Niche Distribution: The Art-o-mat


Via a MoCo Loco entry (Link) I happened across the “Art-o-mat” website. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard of this before; probably via MSM. But that might have been a while ago. Besides, this seems so much more applicable now when you consider a potential mash-up with a site like Etsy (which I happened to be surfing through yesterday evening – check out the “precious metal clay” jewelry of Sue Quigley – Link). Funny how this reminds me of vendors in Second Life. Kind of.

Maybe what we’re witnessing are the emerging pieces of the system that will eventually give physical birth to William Gibson’s virtual pop star. Hmmm. What if the physical form it takes is based on an urban vinyl? or a furry? “Gooood Evening, JF!“. I can see it now: Vending Machine Buddies.

{Image Copyright © Artists in Cellophane}

3 thoughts on “Niche Distribution: The Art-o-mat

  1. Q’s jewelry is definitely cool. Being that I am a fine jeweler in addition to a future enthusiast, I think Sue’s jewelery is way more credible as art than that cheap art cig machine. It seems more like a catalyst for littering. A piece of art that comes that quickly, out of a vending machine shaped cigarrette juke box is defnitely NOT an experience and lacks everything that gives the craft of jewelry value. It shouldn’t even be logged in the same paragraph as custom jewelry.

    This could be my ego setting loose but as a jeweler I must protect the time, effort, planning and accuracy the trade requires when put along side such a gimmick piece of …..

    Those things won’t last unless drugs are legalized and the art becomes more active.

  2. Well, to be honest, it was that precious metal clay that I found most impressive in the work I mentioned. I spent much of my time in art school with the metalsmiths and ceramicists and had never heard of it; turns out it wasn’t on the market at the time. And because I’m researching Selective Laser Sintering/Melting, it’s especially interesting atm.

    As for the Art-o-mat, I had friends (including a long-time girlfriend) studying metalsmithing and also took classes in metals at CIA, so I’m comfortable saying that I believe they’d find this an interesting outlet for some of their work. Not everything they do is intended for art galleries; they still have to make a living and often that means making simple items for sale at craft shows.

    Furthermore, I don’t think anyone is expecting a Brancusi as a selection. Nor do I think people would expect to see one of these vendors in the local laundromat. But by your reaction, you’re definitely showing a sense of superiority. That’s a dangerous attitude to have afaic.

    Art and fine craft is for everyone; not just for the upper crust. And if you feel protective of your trade, be aware that I and other designers are watching people (and lots of them) with no qualifications advertise themselves as product designers because they can use some (pirated) CAD application. But I’m not going to say they don’t have a right. I’m not going to get angry and protective. Instead, I let my work speak for itself. And if some untrained kid comes along and does something that’s better than what I’ve shown, more power to him/her. I’ll just have to get better.

    That’s what it is to live in a “free everything” world; the same one you were arguing for not too long ago. Like it or not, you will be competing with people you now snub your nose at. In my opinion, an emotional response like yours is not going to help you in that economy.

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