Box Vox

packaging as content

November 16, 2012

Untitled Product Distribution Network

Last night was the opening for As Real As It Gets.

It was great to finally see all of the work and get to get a chance to meet some of my fellow manufacturers of fictional products. (And by “manufacturers of fictional products,” I mean: artists.)

Conrad Bakker is an artist who is known for making hand-carved, hand painted replicas of a variety of familiar objects. Naturally, a significant number of these objects are packages.

His 2005 “Untitled Product Distribution Network” for the functionless “Untitled Product (CONCENTRATE)” on the right, was an economic sculpture in which he attempted to use the pyramid scheme business model to sell the artwork. (See also: Amway)

“UNTITLED PRODUCT DISTRIBUTION NETWORK assumes the form of a fully functional network marketing system featuring a carved and painted bottle of Untitled Product (CONCENTRATE). By purchasing a starter kit, one could become an Untitled Product distributor, then sell Untitled Product and even recruit his or her own distributors, exponentially increasing one’s profits. (2005)”

As with any pyramid marketing scheme, this one broke down all too soon. Art collectors are apparently not very good at product distribution or network recruitment, and the Untitled Product Distribution Network is “no longer operational.”

As Real As It Gets runs from November 16 till December 22.

Apexart is located at 291 Church Street , New York, NY 10013 USA

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