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#exstrange

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exhibition information

#exstrange is a live exhibition project that uses the online marketplace eBay as a site of curatorial operation, artistic production and cultural exchange within the geographical boundaries enabled by the commercial platform we are adopting — the various ‘national’ eBay sites. #exstrange is a series of “artworks as auctions” created for eBay, using the entire listing (descriptive text, images, pricing, and categories) as material to build the artwork. Exhibited for 7 days only, these site-specific artworks use eBay’s categories (Real Estate, Healthcare, Agriculture, and Personal Security, …) to reach particular audiences beyond physical barriers. Each auction is maintained by its creator so that bidder interactions and comments are incorporated in real time as part of the work, and this website maps the interactions between sellers and bidders. The curators — Marialaura Ghidini and Rebekah Modrak — created #exstrange to explore collective strategies of production and communication online that enable meaningful encounters between passers-by and auctions, and between artists and audiences.
Curatorial Statement:
Distance = ∞
Displacement = 0

Online shopping is so commonplace nowadays since with the aid of the internet, we seem to be able to leap across country borders fairly easily. The promise that we could order anything from anywhere regardless of the physical distances between the manufactures, the sellers and the buyers is, however, nothing but an illusion, at least up till now, in legal ways. The current configuration of the mainstream online commerce can be very unapologetically upsetting to their customers under certain circumstances. For instance, “eBay Hong Kong only displays in Chinese, but I don’t speak Chinese! Help!”

“‘The payment card you entered is not valid in the US app store.’ Even though I could pay with this card anywhere in the world that accepts credit card?”
In this curatorial intervention, I invited three female artists who are all currently living in a different city than their origins. They have experienced cultural distances between their present environments and what they were used to. Yet they quickly dived into the new water and here they present works that are inspired by their surroundings. They’ve done a much better integration job than most “global” online commerce operators, if you ask me.