A year or so ago, I heard someone mention the million dollar homepage in a blog or something. I thought it was hilarious. And Genius. The premise was as a part 'Internet History' you could buy any number of contiguous pixels in a rectangle for one dollar per pixel. The site was selling ads for a total of 1 million pixels. 1 million pixels, 1 dollar each... wait for it... 1 million dollars. Fucking crazy right? Well, it seems to have worked the site is totally covered in ads, so presumably they made a million freaking dollars on a gimmick.
Then later on I saw a site called Websites as Graphs which turned a web page into a tree diagram illustrating different type of html tags with different colors and showing the nested structure of a page. Its pretty neat.
At the bottom of the results page, the page where you diagram would be shown, there was a little blue box with a 1 number in the middle of it. Curious. I followed it up and it was 1000 Number Paintings. The guy who made the diagram site also did a little painting project.
The schtick was 1000 paintings; all 12 inches square, all the same blue background with a white number in the middle. Every one had a different number from 1 to 1000. They're all for sale and different amounts based on a couple variables. First is its number. 1000 minus the number on the painting is the base price. So let's take 37. 1000 - 37 = $963. 724 would be $276. So the lower the number, the higher the price. Also a factor was how many paintings had sold thus far. Initially, there was a 90%. For every 100 paintings sold discount would go down 10%. So after 500 paintings sold (which is about what its currently at) the price is 40% off. All paintings were a minimum of $40.
So even at the minimum he would make 40 grand if he sold them all. Of course, these kinds of things don't always sell all of them, but the earlier lower number would balance that out, because they would be so much more. You can see which ones are still available and which have sold. It doesn't show you the order, which means you can't figure out the discounts on each, but needless to say, he did good.
That idea later got eli and I thinking about this kind of thing. After talking about we decided that people care more about the story behind the art more than the actual art. For example, if you saw a 8 inch square canvas painted all blue with a 2 inch tall white Helvetica 1 right in the center at a garage sale, knowing nothing about it, would you pay $999 for it? Neither would I. But if its a limited edition, hand numbered, color vinyl, tour release, blah, blah, blah, would you? I still wouldn't, but clearly some people would.