Vending machines sell things we need, when and where we need them, fast & cheap. At least, that’s the idea, right?
Take the vending machines for ballet flats at night clubs. They are said to be very busy at the wee hours when stiletto’s begin killing their owners.
Take the anti-rage/anti-stress machine that smashes a plate or a statuette for you (and yes, you have to feed it money to do it) – those can be set up anywhere, and everywhere they would be welcome.
In Japan, they are rumored to have vending machines for everything, from veggies and eggs to sex toys and fortune predictions. That’s the future. The Japanese bra vending machine, in which the consumer has to punch in her breast size, puzzles me a bit, because I thought all that fuss about exaggerating the size was a typically male thing.
I understand why a marriage machine dispensing rings and certificates can be in demand, and where this demand might be found in concentrated form. I am both hands up for baguette machines (provided the bread’s a real baguette), and even for Swap-o-matic that allows you to exchange things you don’t need for things you need even less but don’t know about it yet.
I thought art would never feature in the list of products and services that can be bought from a vending machine. It is not that art is special. It’s just the need. Why would anyone want to buy an artwork in the middle of the night?
I was wrong. It is a growing industry. Art-o-mat took care of your need to buy authentic art anytime you’re overwhelmed by this burning desire.
They use converted cigarette machines to get you art:
It is like a souvenirs seller, except that all souvenirs are made by people who have real names, are sold in very limited quantities, and most of them are really nice.
Art-o-matic puts their machines in theatres, libraries, galleries, and other places where visitors get high on cultural fumes. And here they are, offering art to quench the thirst.
That’s clever, but the idea has been limited to the US so far… I wonder why?