Monthly Archives: January 2010

Artwork Sells Itself on eBay

Artist Caleb Larsen’s radically thought-provoking A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter (2009) is an extraordinarily profound multimedia work that questions the relationship of media, culture, technology and commerce. Although Minimalist in form, its content is complex and interactive. Within the black acrylic cube lives a device that allows the box to perpetually attempt to sell itself on eBay. Every 7 days, the box begins a new auction and monitors the bidding progress of each auction. Larsen’s experience with scripting programs and open-source codes is vital to the success of the work, as it continues to independently sell itself online. The artist’s stringent purchase agreement for bidders (listed on the eBay page) provides a structure that protects the box’s ownership rights, but can also lead to great profit for both the "collector" and the artist.

A Banksy Film

Banksy’s new film "Exit Through The Gift Shop" is a film-within-a-film that begins as a chronicle of guerrilla art and its most prominent creators but morphs into a sly satire of celebrity, consumerism, the art world and filmmaking itself, “Exit Through the Gift Shop” is a nearly impossible work to categorize. That doesn’t begin to describe the contradictions that surround the new movie that’s both about — and made by — the controversial and hugely popular artist.

The Great Contemporary Art Bubble

The last five years had witnessed an unprecedented craze for contemporary art, in which works of art sold for record-breaking prices. It all climaxed in September 2008, when Damien Hirst sold 111 million pounds’ worth of his art at an auction at Sotheby’s – the very day Lehman Brothers collapsed, bringing down the financial markets of the western world. The art auctions in October and November 2008 were a disaster and the art world was in shock. By early 2009, the contemporary art auction market was down 75 percent. Auction houses recorded record losses and were rapidly downsizing. In this inside eye-witness journey into the art world, filmmaker Ben Lewis visits auction houses, art fairs, galleries, and the homes of billionaires across the world, searching for the reasons behind the greatest rise and fall in financial value of art in history.

The Art of Kate MccGwire

London-based sculpture Kate MccGwire employed the help of hundreds of supporters to collect tens-of-housands of found pigeon feathers, which she laboriously crafted into mythical creatures that resemble both bird and serpent. There is a strong sense of pattern-seeking in the artist’s work. This, in combination with her exploration of materials and her broad definition of beauty, allows the humble pigeon feather to transcend nature and become an integral part of a supernatural design that is both beautiful and grotesque.

Sluice, 2009

Sluice (detail), 2009

Vex, 2008

Public Clock

One of our favorite local Swiss product designer’s Nicolas Le Moigne was commissioned by the city of Geneva to create a Public Clock, which serves as both a site-specific art installation and a practical centrally-located timepiece. The clock tells time in words instead of numbers, and changes every minute.