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.

3 thoughts on “All My Life For Sale”

  1. To go along with this I truly
    To go along with this I truly feel that in the present more and more people are selling their belongings and to do that they take photos. But the best way to get rid of these belongings is if they can make them look better in the images. In other words they need to first create artwork before selling it. Everyone knows that the better the object looks the higher chance you have to sell it. This is how commercials are thought up. I guess what I’m trying to say is that art plays a huge role when it comes to selling products.

  2. I agree what Tjok has said,
    I agree what Tjok has said, yeah the items might have values to the owner personally, but the buyers won’t be able to understand how his artifacts are artworks and such. so before selling them, the artifacts should first become artworks. integrate them in a presentation using the objects but the idea is very dope! mixing culture and personal values to imply meaning to the objects.

  3. I think anything that can
    I think anything that can resonate with someone, or more people can be considered art. For John Freyer, he is allowing himself to be relatable to others by creating a connection through an item, and therefor a connection to people. The opportunity to spread one’s own items through out the country, is a very idealistic idea because it allows each item to develop a greater history, rather than staying with one person. If this project was “merely an exchange of goods”, then people would have responded to this idea differently. Rather that this being about money, it became about sharing a part of one’s own life, and making history, in a beautiful artistic way.

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