on eBay once a week until someone else buys it. The argument is you can’t own anything conceptual, neither in copyright or theoretical terms, and the artwork’s logistics ensure that no third party—the highly ridiculous art market—can change that.

Aaron Muszalski
Aaron Muszalski