Caleb Larsen

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$10,000 Sculpture (In Progress), 2009

Dollar bill acceptor, collected money, Dimensions Variable

1,600 USD

The $10,000 Sculpture (in progress) visually consists of a standard dollar bill acceptor found in soda and candy vending machines. This device has become a symbol of self-serve retail transactions. In this instance, it is installed seamlessly into a plain white wall with no clues to inform the viewer as to the nature of the piece. Nor does it suggest what might happen if they were to insert a dollar bill. The title is the only thing that provides any insight into conceptual workings.

The functional core of this work is that it is forever ‘in progress.’ The work exists primarily at the moment of contribution by the viewer. It is a continual charity, or more cynically, a form of panhandling. It asks for money, and offers nothing (by way of direct response) in return. The money that it accepts goes into a fund with a goal of $10,000.

This piece is accompanied by a contract which outlines the rules regarding the handling of the money it collects and the continued relationship between the artist and collector. The contract stipulates that the money collected by the piece does is not to affect the market value of the work. Meaning, the money is to be considered a material of the piece, not capital. Also, since the work is meant to always be “in progress” once the work has collected the total $10,000 the amount is to be split 50/50 between the artist and collector. Like the avaricious Sisyphus, the work is reaching towards a goal, only to be returned its starting point upon reaching the goal.

Artworks by Caleb Larsen

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