Turns out, great minds think alike. In my last post, I told you about some fun I had with my own lot in the Sotheby's Boundless Space: The Possibilities of Burning Man online auction. Well, I'm just learning that another lot was created by some Burning Man Project insiders as a prank.
Here's what they told me:
When we were starting the auction process, the discussion happened that we can't take it 100% seriously because we are burning man. I joked we should put a 4×4 piece of wood on a pedestal and present it as art. Then I realized I'd just voluntold myself to do it.
So [redacted] and I go out to the shop to look for a piece of wood. They pull out some off cuts from the [redacted Burning Man infrastructure] build process, covered in playa dust. I select one that looks handsome. We admire it.
We then get a metal mount for it. I set up a photo backdrop and photograph it. Oh fuck, now it looks like actual art and we love it.
Next we start brainstorming a description for it in International Art English. [Redacted] writes one that's actually kind of true but in flowery art language. I become embarrassed to even be associated with it because people might think we are taking it seriously.
The discussion becomes…when does something become art? How does it become art? Who's to say what is art? Fuck. We haven't solved any questions, and we didn't QUITE fulfill the original idea. So whatever.
…and somehow we ended up Lot 69 🌈
Here's part of that beautiful "International Art English" from the listing:
"This piece is inspired by the 'build it and they will come' ethos of Black Rock City. The construction-grade lumber medium with a rich patina of playa dust carries the physical aspect of the work—but it is the negative space that holds the artists' message.
The story that is set in motion is one of endless possibility and the production of meaning—the liminal space between now and later, past and present, and the wandering, unknowable path that leads us to our future—or one of our possible futures. This work challenges the viewer to consider choices made and not made, and what we gather as we move through the world.
screengrab via Sotheby's