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Conceptual Art

Curiosity in a Box

— December 28, 2006 — Art & Design
Michelangelo Roberti is a conceptual artist from Italy. He has developed an interesting way of using human curiosity en his art: Putting the curiosity in a box and getting paid for the idea.

Yes, Mr. Roberti sells black cubes, wooden cubes painted in black actually. He decided to create only 999 cubes to sell and he is having a lot of success among the art-seekers and buyers.

The 999 cubes are all the same. With the same size, same shape, same color. There is no difference in the exterior of the cube. No one could say that a cube is different from another. So, Why are this wooden boxes so interesting? Well, all the cubes have something inside, the only way to know what is it is to brake the cube but in that way you destroy the art piece so knowing the content become useless. Michelangelo thought in this idea many years ago while reading a Mickey Mouse comic (nope, it is not a joke, that's what he says in his website)

Ok, let's see this again: The curious person dies for knowing what makes this cubes so unique if they are the same on the outside, but if you open the cube you lost your art piece and you can't put it in the center table of your living room in order to presume it to your friends. All the value of this art piece becomes zero when you look what is inside.

“Wooden cubes are the material representation of human curiosity" says the artist in his website, "I imagine a man, sitting on his sofa, drinking a cup of tea: every fortuitous glance at the cube brings always the same question: What does it contain? " Roberti adds.

The question could really become a nightmare to a lot of people. Can you imagine to have this beautiful black-painted wooden cube somewhere in your house and every time you see it the same question jumps in your head? I think a lot of us would have to double our ansiolitics daily dose to keep the box closed.

trendsNow, Michelangelo makes it even more interesting when letting us know that when he sells all the cubes (the whole 999) something else will happen but he only says that the "content" of the cubes will change the meaning of the whole experiment.

If you are wondering right now on how to get one of the cubes, I can tell you this: the price of each cube raises with every cube that is sold. This means that the price of every cube that is sold is $0.50 USD more than the previous cube which lead me to the idea of buying it soon before the price rises more. The faster you buy, the cheaper you get it.

Right now, Roberti has sold 60 of the 999 cubes that he made and the current price stills affordable; if you buy one in this moment, for example, you would be paying $90.00 plus shipping. Yes, he accepts international orders.

We will be following very closely what ever happens when all the cubes are sold and maybe knowing (for God sake) what does the cubes contain. The conceptual answer to this could be: a personal patience trainer.

Please, when you buy one and you mange your anxiety to keep it closed, send me and email and let me know how did you do it. Damn! I'm already curious and I'm just writing this article...