That Sculpture That Can Never Really Be Yours

Caleb Larsen, sculpture, eBay, A Tool To Deceive And Slaughter
It looks like a simple black cube, but this sculpture by artist Caleb Larsen perpetually sells itself - every seven days. [Credit: Caleb Larsen]

TULUM, MEXICO – Artist Caleb Larsen doesn't need an art dealer. He's created the ultimate self-sufficient work of art - it literally sells itself. A Tool To Deceive And Slaughter looks like just a simple black cube. However,when plugged into the internet, it can put itself up for auction on eBay

According to the legal contract accompanying the sculpture:
A. Artist has created a work of art titled “A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter (2009)” (“the Artwork”) which consists of a black box that places itself for sale on the auction website “eBay” (the “Auction Venue”) every seven (7) days. The Artwork consists of the combination of the black box or cube, the electronics contained therein, and the concept that such a physical object “sells itself” every week.
B. Collector understands and agrees to the underlying concept and function of the Artwork and that the sale of the Artwork by Artist is dependent and conditioned upon Purchaser's agreement and adherence to the below terms. Such terms are fundamental and crucial to the on-going viability and artistic integrity of the Artwork.
Every ten minutes, the sculpture checks to see if it's for sale on the auction site. If not, it automatically re-lists itself for sale. But if someone has bought the cube, the current owner must send it to the new owner, who then has to connect it online and allow it to sell itself to a new person, thus continuing the cycle.

The contract continues:
1. Collector agrees that the Artwork will remain connected to a live Internet connection at all times, with disconnections allowed only for the transportation of the work from one venue to another.
2. Upon purchasing the Artwork, Collector may establish a new value for the Artwork. The new value may not exceed current market expectations for the Artwork based on the current value of work by the Artist. This value may be reassessed quarterly.
Most recently, the black box sold for $6,350 to a buyer in Mountain View, California. Larsen says he uses the sculpture as a way to point out how “the world is a ridiculous place.”

The perpetual auction can be followed at


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