Artist Caleb Larson created a sculpture in 2010 that attempts to repeatedly sell itself on eBay, entitled “A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter”.
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.
Andrew Sargus Klein explains the sculpture 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.
via Laughing Squid