AOL would obviously be interested in a work of art that automatically sells itself on eBay every week. Would you?
Larsen’s “A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter” — an 8-inch, black acrylic cube containing a mini-computer and a Web connection — has been programmed to sell itself on eBay every seven days. All buyers and sellers have to sign an 18-point contract that declares that the artistic gizmo can only be disconnected from the Net when it’s being transited between owners. As soon as a new collector takes possession, he’s obliged to plug it back into the Web, restarting the selling process.
And if an auction ends without a sale, the work simply throws itself back on eBay. “The owner might keep hold of it for years if there are no buyers,” admits Larsen. That hasn’t been a problem so far. When the sculpture went on sale in late January an online bidding war broke out, pushing the work from an opening price of $2,500 up to a final fee of $6,500.