Myth-busting the self-shredding Banksy painting

From the outset, folks suspected the self-shredding Banksy painting was a planned media stunt. After all, Sothebys hung it on the wall instead of the customary easel, allowing the shredder to function, and put it up at the end of the day, so the fuss didn't interrupt other auctions. But the devil is in the details. At Artnome, Jason Bailey sets about myth-busting the shred, right down to the technical challenges of creating such a device.

If you thought batteries couldn't last long enough to do the deed, you lose! But if you realized that a row of flatside-up exacto blades aren't going to start clean cuts, pat yourself on the back.

Yes, a battery can last for up to 10 years; there are also other plausible theories that do not implicate Sotheby’s Yes, there was a functional shredder (in the loosest sense of the word) Yes, the work was partially pre-shredded and spooled Yes, the device in the video is the one that was used to further shred the painted during the auction

And, of course:

Had Sotheby’s actually been completely caught off guard by a man with a remote detonation device and large frame concealing electronics making a beeping noise, one would assume they would have jumped into action assuming the worst. Instead, the porters calmly shepherded the work out of the room and returned to the activities of the evening. I assume Sotheby’s was familiar with the person who had the triggering device (if not also familiar with the specifics of the plan).

Read the rest

Remarkable collection of 18th and 19th century pocket globes

Sotheby's currently has auctions for several beautiful pocket globes from the 1790s and early 1800s. If you have a few grand lying around, one of these 2.5-inch to 3.5-inch beauties could be yours. Read the rest

Making the Book Talismanic: An Interview with Robert Ansell

Robert Ansell is the Director of Fulgur Press, which has published the work of esoteric artists for 20 years.