James Franco sold someone air for $10,000

You might remember last month when I told you about one of James Franco’s latest ventures, the Museum of Invisible Art. The idea behind it was that you could sell a person an idea for a piece of art without going through the trouble of actually producing anything.  Basically, the stoner’s dream. Or as they explained it…

When you contribute to this Kickstarter project, you are not buying a visible piece of art! You will not receive a painting or a film or a photograph in your mailbox. What you will receive is something even more fascinating: The opportunity to collaborate in an act of artistic creation. You will receive a title card with a description of a piece of art, as well as a letter of authentication. You may mount this card on a blank wall in your home or gallery. What comes next is up to you!

Now, according to NPR, Franco has actually sold a piece. Or an idea for a piece. Okay, I’m not 100% clear on how this works, but it was called “Fresh Air,” and to Aimee Davidson, it was worth $10,000. Here are the words that $10 grand bought:

“A unique piece, only this one is for sale. The air you are purchasing is like buying an endless tank of oxygen. No matter where you are, you always have the ability to take a breath of the most delicious, clean-smelling air that the earth can produce. Every breath you take gives you endless peace and health. This artwork is something to carry with you if you own it. Because wherever you are, you can imagine yourself getting the most beautiful taste of air that is from the mountain tops or fields or from the ocean side; it is an endless supply.”

And you’re going to need it, because wherever you are, I’m guessing the air near you is thick with farts. Besides the above words and “an entire wing of the [possibly imaginary?] museum named in your honor,” Davidson also got “invited to the after-party if you are in New York City in November of 2011,” so I guess that’s something.

Now, if you thought that description smelt of farts, wait till you hear her explanation of why she bought it…

“As a new media producer, I identified with the ideology of the project and was particularly inspired by the sentence, “We exchange ideas and dreams as currency in the New Economy.”

Social media, which is integral to “the New Economy” of the Internet, post Web 2.0, has revolutionized how artists create, promote and sell their works of art. I felt that the act of purchasing “Fresh Air” supported my thesis about a concept I term “you-commerce,” which is the marketing and monetization of one’s persona, skills, and products via the use of social media and self-broadcasting platforms, like Franco’s use of the crowd funding platform Kickstarter to fund the Museum of Non-Visible Art. Essentially, I wanted to put my money where my mouth is.” [HuffingtonPost via NPR]

Wow. While I almost always enjoy Franco’s weirdness, because whether he’s conscious of it or not (and he does seem to be, at least sometimes), it’s usually hilarious, there were at least four phrases in that blockquote that legitimately made me want to kill myself. “Dreams as currency.” “You-Commerce.” Puke puke puke puke puke puke. Ugh, I need some fresh air. Crap, but I don’t have ten grand! Ooh, maybe I could figure out a way to sell someone fresh air– BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHMM.


[original interview via HuffPo]