Posts Tagged ‘A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter’

Caleb Larsen "A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter"

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Caleb Larsen’s “A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter” since I first learned of it via C-Monster. Initially, I dismissed the piece as the poster child for all that’s wrong with modern art. It’s just another black box in a white room, right? Wrong. So, so wrong. This particular black box is wired to the Internet and programmed to put itself up for sale on eBay every ten minutes. So, it can never really be owned, pointing to issues of the changing marketplace and the expectation of art to “belong” and be permanent. For me, the piece begs the questions of “what is ownership?” and, “can anything really be bought, sold, or owned?”

“A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter” was purchased in January for the first time, only to put itself up for bid again. It’s current owner, Terence Spies, was recently interviewed for The Stranger and shared his obsession with a sentiment that’s easy to relate to, “I have this thing, and I really want to keep it, but the reason I want to keep it is that it might leave.” When asked if he would bid against anyone trying to purchase the piece in the next eBay auction Spies said, “I own it, but I’m the only person in the world who can’t buy it.” Call me crazy, but this concept just gets to me…in a good way. It’s that whole human dilemma of unrequited love – wanting the one thing we can’t have.


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