JUNKY OLD STUFF
In 2003 Livingston produced a New Media project JUNKY OLD STUFF, a set of ten prints that were ads on eBay and were designed as satires of on-line shopping. The project garnered national newspaper and radio attention.
- Saturday Globe and Mail Arts review section, mentioned on front page of this section as well
- CBC National Arts Report lead item before 8am CBC radio news, and on again before 6pm news on arts report
- Halifax Daily News ran an article.
- Profiled in Pottersfield Portfolio
- Selected pieces shown in group show at Inverness County Centre for the Arts.
Looking around on eBay [a decade] ago, the idea came to me of doing this New Media project. Projects I work on are mostly issue related and personal. JUNKY OLD STUFF seemed to fit both these references, and be the right idea to have on eBay.
I had been interested in doing an internet based art project for about 5 years. JUNKY OLD STUFF fit my criteria for an internet art project because it works on several levels.
An on-line art project needs to easily connect with the public. As a platform, eBay works because it is a place of high exposure and readily available for the public to view. As far as I could tell from my research, no one had yet used eBay for a New Media art project. I was also fascinated by eBay as a place where people worldwide communicate while shopping.
The idea was to make a piece about consumerism as a way of life, and have it be funny too. In JUNKY OLD STUFF, the code language of advertising and consumerism play a prominent role to raise the issue of Ad-speak and its influences on our culture and thinking.
Using eBay as the platform for this project is a metaphor for fitting into the globalized corporate world. Conforming to eBay's website rules is like a paradigm for how individuals do or do not fit well into this new world order.
I like the idea of selling the Ad rather than the object. While JUNKY OLD STUFF is publicly available to see on the internet, I wanted to have signed Fine Art prints of the Ads that people could buy.
On the traditional level of art making, I wanted the prints to be beautiful. To do this, the photographs had to be attractive and high quality, and the written part of the Ads had to be like individual, well-crafted short stories. The result is that the set of ten Ads/prints are successful both together and individually.
Being my first internet project the technical issues just kept coming up again and again, and at many points seemed never ending. What I thought would take two weeks to execute instead took nearly eight.
In researching how to have JUNKY OLD STUFF work on eBay, their information was often not completely clear. Customer support was always helpful, though at one point, when I was getting frustrated, I wished they could also bend the rules a bit.
I am indebted to all of those who assisted me with Junky Old Stuff. Without their help I would not have been able to carry out this project on eBay in the manner in which I wanted to have it available. Their names appear in the credits below.
I am very pleased to be able to present this project, and hope that you enjoy it. Please tell your family, friends and colleagues where they can view it.
After The Globe and Mail article and somewhere beyond 30,000 hits in 10 days, the project came to eBay’s notice, and they disallowed the project – taking it off-line, as I was not selling the items in my Ads, only the Ads themselves !
Produced, directed, written, photographed and conceived by Neal Livingston
Production Assistant: Peggy Cameron
Technical Mentoring: Chris Majka
Online Ad layouts: Candice Green
Legal: Rob Aske, Stewart Mckelvey Stirling Scales