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All My Life For Sale

All My Life For Sale is a work by John Freyer where he sells everything he owns online.  When I say everything I mean everything, Freyer finished by selling the domain name itself.  This work of art is part of a collection on Rhizome entitled Digital Archivalism.  This form of art blends anthropology and art with the research and collection of artifacts in the digital space.  These artists collect items and comment on their social implications.  Rhizome describes these artists as “collecting and curating the cultural byproducts of digital living” (Rhizome).  Many people debate whether or not this statement is art, is selling all of your possessions a work of art, or merely an exchange of goods?  This statement on the business of art calls into question the value of art.  Society assigns value to art, in some cases astronomically high value.  I took from this piece that value has a new meaning in the digital age. 

In Ressurecting the Technological Past: an Introduction to the Archeology of Media Art, Erkki Huhtamo analyzes this branch of archival art.  “The case of the media archeologists is somewhat different: their affection for the debris of the machine culture is intertwined with an anxiety and suspicion about the real role that technology is playing in contemporary society” (200) this quote resonates in this piece because of the both digital and very real aspects of it.  While the piece is temporary and lives online, the effects are very real: the selling of stuff.  The intersection between digital art and its real life, social effects is very interesting and something that artists continue to explore today (see Sanctum, digital art exploring the effects of social media).  Huhtamo goes on to say that “All these artist-archeologists, however, treat gadgets of the past as cultural forms, or as bearers of culturally and socially assigned meanings.” (200) While in All My Life For Sale, Freyer is not looking at items of the past, he is commenting on the items of the present and the items themselves: consumerism.

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